By Ray Hanania
The failure to push Israel’s government to accept a just peace and end its occupation of Palestine and oppression of Palestinian rights has empowered extremist regimes, including and especially Iran. Tehran thrives on the fact that Palestinians suffer and uses every aspect of that suffering to strengthen its network of extremist allies.
By scorning peace with the Palestinians, Israel is steadily fueling the Islamic Republic’s growing strength. Although both Israel and America have vowed to wage conflict with Iran, history shows us that both nations have limited their military responses to Iran to air strikes, bombings and embargoes designed to punish Iran’s government and people.
On the other hand, the use of brutality and military strikes has done nothing to force Hamas to its knees in Gaza and only acted to give the group greater strength there.
If the Arab world would stand up to Israel’s war crimes, apartheid policies and extremist notions of Zionist superiority, it would not only be bringing about an end to the Palestine-Israel conflict, but it would also be weakening Iran, which feeds on the continuation of Palestinian suffering.
The near total lack of initiative by the Arab world has allowed the Israeli government to dismiss all efforts to achieve a genuine peace, meaning the region is at risk of being plunged into worsening conflict, while the Iranian regime is empowered by the extremist movements.
It takes true vision to see the unfolding catastrophe facing the Arab world in the wake of the dormant peace process and near total Arab acquiescence to Israel’s guileful policies.
Making peace with Israel without achieving a genuine resolution to the Palestine conflict will only empower extremists to unite around one radical agenda. And that empowers Iran to escalate its influence beyond its own borders.
Iran’s standing is empowered by the differing challenges facing the various Arab nations, such as the turmoil in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Iran continues to strengthen its influence in Lebanon through Syria and the radical Hezbollah militia.
In the absence of a Palestinian state that offers true hope to the Palestinians and fuel for the movement for social justice throughout the Middle East, Iran continues to grow in strength.
Now is the time for the Arab world to unite and turn the tables on Iran, not by trumpeting Israel’s violent aggression and threats against Iran but by demanding that America acts.
The US is the lynchpin in this equation. It sustains Israel through billions of dollars in funding and military support and the backing of its biased mainstream news media. American support has allowed Israel to be impervious to the concepts of justice and the rule of law.
The Arab world can’t keep Israel in check because Israel’s politics is too cunning and deceitful. But it can put pressure on America.
Despite Trump’s rhetoric and actions in support of Israel, he is walking a thin line that could easily provoke Tel Aviv into cleverly undermining his political will before shifting its support to someone else. It’s not like Trump or his wobbly Republican base is any different to his Democratic foes when it comes to supporting Israel. Israel’s government can stand with Trump for as long as he benefits them and showers them with gifts, or it can flip like a light switch and turn off support for Trump, instead embracing nearly any of the Democratic leadership.
It is Israel and, to some extent, America that have refused to embrace the laudable 2002 Arab League peace initiative originated by Saudi Arabia. That initiative still stands and has not been abandoned.
Pending peace in Palestine, extremism continues to maintain the threatening upper hand.