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. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Blogs Features Israel and the Apartheid Narrative: 2 South African Student Leaders Weigh In

    Israel and the Apartheid Narrative: 2 South African Student Leaders Weigh In

    JNS.org – About two-dozen people file into Dodd 175 at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) campus on a Thursday night, scouting out seats and picking at the kosher pizza in the back of the lecture hall. Miyelani Pinini knows the drill. A former student president of the University of Cape Town in South Africa, she’s attended and even organized her share of free-pizza events. But now she and a fellow South African student leader were the stars of this […]

    Read more →
  • Food Spirituality/Tradition The Brewish State: Israel Taps Into Growing Craft Beer Bazaar

    The Brewish State: Israel Taps Into Growing Craft Beer Bazaar

    JNS.org – It’s widely known that Israel has penetrated the wine market, with some of its sophisticated Israeli blends surpassing historically excellent wines from areas such as the Napa Valley or Bordeaux. But what about beer? For decades, Israel has offered solely the Maccabi and Nesher brands. Not anymore. “There is a huge push of people making beer at home. The country is approaching over 30 craft breweries in the last year or two, making nearly 200 beers,” says Avi Moskowitz, […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Natalie Portman Says She Behaved Like ‘Average Everyday Jewish Mother’ on Set of Latest Movie

    Natalie Portman Says She Behaved Like ‘Average Everyday Jewish Mother’ on Set of Latest Movie

    Actress Natalie Portman acted like a typical “Jewish mother” on the set of her latest movie, Jane Got a Gun, the Israeli-born star told the New York Post‘s Page Six on Sunday. The 34-year-old, who also co-produced the western, said she made it her job to look out for everyone involved in the project, because the film has had to overcome “so many obstacles,” such as losing its director early on. She explained: “Actors changed. We suffered financial and legal challenges. We endured so many replacements. There were delays. […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Music Scorpions Lead Singer Sends Message to Israel Ahead of World Tour, Tel Aviv Performance (VIDEO)

    Scorpions Lead Singer Sends Message to Israel Ahead of World Tour, Tel Aviv Performance (VIDEO)

    “We’re looking very much forward to coming back to Israel this summer,” said the lead singer of the German rock band Scorpions in a video on Monday. “Make sure you don’t miss it because we rock you like a hurricane!” said a jovial Klaus Meine, quoting the band’s seminal 1984 anthem, “Rock You Like a Hurricane.” The hard rock band lands in Israel for a show at the Menorah Mivtachim Arena on July 14 as part of its 50th anniversary tour. It will be the band’s third time […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Book Reviews The Collected Works of Primo Levi, Edited by Ann Goldstein (REVIEW)

    The Collected Works of Primo Levi, Edited by Ann Goldstein (REVIEW)

    Primo Levi and Elie Wiesel were the two most immediate and authentic literary voices who gave witness to the Holocaust. Wiesel was an extrovert and a very public figure who wrote initially in French. Levi was a modest retiring chemist who wrote in Italian. Whereas Wiesel was rooted in the Eastern European Jewish Hassidic world, Levi was the product of an assimilated, secular Italian society that saw itself as Italian first and Jewish as an accident of birth. As Levi himself said, “At Auschwitz I […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Lifestyle Wine Brings Judea and Samaria to Tel Aviv

    Wine Brings Judea and Samaria to Tel Aviv

    JNS.org – Wine has long been considered a social lubricant, and it’s Nir Lavie’s hope that wine from his Har Bracha Winery in the Samarian hills will serve as a social lubricant between the city-goers of Tel Aviv and the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria, two locales split geographically, and often politically, on the left and right of the country. The new flagship store of Har Bracha has recently popped its corks on 190 Ben Yehuda Street in Tel Aviv, […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Gentile Actor Zachary Levi Says He’s Denied Roles for Being ‘Too Jewish’

    Gentile Actor Zachary Levi Says He’s Denied Roles for Being ‘Too Jewish’

    Actor Zachary Levi said casting directors have denied him roles for being “too Jewish,” despite the fact that he is not a Jew, the New York Daily News‘ Confidenti@l reported on Wednesday. “I guess they were looking for more of a corn-fed, white boy look,” he said. “My family is from f****** Indiana! Come on, I’m like dying here!” The Thor star clarified that he is Welsh, and that Levi is actually his middle name, while his real last name is Pugh. He said he […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Spirituality/Tradition Tracing Chabad’s History and Success (REVIEW)

    Tracing Chabad’s History and Success (REVIEW)

    The secret of Chabad’s worldwide success is revealed by veteran Chabad shliach (emissary) Rabbi David Eliezrie in his new book, The Secret of Chabad. The Chabad movement was founded by Rabbi Schnur Zalman of Liadi, Belarus, in 1775. Years later it came to the US with the arrival of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn in 1940, after his escape from Nazi-occupied Warsaw. Upon his arrival in New York, a number of his co-religionists advised him that there was no place for traditional […]

    Read more →