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The Shiite blood festival.

Another factor is the economic catastrophe that is striking or going to hit much of the Arab world. The incompetence and bad policies of the Islamists are making a mess. In Iran, of course, this is heightened by international sanctions. The obsessively anti-Israel strategy of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has become unpopular as being unnecessarily provocative.

The fact is that Syria is wrecked for many years to come; that Iraq is not in good shape due to internal battles; and that Egypt is on the verge of disaster. Obviously, the attempt to stir up hatred against Israel as being responsible for these problems in order to mobilize popular support is tempting.

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But what can be done about it? Israeli flags can be burned in Cairo; tourism there may become impossible; and the embassy could be closed. Yet will Egypt court war, with a reluctant military, the need for international financial aid, and the possibility that the United States could cut off the arms’ supply? Unlike the Arab nationalists, who could depend on the USSR, the Sunni Islamists have no big-money patron, at least outside Qatar.

Finally, something has been learned by the Arab masses and leaders over the last half-century. The old cries that Israel could easily be destroyed by cooperation and determination don’t seem quite as persuasive in the face of many Arab military defeats. There’s a lot more caution. Among the elites there’s even the idea that Israel can be an asset in their struggle against Iran. Here’s an article by Abdulrahman al-Rashed, who I’ve previously called the best journalist in the Arab world, who is here expressing the general view of the Gulf Arabs.

I don’t want to overstate the case. Moves toward peace—with Islamists in power or looking over the regime’s shoulders and eager to inveigh against treasonous moderation—are unlikely. Vicious propaganda will continue unabated. Terrorism will be launched at every opportunity.

Ironically, this change coincides with a frenzied effort to reduce support for Israel in the West, including in Jewish communities through boycotts, sanctions, divestment, and massive misinformation. One wonders at times whether this campaign is a substitute for relative disinterest in doing much in the Middle East itself. Perhaps this is taken as justifying inaction or perhaps it is seen as still another attempt to find a victorious strategy when so many others have failed. As an Australian journalist, Brendan O’Neill, put it, the Palestine issue “has become less important for Arabs and of the utmost symbolic importance for Western radicals at exactly the same time.”

Perhaps someday, if and when revolutionary Islamists have consolidated power in several countries, the situation will change again. But until then, yelling “Israel” at a crowded rally–at least in the Middle East–will not prove a panacea for the political problems of Arab governments and politicians.

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. The word “Taqiyya” literally means: “Concealing, precaution, guarding with the intention of deflecting attention, foiling or pre-emptive blocking. It is currently employed in fending off and neutralising any criticism of Islam or Muslims.

    Falsehoods told to prevent the denigration of Islam, to protect oneself, or to promote the cause of Islam are sanctioned in the Qur’an and Sunna, including deceiving by making distorted statements to the media such as the claim that Islam is a “religion of peace”. Recently an IMAM WALKED OUT BEFORE THE SInging OF HATIKVAH at an holocaust interfaith service. HE TOLD US BEFOREHAND HE WOULD DO SO. I refused to attend and resigned from the organiztion. I created the holocaust service and formally served as president of the organization. The Iman promised me he would have a press conference with me declaring in America we will not listen to Morsi and others who call Jews Apes and ask for our destruction. The press conference. was never held. Parts of Europe are becoming Judenrein RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG

    Pamela Geller speaks in Edison, NJ at Cong. Beth-El – YouTube.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGWbiRUdRHg

    Apr 15, 2013… Pamela Geller speaks in Edison, NJ at Cong…. was asked by Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg to give her address at his Congregation Beth-El…

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