Fears of Arab states

July 1, 2006 at 2:42 am (Islamism, Israel, Middle East, Military, News, Palestinian Territories)

When it comes to Arabs, the Palestinian situation comes substantially complicated. For a variety of reasons (some of which can be blamed on Israel, and some of which can be blamed on Palestinians), there are significant Palestinian minorities in Jordan and Lebanon, as well as some in Egypt and Syria. These are refugees from the Palestinian areas.

All Arab and Muslim states pay lip service in siding and sympathizing with the Palestinians, but this is only rhetoric. No government of an Arab or Muslim state is genuinely interested in the Palestinians. Governments of Arab and Muslim states are forced to take up the Palestinians’ cause because of the people’s sympathies. Thus, the people care more about the Palestinians than those in power. The Palestinian situation is a useful political tool as well: politicians can use it to distract the people from real domestic and political issues. Rather than taking their energy out on their own government, the people take their energy out in demostrations and propaganda and movements and institutions and organizations for the Palestinians. The Palestinian situation is also a useful tool to limit the influence and even attraction of The United States, Israel, and other Western powers.

According to an article in The Australian, “Israel warns: free soldier or PM dies” by Martin Chulov:

Egypt and the neighbouring Arab states of Jordan and Lebanon fear a war between Israel and the Palestinians could lead to uprisings within their own borders, which house many Palestinian refugees.

This is why so many states are involved to end the crisis soon and to Israel’s satisfaction. This is not the only thing they fear: they also fear that the war will spill out of the Gaza Strip. If Palestinian terrorists break through the Gaza Strip into Egypt, Israel might begin striking Egypt. To put more pressure on the Palestinian terrorists, Israel may assassinate Mash’aal, Palestinian Prime Minister Haniyeh’s rival in Hamas. Mash’aal is hiding in Syria: Israel signified its willingness to strike Syria by flying jets over Syrian President Bashar al-Assaad’s palace. Striking Syria could lead to a resumption of hostilities between Israel and Syria. Let us not forget Hezbollah in Lebanon: they may open up a new front.

The Arabs know that despite their numeral advantage, Israel will soundly thrash them when it comes to war. They want to avoid war with Israel. But when Palestinians simply won’t cooperate, and when their own guests are a reason for hostilities (as is the case with Syria), the issue becomes very complicated for them.

Remember that the Palestinian Liberation Organization was expelled from a number of states because their terrorist activities were becoming a burden for the host state. This is not the first time Palestinian terrorists have become a major threat to the stability and integrity of Arab states, and this will not be the last. My only hope is that this will motivate Arab states to establish and promote non-terrorist Palestinian institutions as well as to slowly choke what resources they offer to Palestinian terrorists.

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1 Comment

  1. Matthew Brown said,

    I wonder what Freedom for Egyptians thinks of this analysis of the Gaza situtation. It sounds quite plausible, but i’m at such a remove from it. I would value her assessment.

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