Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Arab Spring — Where to?

December 14, 2012 5:29 pm 0 comments

Over 700,000 protesters gather in Al-Assy Square in Hama on July 22. Photo: Syriana2011.

The following interlinked assumptions are divorced from reality: the rising tide of the Islamist forces on the Arab Street is led by politically pragmatic and moderate Islam; the surging Islamic forces aim to eschew violence, moderate the Arab Street, focus on economic growth rather than the spread of Islam and engage the U.S. strategically; the Arab Street is experiencing an “Arab Spring” whereby democracy-seeking youth, independents and moderate Islamists collaborate in the effort to topple despotic regimes.

In Iraq, in the aftermath of the U.S. withdrawal, and irrespective of the U.S. campaign of democratization, the al-Maliki regime is increasingly dominated by Iran, the fiercest enemy of the U.S. Baghdad has become the most critical channel of Iranian military supply to the Assad regime, and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is gaining control over Iraq’s domestic affairs.

In Egypt, contrary to Western delusions, President Morsi is significantly influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme guide, Mohammed Badie, and the Brotherhood’s first choice for president, Khairat el-Shater, the former deputy supreme guide. Thus, Morsi’s proposed constitution would transform Egypt into an increasingly Shariah state. It would upgrade the authority of Muslim clerics over civil rights, provide for a Saudi-style “morality police,” impose 7th century punishments for adultery and theft, etc. Muslim Brotherhood thugs incite violence, purposely, to bring the opposition to submission.

In Libya, Western hopes for an Arab Spring have been shattered by the murder of the U.S. ambassador and three State Department officials and by an unprecedented civil war. Following 42 years of Gadhafi’s dictatorship, Libyans are afflicted by tribal, ethnic, ideological and religious fragmentation, violence and terrorism. For instance, the Arabs of the town of Misrata slaughtered the black African residents of the neighboring town of Tawargha. The country has become an arena for daily battles among armed militias, terrorists and Islamists.

In Yemen, al-Qaida suicide bombing has increased since the toppling of the 33 year regime of President Saleh, targeting military and government officials as well as tribal leaders and U.S.-bound airliners. Al-Qaida of the Arabian Peninsula has leveraged Yemen’s intensified tribal warfare, benefiting from Yemen’s inherent instability and weak central government.

In Bahrain — home to the U.S. 5th Fleet — the 22 month old uprising by Bahrain’s 70 percent Shiite majority, seeking to weaken the powers of the kingdom’s Sunni monarchy, is supported by Iran.

In Lebanon — which is severely impacted by Hezbollah terrorism and the Syrian civil war — a former prime minister, a former deputy prime minister, the current deputy speaker of Parliament and the mufti of Tripoli are all out of the country for “security” reasons.

The same goes for several members of Parliament and a handful of former cabinet ministers. Other prominent politicians are confined to their homes until further notice, also due to concerns for their safety.

In Syria, more than 40,000 fatalities have been recorded in the war between the Iranian, Iraqi and Russian-supported Assad regime and the Saudi Arabia and Qatar-supported ethnic, religious and political opposition. Unprecedented destruction of entire towns and suburbs, aerial bombings of civilians, summary executions and deadly sniper fire have plagued the country since March 2011.

The growing unrest in Algeria, Jordan and Kuwait, the simmering environment in the Persian Gulf and the actual fragmentation and fragmentation-in-process in Sudan, Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Libya, suggest that more lava is expected to erupt from the seismic Arab Street.

The dramatic alteration of the Middle East reality — independent of the Palestinian issue and Israel’s policy — requires an equally dramatic reassessment of U.S. Middle East policy.

The dramatic intensification of violence, unpredictability, instability, treachery and unreliability on the Arab Street — which highlight the tenuous nature of Middle East partners and agreements — requires a dramatic reassessment of Israel’s security requirements.

The exacerbated anti-U.S. sentiment on the Arab Street, the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and the expected cuts in the U.S. defense budget warrant enhancement of the mutually-beneficial U.S.-Israel strategic cooperation.

This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Blogs Book Reviews Can ‘Islamic Reformation’ Work? (REVIEW)

    Can ‘Islamic Reformation’ Work? (REVIEW)

    It is cocktail hour on an April afternoon in 2004. The sun is hot on Amsterdam’s canals, and I am sitting at Café den Leeuw on the Herengracht with Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Hirsi Ali is still a member of the Dutch Parliament, and we talk about Islam. Specifically, we talk about the concept of “moderate Islam,” or what she calls “liberal Islam.” And she has one word for it. “It’s absurd,” she says. “It’s complete nonsense. There is no ‘liberal […]

    Read more →
  • Food Jewish Identity A Look at the Vilna Vegetarian Cookbook (REVIEW)

    A Look at the Vilna Vegetarian Cookbook (REVIEW)

    Everybody knows that cooking varies from country to country. There are Italian restaurants, Chinese restaurants, etc. We associate different styles of cuisine with different languages. Do we also think of the association of different cuisines with different dialects? We should, because cooking also varies from region to region. Litvaks and Galitsyaners have their own traditions of preparing gefilte fish. Marvin I. Herzog, in his book The Yiddish Language in Northern Poland: Its Geography and History (Indiana University, Bloomington, and Mouton & Co., The […]

    Read more →
  • Relationships US & Canada Analysis: Jewish Women Less Likely Than Catholics to Take Husband’s Name

    Analysis: Jewish Women Less Likely Than Catholics to Take Husband’s Name

    An analysis of New York Times wedding announcements showed that women married in Jewish ceremonies were less likely to take their husband’s last names than those married in Roman Catholic ceremonies, the Times reported on Saturday. The largest gap between the two groups was in 1995 when 66 percent of Catholic women took their husband’s names and 33 percent of Jewish women did the same. Nearly half of the women featured in the publication’s wedding pages since 1985 took their husband’s name after marriage, while about […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Jerry Lewis, Legendary Jewish Comic and Humanitarian, Stays Relevant at 89

    Jerry Lewis, Legendary Jewish Comic and Humanitarian, Stays Relevant at 89

    JNS.org – Through appreciation of both his comedy and humanitarian work, legendary Jewish entertainer Jerry Lewis is staying relevant at age 89. The only comic to ever be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, Lewis added another award to his trophy case in April, when he received the 2015 Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). Gordon Smith, NAB’s president and CEO, said the organization was “honored to recognize not only [Lewis’s] comedic innovation, but also his remarkable […]

    Read more →
  • Europe Sports Israeli Gymnasts Win Bronze, Silver Medals at 2015 European Games in Baku

    Israeli Gymnasts Win Bronze, Silver Medals at 2015 European Games in Baku

    Israeli athletes marked a successful day on Sunday, as gymnasts won multiple bronze and silver medals in the 2015 European Games in Baku. The Gymnastics team won two silver medals and one bronze in group events, while Neta Rivkin, an Israeli Olympic gymnast, won bronze for the Solo Hoops event. Sunday’s gymnastics wins follow Sergey Richter’s bronze on June 16 for the Men’s 10 meter air-rifle, and Ilana Kratysh’s silver for women’s freestyle wrestling. The 2015 European Games in Baku are […]

    Read more →
  • Theater Report Highlights Success of Russian-Jewish-American Ballroom Dancers

    Report Highlights Success of Russian-Jewish-American Ballroom Dancers

    Russian-American Jews are some of the most successful ballroom dancing competitors in the U.S., South Dakota Public Broadcasting (SDPB) Radio reported on Thursday. Jonathan Sarna, a professor of Jewish history at Brandeis University, said their success can be traced back to Jewish discrimination in the former Soviet Union. Because of the prejudice they faced, Russian Jews had to perform better than their peers in every field, including dancing, in order to have a chance of getting ahead. “They knew that if they […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Israeli Dancer With Shofar, Prayer Shawl Wows ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Judges (VIDEO)

    Israeli Dancer With Shofar, Prayer Shawl Wows ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Judges (VIDEO)

    An Israeli dancer made use of Jewish props in an extraordinary routine that left judges amazed when he auditioned for season 12 of TV dance competition So You Think You Can Dance on Monday. At first, the panel of judges appeared confused when Asaf Goren, 23, began his audition in Los Angeles with a tallit (prayer shawl) over his head and the blowing of a shofar, which he explained “opens the sky” for people’s prayers. However, as soon as he started his “Hebrew breaking” performance, […]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Jewish Hoops Fairytale Falls Short as David Blatt’s Cavaliers Drop Game 6

    Jewish Hoops Fairytale Falls Short as David Blatt’s Cavaliers Drop Game 6

    JNS.org – A fairytale ending to Jewish basketball coach David Blatt’s first season in the National Basketball Association (NBA) was not meant to be, as the Blatt-led Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night dropped Game 6 of the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors, 105-97, to lose the best-of-seven series 4-2. Blatt, who just last year coached Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv franchise to a European basketball championship, failed to finish a second straight hoops season on top. But after the Cavaliers began the NBA […]

    Read more →