Israel must come to terms with Islamist reality in Arab world

Essential Read: The Promised Land ~ by Jad KhairAllah

[ 29/11/2011 – 10:00 PM ]

By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem

The Arab world is not what it used to be. Popular revolutions fed by accumulated indignation over tyranny and corruption have already swept away several Arab despots who long repressed the masses, resisted political reform and even sought to bequeath power to their children and families.

There is no doubt that Israel, the apartheid state that is seeking the extirpation of the Palestinian people from their ancestral homeland, is one of the main losers of the Arab Spring.

As things look now, Islamic elements seem to have a greater opportunity to shape the political face of the Arab world, probably for many years to come.

Recent elections in Tunisia, Morocco, and probably Egypt have shown the Islamists are favored by the masses more than other secular, liberal and even nationalist groups.

It is hoped that the Islamists’ march toward freedom, liberty and justice will continue until the new envisaged Arab world materializes into reality.

As said above, Israel has many reasons to worry as a result of the Arab Spring. Decades of Israeli arrogance, aggression and provocations have created a huge reservoir of hostility and hatred against the Jewish state.

Murderous acts, genocidal onslaughts and brazenly offensive and oppressive measures by Israel against the Palestinians and Lebanese peoples helped shape a nefarious and Satanic portrait for the Zionist state in the minds of hundreds of millions of Arabs. It is therefore hard to foresee any real sympathy by the Islamists toward a state that has long viewed them as children of a lesser God, whose rights can be trampled upon, and whose lives are expendable.

Unlike the defunct regimes, the Islamists are going to be answerable to the masses. Many observers argue the Islamists will be under immense pressure from the Arab Main Street to respond “adequately” to Israel provocations. Israel is notorious for being a provocative state par excellance, and the Islamists will have to demonstrate that they are “different.”

The departure from the old ways of Mubarak and ilk will not necessarily manifest itself through rash, uncalculated or dramatic acts against the Jewish state. The Islamists know better than committing blunders that might rock their boat at such a crucial juncture.

None the less, Islamist rulers would have to justify themselves vis-à-vis Israel, the country that long humiliated, tormented the masses and incited and continued to incite against everything Islamic.

For example, while most Egyptians are likely to oppose the nullification of the Camp David Peace Treaty, especially at “at this phase,” there seems to be a solid public support in Egypt for making active abidance by the peace treaty contingent upon Israeli behavior and treatment of the Palestinians.

In any case, the connivance, normalization, obsequiousness and occasional collusion and good chemistry that characterized the fallen regimes will have to disappear.

Likewise, it will be harder and riskier, at least from the political view point, for Israel to continue running roughshod on the Palestinians without inviting genuine reactions from the Arab world. In this regard, Israel should expect stands, postures and attitudes that are far more radical than anything shown so far by the Palestinian leadership of Mahmoud Abbas in response to Israeli provocations.

We know that the Ramallah leadership often sought to enlist and manipulate the Arab league to help justify excessive Palestinian moderation such as adopting stances that are utterly unpopular among Palestinians.

This repulsive meandering, which helped the PA justify its weakness and subservience to Israel and its guardian-ally, the United States, is expected to disappear, though slowly, in the new Arab world.

Even erstwhile “moderate Arab leaderships” such as King Abdullah of Jordan, who is already coming under immense pressure at home to be tough with Israel, will have to show sensitivity and deference to the anti-Israeli feelings of his people. This could reach the degree of considering the Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty into a certain level of dormancy.

I understand that the Islamists may not be able to achieve the kind of miracles many overzealous Arabs expect them to, especially in the economic field.

However, The Islamists can compensate any failures in certain fields with resounding successes in other fields. Needless to say, if the Islamists succeed in forcing Israel to tone down its belligerency, bellicosity and aggression, they would conceivably leave a most favorite impression among the masses.

In brief, Israel ought to realize that a new era has begun in the Arab world. It is an era where peoples and countries won’t accept compromising their honor and dignity. Now, since time immemorial, the rulers seem to be afraid of the people, which means Israel ability to recruit puppet regimes in the Arab world is finished.

Source and more at the Palestinian Information Center

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