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US Losing Middle East Coalition

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

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American support for the Muslim Brotherhood continues on, despite the fact that the army – who took the country from them – is fighting the Brotherhood in every possible way, and is openly supported by many sectors of the Egyptian population. Recently it has been reported that Putin may visit Egypt, and this visit to Egypt is not only for a sail on the Nile and a visit to the museums. Everyone knows that Putin’s visit has a political meaning, and that Sisi’s Egypt is searching today for a new crutch, since the American one has been fairly disappointing to the uniform-clad, old-new rulers of the Land of the Nile.

Turkey

Since 2002, when Erdoğan rose to power, Turkey has been turning ever increasingly towards a political Islam of the same sort as the Muslim Brotherhood. Turkey refused to participate in the war that the NATO allies waged against Saddam Hussein in 2003, and is furious and insulted over Europe’s political objection to its joining the European Union. Its negative relations towards Israel is based on the Islamic view that negates in principle, the right of Jews to live as sovereigns in their land, instead of “ahal dhimma” (second class citizens) under the auspices of Islam.

There have been reports recently that Turkish intelligence exposed an Israeli spy network operating in Iran, and in doing this, Turkey broke the basis of faith that is so essential to intelligence and security cooperation. As a result, the United States stopped the delivery of drones to Turkey, because if they expose Israeli agents to Iran they would certainly give Iran the secrets of American drones.

The conclusion to be drawn from this is that also regarding Turkey – which is still an official NATO member – there are doubts if it is indeed an integral part of the Western coalition.

Israel

In Israel, there are a steadily increasing number of people who do not believe that the two-state solution – which the American government is trying with all of its power to promote – will bring real peace between us and the Arabs. The split between Gaza and Ramallah will not end in the foreseeable future, and the problem of terror from Gaza will not be solved even if Israel totally withdraws from Judea and Samaria. Moreover, no one in the world – not even Obama – can promise that an Arab state in Judea and Samaria will not become another Hamas state, whether by elections as happened in January 2006, or by violent takeover as happened in Gaza in June 2007. The Americans, who are pushing the two sides toward a two-state solution, would be bringing existential danger upon Israel, and many in Israel ask: If this is how our friends behave, what would our enemies do?

To this we must add several factors: the anti-Semitic spirit flooding the academic institutions in the United States, hidden behind anti-Israeli slogans; the Western political correctness that allows everyone to attack Israel but not its enemies; the fact that Islam that is gaining strength in Europe and the United States and influences Western policy in the Middle East; and the steady decrease in number, power and support of Jews in the United States. In view of all of these factors, it is not at all clear that Israel has any reason to remain forever in the Western camp.

With the ruling family in Saudi Arabia enraged toward the United States and the West, and the regime in Egypt furious with the United States and searching for friends in other places, with Turkey behaving as if it is part of the Iranian effort and when so many Israelis have the uncomfortable feeling that the United States and Europe are acting against Israeli interests, it is not clear that the United States and the West has a coalition in the Middle East. Based on what seems like the disintegration of the Western coalition in the region, it may be that Israel must develop her relations with rising powers in the world, such as China, even if some Americans might not like it.

This article was written in Hebrew by Dr. Mordechai Kedar for the October 25, 2013 issue of the Makor Rishon newspaper, and translated to English by Sally Zahav.

Dr. Mordechai Kedar

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.


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