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Ensuring Israel Military Superiority is Vital to Maintain Peace Treati
By: - TAWFIK HAMID

Ensuring Israel Military Superiority is Vital to Maintain Peace Treaties in the Middle East

By Tawfik Hamid

www.tawfikhamid.com

The recent e-revolutions that swept several countries in the Middle East have created a new situation that can seriously affect the current peace treaties between some Arab countries and Israel. These include the Camp David peace treaty with Egypt. Arab regimes that pretended to be friends with Israel have allowed -for several decades-unprecedented levels of anti-Semitism to flourish in their societies. Unlike anti-Semitism in the Arab world during the 1950s and 1960s that was predominantly political, the current form of anti-Semitic views in the Arab world is predominantly religious in nature. This change makes addressing anti-Semitism much more complicated and difficult to solve.   

It appears that some of the former Arab leaders allowed anti-Semitism to develop to pathological levels so that they could always blame Israel for the problems within their countries. For example, it was normal for some government officials in Egypt to blame "foreign hands" (referring to Israel) to put the blame on Israel for any problem they face - including terrorist acts.

Currently, there are two important trends that can affect the course of the relations between Arabs and Israel.

The first trend is caused by having more hostile governments toward Israel as a result of these revolutions.  The worst case scenario of this trend is if such governments decided to end their peace treaties with Israel.

The second trend is one that can have a positive impact on Arab-Israeli relations and is based on the following observations:

1-           The first trend is caused by having more hostile governments toward Israel as a result of these revolutions.  The worst case scenario of this trend is if such governments decided to end their peace treaties with Israel.

The second trend is one that can have a positive impact on Arab-Israeli relations and is based on the following observations:

1-          Arab countries are now more concerned about their local national problems after the revolutions than with the Palestinian issue. For example, despite the attempt of some religious scholars such as Sheikh Al-Quradawy attempting to resurrect the Palestinian issue with Egyptians, the general theme of the revolution in Egypt has been focused on the domestic situation rather than the Arab-Israeli conflict.  This trend was also noticed in other Arab countries such as Tunisia and Bahrain.

 

2-  

Israel cannot rely solely on the above positive trends as Islamist based anti-Semitism is deeply imbedded in the minds of millions of Muslims. In fact, ensuring Israel military superiority is the best antidote for wars in the area. For example, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) that repeatedly stood against the peace treaty with Israel has recently announced that they will respect the treaty. This was not simply because they changed their views about Israel and the Jews but it was primarily because of the 'fear' of the Israel Military retaliation. The MB knows very well that if they came to power and cancelled the peace treaty with Israel, the Israel military retaliation in such a case can paralyze the country and prove beyond doubt to many Muslims that the slogan of the Muslim Brotherhood "Islam is the solution" is hoax.

It is important in this context to mention that 'fear' is an important component of Islamists minds. The fear of "Hell Fire" is for example an essential component of the religious education of millions of Muslims. The fear from retaliation of "Allah" is what makes many follow the religion so strictly as they are afraid of the punishment.

Israel MUST learn the lesson that all its negotiations with the Palestinians to stop terrorism inside Israel were virtually fruitless. On the contrary, a single powerful attack on Gaza in the winter of 2008-2009 that created 'fear' in the mind of the Palestinians from the Israel Military power managed to almost stop Palestinian terror attacks inside Israel until today. The existence of the security barrier has also possibly contributed to such an effect.

In brief; "fear' is an important and influential component of the Arab Muslim minds. If Israel lost its Military superiority in the area, the new Arab governments will be encouraged to end the peace treaties with Israel which can drag the whole area into wars. The best guarantee to maintain peace treaties in the area is to ensure the Military superiority of Israel in the Middle East.


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