web analytics
November 20, 2014 / 27 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Advice to Western Leaders: Don’t Visit the Middle East

Visits of Western leaders complicate old problems and create new ones, and moreover, the chances that these visits will yield a positive effect or result in a real solution to any problem, is quite low.
John Kerry: Here he comes again

John Kerry: Here he comes again

(7) Middle East Racism Towards Blacks. President Obama also presents a difficult cultural challenge to the Middle East: a dark-skinned man of African descent is called “Abed” in Arabic, meaning “slave”, so how can such a person tell the Arabs, Persians or Turks what to do or what not to do? Add to this the claim that he or his father left Islam, and according to the Islamic approach, whoever leaves Islam must be killed. Many people in the Middle East ask themselves “How on Earth can such a person dare to come to Cairo, to Saudi Arabia, to Iraq as the head of a state?” These words are not spoken aloud, but this is the feeling of many, too many, in the Middle East.

(8) Colonial Language. Visitors usually speak European languages, especially English and French. But these languages were the languages of colonialism, so when the visitor makes public announcements in one of these languages it marks him as a colonialist, a foreigner, and someone who is arrogant, humiliating and exploitative, and therefore also hated and shunned.

(9) The ‘Warm’ Reception. In preparation for visits from noted Westerners, there are many who would like to prepare a “reception” for him in the form of attacks and other terror operations, mainly in order to prove “who is in charge here”. This was obvious in Iraq after 2003, and during the Palestinian Intifada from 2000 to 2007. As a result of this it can be said with assurance and great sorrow that visits of notables from the West cause bloodshed in the Middle East.

A visit from a Western notable is usually short, lasting a day or two, during which he tries to find a solution to a problem that has lasted for a long time and involves conflicts with ethnic, tribal, religious or sectoral factors or some complex combination of these components. The conclusion that arises from all of these reasons is that it is preferable for leaders and senior officials from the West not to visit the Middle East. These visits complicate old problems and create new ones, and moreover, the chances that these visits will yield a positive effect or result in a real solution to any problem, is quite low.

It would be better to conduct diplomacy behind the scenes, with a minimal presence. It is possible to offer support and to help heads of state, politicians, organizations and activities, instead of coming for hasty, public visits, which do not serve the goal in a basic and positive way.

Leaders in the West to understand that the Middle Eastern culture is not the same as the European or American culture. the people of the Middle East are aware of their history, and have a totally different value system and system of priorities from those of Western cultures. The status of the group – ethnic, tribal, religious and sectoral – is immeasurably higher than the status of the parallel group in Western culture, and it is not possible to implement solutions in the Middle East  that are tailor-made for European or American cultures.

Religious considerations play a key role in the Middle East, and therefore for the leaders of the states  that exercise separation of religion and state, where it is a personal matter for every individual, a basic component necessary to understand the culture of the Middle East is missing.

Visits from leaders are an important part of the political culture in the West, but are perceived in a totally different manner in the Middle East. Therefore it is important for world leaders to understand that their visits in this area are not effective and not positive and therefore cannot bring the desired results.

My words also relate to Israel, because this country is not located in Europe or in America, but must find its way within the Middle Eastern maze . The visits of European and American presidents and heads of state in Israel do not bring positive results, and it is enough to mention President Clinton, whose visit to Israel pushed its leaders to sign the Oslo Accords, which resulted in the rise of Hamas and this organization’s takeover of the Gaza Strip.

Obama’s imminent visit to Israel may – moreover- push Israel to agree to the establishment of an additional terror state, this time in Judea and Samaria, because no one in the world, including Obama, can assure that Hamas will not take over this area too in time.

Just as a doctor must study at least ten years before he can operate on his first patient, likewise, an engineer studies many years before he designs his first bridge. And a diplomat should study the Middle East well and in depth, its culture, its religions and its history before he comes for his first visit. It would be better if all Western leaders had an academic degree in the history of the Middle East and the cultural  characteristics of this region, before he tries to engineer solutions for societies such as that in Afghanistan and Iraq, and before he comes for visits attempting to solve problems such as those between Israel and her neighbors.

The problems of the Middle East – and the bloodbath in Syria proves this in the most terrible way – stem from the attempt to impose the political culture of foreign societies upon the Middle East. The time has come for the world to stop this and begin to relate to the Middle East according to what it actually is, and not in the dreams of visitors who come for two days.

Originally published at Middle East and Terrorism. Translated from Hebrew by Sally Zahav.

About the Author: Dr. Mordechai Kedar (Ph.D. Bar-Ilan U.) Served for 25 years in IDF Military Intelligence specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. A lecturer in Arabic at Bar-Ilan U., he is also an expert on Israeli Arabs.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

12 Responses to “Advice to Western Leaders: Don’t Visit the Middle East”

  1. Amen. Far too many people seem to think that they can solve all the problems of the world without ever understand any of them.

  2. Amen. Far too many people seem to think that they can solve all the problems of the world without ever understand any of them.

  3. Amen. Far too many people seem to think that they can solve all the problems of the world without ever understand any of them.

  4. Gil Gilman says:

    When you look at the forces behind how what becomes history takes place, you know that with these recent appointments by the American president, we are headed for some bad history, unless random forces of chaos (read that divine hand of G-d) intervene, which they always do. Without Hashem, it is just one big crap shoot. With Him, how long can the wicked (read that know nothing meddlers) prosper?

  5. Gil Gilman says:

    When you look at the forces behind how what becomes history takes place, you know that with these recent appointments by the American president, we are headed for some bad history, unless random forces of chaos (read that divine hand of G-d) intervene, which they always do. Without Hashem, it is just one big crap shoot. With Him, how long can the wicked (read that know nothing meddlers) prosper?

  6. Too bad Bibi didn't get such coaching before he meddled in the last United States' Presidential l election, met with the opposition leader, and seemingly endorsed the Mormon view of women.

  7. Ellen Popper says:

    Obama ´s meddling in the Middle East reminds me of Walt Disney´s Fantasia piece of The Sorcerer's Apprentice, except in the M.E. there is no sorcerer to undo his mess.

  8. Gil Gilman says:

    Michael, usually non sequitors do not require thirty words to be so humorously baffling.

  9. So, Gil, you don't understand irony? Sorry for you.

  10. William A. McLaughlin says:

    Gil. perhaps you missed the delicate use of the term "non sequitur" along with its spelling. The "Irony" is that after Bibi tried to influence the "American" Presidential election, his people attack Obama claiming he was trying to influence the Israeli election.

  11. Excuse me – but exactly how did PM Netanyahu do any of the above? Please produce a single example – because I am willing to bet you can't

  12. Excuse me – but exactly how did PM Netanyahu do any of the above? Please produce a single example – because I am willing to bet you can't

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Esther Pollard met with President Peres on the eve of his meeting with President Obama.
US Parole Board Says ‘NO’ to Jonathan Pollard, Again
Latest Indepth Stories
voting

Having a strong community presence at the polls shows our elected officials we care about the issues

MK Moshe-Feiglin

Israel’s Temple Mount policy prefers to blames the Jews-not the attackers-for the crisis.

Keeping-Jerusalem

When Islam conquered the Holy Land, it made its capital in Ramle of all places, not in Jerusalem.

.

I joined the large crowd but this time it was more personal; my cousin Aryeh was one of the victims.

Terrorists aren’t driven by social, economic, or other grievances, rather by a fanatical worldview.

The phrase that the “Arabs are resorting to violence” is disgraceful and blames the victim.

Tuesday, Yom Shlishi, a doubly good day in the Torah, Esav’s hands tried to silence Yaakov’s voice.

Because of the disparate nature of the perpetrators, who are also relatively young, and given the lack of more traditional targets and the reverence Palestinians have for their homes, one now hears talk of Israel returning to a policy of destroying the houses of terrorists’ families.

In any event, the Constitution gives Congress what is popularly described as the “power of the purse” – that is, the power to raise revenues through taxation and to decide how the money should be sent.

It is difficult to write about such a holy person, for I fear I will not accurately portray his greatness…

There was much to learn from Judge Kramer and the examples he set remains a source of inspiration and a resource from which to learn. He was and remains a great role model.

You can’t say “Jewish French,” “Jewish British,” “Jewish Italian.” They are “French Jews,” “British Jews,” and “Italian Jews” – because they’re seen as Jews first and residents or citizens of their countries second.

Netanyahu has repeatedly accused the PA and Hamas of inciting violence against Israeli citizens.

“The Temple Mount could, like the Cave of the Patriarchs, become a place of tolerance and prayer.”

More Articles from Dr. Mordechai Kedar
Dual US-Israeli citizen Steven Sotloff was the second American journalist to be beheaded earlier this summer before ISIS turned its attention to victims from other Western nations.

The Islamic State has started a fashion trend among Middle East jihadists; beheading is rapidly becoming the murder method of choice.

The 5,829 Bedouin women listed as eligible for single mother benefits in the Negev, raising 23,855 children, are actually silent polygamous wives.

To date, all the Bedouins’ legal land ownership claims that reached the courts have failed.

Western countries ignore the rights of Iranians to live in freedom like the citizens of the West.

What is the cause of the Shi’ite-Sunni conflict?

Lately, the pro-Western coalition has begun to crumble, and two key countries – Saudi Arabia and Egypt – are searching for a new political crutch.

This past month several dozens of jihad organizations operating in Syria came to the conclusion that the disagreements among them harm their fighting cause and strengthen Asad.

Netanyahu’s Bar Ilan Speech was not an attempt to emulate Obama by spreading false hope of an agreement with the Iranians.

Israel has not really convinced the world that Iran is a danger.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/dr-mordechai-kedar/advice-to-western-leaders-dont-visit-the-middle-east/2013/03/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: