Dear Friends and Brethren,
Written by an Israeli, this is the greatest analysis of the Middle East conflict that I have ever read. Added to the fact that the Black Pope controls the US via the Council on Foreign Relations, and controls Britain via the Royal Institute of International Affairs, we now know the source and purpose for the continuing conflict. The leaders of both sides, presently Ariel Sharon and Yassir Arafat, are minions of the Jesuit General. (Arafat has had EIGHT MEETINGS with Pope John Paul II since the Oslo Accord.) Those who do not “play ball” – like Anwar Sadat of Egypt, King Fiesal of Iraq and Yitzak Rabin of Israel are eliminated through the Black Pope’s unified International Intelligence Community. That Community is directly controlled, organized and overseen by the Pope’s Crusaders, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
Further, it has been learned that the former head of NATO and key figure in the governing of the Pope’s Zionist government of Israel is a Franciscan priest – Javier Solana – the intimate friend of the “King of Jerusalem,” King Juan Carlos of Spain, whose immediate master is the Grandmaster of the SMOM, Fra Andrew Bertie.
Further, the reason why the Order has used the Federal Reserve Bank's American Military Industrial Complex to arm every Arab nation in the Middle East is not to destroy the Pope's Zionist-controlled Israel, remembering that sixty percent of all the land in Jerusalem is owned by the Vatican - including the Temple Mount. The purpose is to be able to use these arms against the present American/British-led Papal Crusade having been planned over thirty years ago, prior to the deliberately faulty construction of the WTC (the "X" bracing being only bolted and not welded to the buildings) back in the 1980s. It was Cardinal Cooke's Knight of Malta and director of the CIA’s counterintelligence branch manning both “the Israeli desk” and “the Vatican desk” within the Agency, James “Jesus” Angleton, who advocated a “Crusade” against the Moslem peoples way back in the mid 1970s.
“Now you know the rest of the story!”
Sincerely in Faith,
Everything You Always Wanted To Know About The Middle East Conflict But Were Never Told
This collection of observations was compiled to help Jews and Arabs understand why the Middle East conflict continues to fester. The intention is to promote the realization that these two peoples are not each other’s worst enemy; a third player, the Foreign Elite (FE), is why the Middle East remains unstable.
A truly objective analysis of this subject, without the baggage Jews and Arabs have been fed via their national leaderships, reveals that the Middle East conflict would have ended decades ago had foreigners not kept it alive. The continuation of the conflict serves their interests- i.e., oil supplies, recycling petrodollars, or multi-billion dollar weapons sales. The Palestinian-Israeli “situation” is thus merely a fig leaf for the FE, allowing their other agendas can be pursued undetected.
The core and essence of the Middle East conflict
For more than 75 years, western diplomats have been coming up with “peace initiatives” to solve the Arab – Israeli conflict. Yet they always fail.
Why? What keeps the Middle East conflict going?
If we are going to devise a solution, we must first understand why the conflict continues to exist. To do this, we have to view the situation from the top down, rather than from the bottom up.
Granted, this is completely opposite to the way most Jews and Arabs have been conditioned to look at “the situation.” Jews focus on the damage Arab/Palestinians cause, and believe that damage to be the cause of the conflict, when it is really only a result of it. They view the conflict and its origins from the bottom up. Arabs/Palestinians concentrate on the damage Israel causes and believe this to be the cause of the conflict, when it is really only a result of it. They too relate to the situation from the bottom up.
To understand what really causes the Middle East conflict to continue, one must look at the issue from the top down.
To get a more accurate picture of what lies behind the continued existence of the conflict, let’s acknowledge these five factors which serve to perpetuate – rather than solve – the problem:
1) The vested interests of the Foreign Elite (FE): There is a “third entity” in the conflict in addition to the Israelis and the Arabs: the foreigners (in order of importance, the US, Britain, China, France, Germany). Without them, there would be no Middle East conflict because it is the foreign influence that keeps the “situation” from being resolved. Unfortunately, both Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews believe they are each other’s worst enemy – without considering the third element – the foreigners – that is the enemy of both. The thing that Arabs and Jews have most in common is this common enemy, yet the leaders on both sides (not being legitimate or independent) tell their people that the other side is their number one enemy. Hence the conflict continues.
2) Control of Middle East oil: The foreigners interfere in the Arab-Israeli conflict in order to exploit and control the vast petroleum resources in the region. If there were no oil, there would be no petrodollars to recycle; the foreigners would have no reason to dominate the region.
3) Weapons sales: If there was a worldwide ban on arms sales to the Middle East, there would be no more “radical Arab dictators” with modern arms. If the foreigners stopped selling advanced weaponry to nations of the Middle East, the conflict would end.
4) The mainstream media: If the mainstream media in the West stopped reporting on the “search for peace in the Middle East,” peace would soon be found. By keeping the region’s “unstable” image alive, the media, as the sole source of information by which people can formulate their perceptions, provide an excuse for the foreigners to interfere, and at the same time serve to convince everyone that these western nations want peace, despite the fact that they have been “seeking” it for over 50 years, in vain. The media never question the intentions or agendas of the FE. The media thus provide the glue which keeps the conflict going. Without the mainstream media constantly reporting on the conflict, there would be peace, as everyone would forget that the Middle East is “unstable” and thus in need of “stabilizing” via new “peace initiatives.”
5) Corrupt national leadership of both sides: It isn’t peace between Arabs and Jews that interests the FE, but rather the continuation of the conflict. The way they do that is by corrupting/controlling the national leaders of both sides. The reason why legitimate, popular leaders are not at the helms of countries in the Middle East is because the FE will topple any leader who doesn’t cater to their desires before the needs of their own people. If Middle East leaders are selected and deemed popular by their own people, the FE will demonize them as “radicals/extremists,” “terrorist leaders” or “enemies of peace,” and thus de-legitimize them in the world arena. How can genuine co-existence take hold if the leaders of both sides are more interested in pleasing their foreign masters than their own peoples?
Unless these five basic factors are understood, the true causes that extend the conflict will never be understood. Instead, each side will go on blaming the other – seeking to take the high moral ground and convince their own people and those from abroad that they are right, and the other side is wrong. This will lead only to more death and destruction.
The technique is called “divide and rule,” and it has been a favorite of the FE for decades.
Why Is There A The Middle East Conflict?
Let's deconstruct the conflict and look at all its parameters:
1) The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is how the pro-Arab camp refers to it. It claims Israel is oppressing the Palestinians and that, as a result, the entire Middle East remains unstable, and will continue to be unstable unless the Palestinians have their own state.
2) The Arab-Israeli conflict is how Israel defines the situation. Until the Oslo process began, Israel claimed the conflict existed because: “The Arabs don’t recognize Israel’s right to exist.” Now Israel says the conflict continues because the Palestinian leaders “support terrorism.”
These conclusions are fed to the Arab and Israelis peoples so as to enable them each to take the high moral ground and focus their hatred on each other. And this in turn directs their attention away from their number one enemy: the foreigners.
By having the Arabs believe Israel is at fault for “oppressing” the Palestinians, while having Israelis believe the conflict exists because the Arabs fail to recognize the Jewish state or seek its destruction (i.e. support terrorism) the foreign interests succeed in hiding the bigger picture: what the foreigners are doing when it comes to controlling the Arab nations’ only natural resource, and how they are selling massive amount of weapons to the oil-producing regimes.
To keep up this fraud, the foreign elements must control the national leaders of both peoples, and ensure that the mainstream media don’t stray too far from the cover stories: “Israel is acting immorally against the Palestinians” or “Palestinian leaders support terrorism.”
Creating either a viable Palestinian state or peace between Arabs and Jews is not the goal of the foreigners. Whether stated publicly or not, their intention is to extend the Middle East conflict, not resolve it. Unless this basic truth is understood by Arabs and Jews, the foreign elements, via the mainstream media, will continue to manipulate the perception of both sides as to why the conflict continues.
Taking the high moral ground in the Middle East conflict
The only way the foreigners can sustain the conflict is to have each side blame the other for its continuation. In this way neither side can discover the real causes, which are the oil and arms deals made between the rich oil states and the foreign powers. One aspect of the conflict serves as convenient camouflage for the other.
To keep this fraud in place, the “moral argument” is employed to have the world focus on the “morality” of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In this way, everyone is forced to take a side. The pro-Arab side claims Israel is morally flawed, while the pro-Israel side claims the Arabs are morally flawed.
Thus any public discussion is structured in such a way that the peoples in the region and those abroad are forced to believe one side’s claim or the other. The pro-Israel version is that the Arabs want to destroy Israel and are employing terrorism to reach this goal. The pro-Arab side claims Israel’s actions against the Palestinians are immoral because they violate the Palestinians’ right to self-determination and their human rights and dignity. In short, the parameters of the debate consist of choosing sides. No other option is given. No other participant in the conflict is presented.
In spite of all the vested foreign interests at work in the region, namely oil and arms, the entire discussion of the conflict centers on one of these two positions: either you are pro-Israel or pro-Arab.
This moralizing is the way the foreigners control the debate so that the actual causes are never allowed to surface. Israel’s national leaders can moralize about how inhumane Arab suicide bombers are; Palestinian leaders can moralize about how horrible Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is. The US State Department can moralize about Israel’s human rights record. The Jews in America are morally aligned with Israel; the countries of the Third World identify with the Arabs. The Europeans are perceived to be anti-Israel. The Christian fundamentalists in the US support Israel for moral reasons. The Israeli Left takes the high moral ground when it publicly condemns its own government for its treatment of the Palestinians. The Israeli Right waves a finger at Yasser Arafat and proclaims: “Arafat is not doing enough to stop terrorism.” The Palestinians claim Sharon is not "serious about peace" .
“The Palestinians must learn they will never achieve anything through violence,” says one group. “The Palestinians deserve their own state,” declares another
Yet with all this “morality” flying around, nobody ever points a finger at the foreign countries or accuses them of acting immorally by selling arms to Middle East dictators and exploiting the natural resources of the region.
Instead, people around the globe are told what to believe regarding the reason for the continuation of the Arab-Israeli conflict, as if their opinions and feelings are actually relevant to what is happening on the ground.
This long-distance exercise in morality is what the media focus on when nothing much is happening in the region, to point out how important “peace in the Middle East” is for everyone. Yet the only thing about such stories that can be believed is that the continuation of the conflict is important to the media.
Why the Middle East conflict never gets solved
Everyone in the world is morally bound up with the Arab Israeli conflict. Yet can it be possible that the entire conflict is based on the lack of morality of one side or the other? Can all that has happened in the region over the past half century be the result of one people not behaving nicely toward the other? What other regional conflicts are defined in this way? What other regional conflicts continue for more than a half a century, look like they are finally being solved, and then come roaring back in the way the Middle East conflict has?
Let’s think for a moment, and ask: Do regional wars and conflicts continue for seven decades because one side isn’t acting nicely toward the other? Is the conflict’s existence merely due to the actions of each or both sides – the 5 million Jews and the 4 million Arabs – who simply don’t like each other?
Can that really be the answer?
That is certainly the way the mainstream press and the academic world present it. Oil and arms sales are never part of the explanation. How could so many newspapers and TV stations miss out on this side of the region’s affairs and focus solely on “new peace initiatives”?
One could argue, with justification, that the Israelis are not acting nicely toward the Palestinians – that they oppress them, restrict their movements, blow up their houses, etc. But that alone still doesn’t account for the continuation of the conflict. The Israelis are right when they argue that the Palestinian Authority is corrupt and the Palestinian leadership hasn’t done enough to crack down on terrorism, but that too doesn’t explain why this 75-year-old conflict is still with us.
And while it may even be true that the Arabs don’t recognize Israel’s right to exist, Israel doesn’t stop existing because of that. The refusal of the Arabs to recognize Israel’s existence is not the reason why the Middle East still festers.
So why has this conflict been going on for nearly a century?
Not only does the Middle East conflict continue to exist, it actually gets worse decade after decade. What other regional conflict actually looks like it is being solved, and then, 10 years later, returns to a state much worse than before?
What is special about the Middle East?
One unique thing about the Middle East conflict is that it is institutionalized.
Think of the annual budgets for all the organizations whose sole purpose is to do “Middle East moralizing.” How much does it cost to fund all the activist organizations, the lobby groups, the news publications, the charities, the think tanks which exist solely to cast blame on either the Israeli or Arab side?
The Middle East conflict is a “cottage industry” in the US and Europe. It isn’t that way with other regional conflicts. Why is it that way with this one?
The pro-Israel camp has its lobbies, organizations, think tanks, magazines, support groups, Internet user groups, etc. which put out one simple message: “The Arabs are wrong; we’re right. We are more morally upstanding than them.” The pro-Arab camp has its lobbies, organizations, think tanks, magazines, support groups, and Internet user groups which put out one simple message: “The Israelis are wrong; we’re right. We are more morally upstanding than them.”
Both sides are basically saying the same thing to the other side: “you’re morally deficient, you’re not acting nicely, and it is because of you that we don’t have a solution.”
What is incredible is that each side is right, and for the most part, each side’s argument is valid. Each side does do terrible things to the other, and both are morally deficient. Yet that still doesn’t account for the continued existence of the conflict.
Consider. The Arabs say: “The media in America is controlled by the Zionists and our side never gets a proper hearing,” while the pro-Israel camp says, “The media is anti-Israel.” Both claims have a basis of truth, yet they cancel each other out. The same is also true when the Palestinians claim that Israel is “denying the Palestinians a state.” The Israeli version is “The Arabs don’t recognize the Jewish state.” Two completely balanced arguments serve to keep the claims of both sides in perfect symmetry.
The media are responsible for promoting this “morality” aspect. If a politician in the US or Europe says: “I am disturbed by Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians,” that becomes a media item, even though the statement had nothing to do with what happens on the ground.
Thousands of kilometers away, in Europe and the US, the Middle East conflict has a life of its own. The obsession that the mainstream media have about anything and everything to do with the Middle East proves that the mainstream media are responsible for sustaining it. The conflict would have faded away long ago, if it weren’t for this media attention.
This is important because, before we can look for a solution to the Middle East conflict, we need to determine why it exists in the first place.
Why should we support the establishment of a Palestinian state as a way to bring peace to the region if the lack of such a state is not the reason for the conflict? While it may be desirable to the Arabs to have a viable Palestinian state, and while the Palestinians certainly deserve their own national territory, we must ask ourselves: “Does the conflict exist just because the Palestinians don’t have their own state?”
Perhaps all those on the pro-Arab side should think about what would happen if a Palestinian state is created, yet doesn’t lead to prosperity and stability? The mere existence of a Palestinian state will not solve the regional conflict. Thus perhaps the absence of a Palestinian state is not the reason why peace does not exist today.
If the foreigners were truly interested in peace, and believed the creation of a Palestinian state would serve that goal, they would have forced Israel to accept it decades ago. They didn’t, and not because Israel controls the US political process, as some Arab intellectuals believe, but because they don’t want peace in the Middle East. That is why Arafat was allowed to funnel most of the $4 billion in foreign aid the Palestinian Authority received from 1993-2000 into 17 different security forces, rather than using the money for socio-economic development.
Compared to other regional conflicts caused by wrongs committed by one side on the other, the continued existence of the Middle East situation makes no sense. By now it should have either been resolved or have petered out.
Israel is not the number one enemy of the Arabs
While Israel may be perceived as a threat to the Arab world, the actual threat comes from the foreigners who for decades have been corrupting Arab leaders and exploiting their nations’ natural resources. The foreigners are the reason the Palestinians has had such a miserable 50 years. Sometimes the foreigners keep Arabs and Palestinians oppressed via Israel, sometimes they do it on their own; the end result is the same – the Arabs get screwed.
It is foolish to blame Israel for the continued existence of the conflict. Israel had no reason to want to enflame the conflict with the first intifada, or the second one. The last thing Israel wants is for the whole world to be talking about how Israel must create a state for the Palestinians. Thus Israel has no reason to ignite the conflict.
Israel doesn’t keep the Arab-Israeli conflict simmering, and thus can’t be blamed for the instability in the Middle East. While what Israel may do to the Palestinians is wrong and harmful, it is not the reason the conflict continues.
So by blaming Sharon or the Likud party, the Arabs are playing right into the hands of the foreigners. The foreigners want all Arabs to focus their anger at Israel so they won’t catch on as to how the foreigners are controlling their nations’ resources and corrupting their leaders. The Middle East conflict began long before Sharon, the Likud or the West Bank settlements came into the picture. By having the Arabs focus on Israel as the culprit, nobody will look at the foreigners and realize the truth.
If Arabs want to know who their number one enemy is, they have to go right back to the beginning, when the foreigners first started to colonize the Middle East. While the formation of Israel was part of that colonizing effort, the Jews weren’t the ones who put the deal together. The Jewish people have also been used and exploited by the foreigners, but in different ways.
If the role of the foreigners in the Middle East was exposed, the Arabs could then choose between one of the other two sides: Israel or the foreigners.
Before making that decision, all Arabs, and especially the Palestinians, should remember that from 1948-1967, Israel was responsible for huge rises in the standard of living of the Israeli Arabs, just as it was with the West Bankers and Gazans from 1967-1992. Despite all the wrongs Israel may have committed against the Palestinians, then and now, the fact remains that the Israelis were the only non-Arab population interested in raising their standard of living and quality of life.
The foreigners – with all of their aid, peace plans, initiatives, road maps and UN refugee agencies – were never able to do that. For 50 years the Palestinian refugee problem remained unsolved because the foreign powers did not want it solved. Certainly Israel would have been in favor of putting the refugees in permanent homes, and would have done so if they had been permitted to. The foreigners didn’t let Israel do that, and instead had the UN administer the needs of the refugees so that the refugee problem would remain unsolved – all in order to keep the conflict alive.
So who is the true friend of the Arabs of Palestine, and who portrays themselves as such but keep the tragedy going, year in, year out? With which religion do Arabs have more in common, Judaism or Christianity? Who is better equipped to help the Palestinians develop their economy, Israelis or the foreigners?
To solve the conflict, both Arabs and Jews must realize that they are not each other’s number one enemy, and that a third element is the reason the regional conflict continues. If we want to solve this seemingly never-ending human tragedy we must first understand where it comes from, and why it is still here. Then we can prescribe a remedy.
The Arabs are not a threat to the State of Israel
For the entire history of the Arab-Israeli conflict the Israeli public has been told two lies: that the Arabs in general – and the Palestinians in particular – are a threat to the continued existence of the Jewish state, and that the reason there is no peace in the region is because the Arabs don’t “recognize” Israel.
Why would any country call its own existence into question by insisting that its neighbors acknowledge that it exists?
What it really means is that if an Arab country does acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, it can expect something in return. So if Israeli diplomatic strategists had been smart, decades ago they would have announced that, the Israeli government doesn't acknowledge the existence of any Arab country. Then, if an Arab country decided to acknowledge Israel's existence, and asked what Israel would give it in return, Israel could say, “Israel will acknowledge your country’s existence.” Instead, Israeli leaders called their own nation’s legitimacy into question by asking the Arabs to grant it legitimacy.
Israel is, therefore Israel is, and no recognition from any country – Arab or otherwise – is needed to confirm that fact. It matters not at all if Tunisia, Bahrain, Oman, Yemen, Libya, Syria or Iraq fails to acknowledge Israel’s existence. In the past half century, not only has Israel survived without her existence being acknowledged by the majority of the Arab world, it has flourished.
The claim that the Arabs threaten Israel’s existence is also wrong. Even if the Arab world wanted to destroy Israel, this doesn’t mean it can. Israel has the seventh largest military infrastructure in the world, and is technologically light years ahead of the Arab world. Despite Israel’s clear military superiority, its national leadership keeps the Israeli public focused on the “Arab threat” so that the Israelis will continue to believe they are embroiled in a conflict with the whole Arab world.
To dispel the notion that the Arabs are a threat to Israel, take a close look at any Arab country. They are usually overpopulated, undereducated, economically undeveloped, and led by a dictatorship. No Arab country is able to produce its own weapons. No Arab country possesses any significant technological abilities, or has any real political or economic influence in the world.
So why should Israelis be afraid of Arab nations?
The only reason why Arab dictators are feared by the Israeli public is because the world’s media present these dictators as “radicals” and “disturbers of regional peace” when in fact their nations are helpless, powerless, poor and weak.
Why should Israel fear that Arab dictators like Saddam Hussein could destroy or seriously harm the Jewish state when we know that all the weapons and military technology Iraq has acquired is from companies in the US, Britain, France, and Germany? If Israelis were to fear for their security, they should point a finger at these countries and accuse them of trying to destroy Israel by supplying military technology and weapons to “unstable” Arab dictators.
But that isn’t what the Israeli national leadership tells its citizenry. It tells them “Arabs want to destroy Israel” rather than direct their collective anger at the western countries that approved these weapons sales. By doing so, it keeps the Israeli public convinced that the Arabs are the reason why the conflict continues.
Another falsehood presented by Israel’s leaders – particularly those on the Right – is that if a Palestinian state were created it would promote terrorism and those terrorists would threaten the security of Israel. While terrorism is a problem for Israel, it doesn’t pose a threat to her existence.
And while the Palestinian Authority definitely promoted terrorism right from the start of the Oslo Accords, the terrorism never came anywhere near destroying the Jewish state.
Since the early 1980s, Israel’s leaders have been warning that Iran is “five years away from attaining nuclear weapons.” Twenty years later, on June 5, 2003, Israel’s foreign minister declared that “Iran would have Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) by 2006.”
Why do Israeli national leaders try to scare the Israeli public into thinking the Arabs are a much bigger threat than they really are?
Oslo and beyond
One of the enigmas about the Oslo Accords is why the Israeli government agreed to allow the Palestinian Authority to maintain armed security forces, and why Israel even armed those security personnel with Israeli weapons? We were told that the Palestinian Authority needed those weapons to keep radical Palestinian groups in check. Yet from the very beginning, when Hamas began its suicide bombing in l994, the Palestinian Authority never cracked down on the organization. While the Israelis complained to all who would listen that this was happening, no foreign entity ever criticized Arafat for not stopping the rise of Hamas in the West Bank and Gaza.
Israel’s leaders at the time knew full well that the result was going to be a terrorist state, yet they agreed to this because that is what the foreigners wanted from Oslo – to strengthen the Palestinian side and weaken the Israeli side so the conflict could continue. The goal of Oslo’s planners was never peace and stability; it was further bloodshed. That is why Oslo and Hamas came on the scene at the same time.
As for the reasons why the second intifada broke out, the mainstream press told us Arafat “was pissed because at Camp David in August 2000 Barak and Clinton didn’t give him enough honor and respect” and thus Arafat was “posturing.” The mainstream media also gave us another version – that because Sharon dared walk around on the Temple Mount, this “enflamed” the Palestinians.
That it could have been arranged (and thus didn’t have to happen) never enters into the debate. Nobody asks whether Arafat thought he could really win a war against Israel. No western leader criticized Arafat for reneging on an international agreement which he signed with Israel never to return to war. Instead, the Middle East conflict was once again ignited, serving the foreigners while causing more death and destruction for the people who live in the region.
Sharon plays his part by remarking after every Hamas suicide bombing attack that Arafat is to blame, even though we are told the PA can’t control Hamas. Then Bush throws the “moral card” out there and accuses Arafat of not doing enough to stop terrorism, so we are led to believe that Arafat is being morally irresponsible by initiating terrorism against Israel.
Presto. The Middle East conflict has been recharged. Israel’s high moral ground is that “Arafat is behind the terrorism” and the Arabs’ “high moral ground” is that Israel is “oppressing the Palestinians.” Both claims are true, yet neither is the reason why the conflict continues. Such a scenario – whether by design or not – keeps the “you’re wrong. No, you’re wrong” structure of the conflict in place.
Like most things that happen between Israelis and Arabs, anything the Israelis do will be held up by the Arab side as proof that “Israel isn’t serious about peace” (i.e. they are morally flawed), and by the same token, anything the Palestinians/Arabs do is held up by Israel as proof that “you see, the Arabs are not serious about peace” (i.e. they are morally deficient). This is the basic configuration of the conflict. Each side blames the other while the real culprits remain in the shadows.
Back in the early 1990s the only way to keep the Palestinian-Israeli conflict alive was to re-energize Arafat – arm his henchmen, and provide the PLO with a base of operations close to Israel. So if the Palestinian Authority supports terrorism it is with the complete knowledge and consent of Israel’s leaders. Blaming Arafat merely serves the goal of the foreigners, which is to keep the conflict from dying out and to give the Israeli public an enemy to blame.
Therefore it really makes no sense for Israelis to continue to blame the Palestinians for the conflict not being solved, as neither Arafat nor anyone else in the Palestinian Authority has any real political or economic power. They aren’t pulling any of the world’s strings, so why concentrate on whether Arafat does or does not really want to put an end to terrorism? Whatever Arafat or any other Palestinian leader does or doesn’t do will not have any impact on whether the conflict remains alive. The Palestinians/Arabs don’t have the power required to keep the Middle East conflict alive. Only foreign elements do.
The continued attempt to brainwash the Israeli public into thinking that the Arabs are a threat to Israel's security and survival is one reason why the conflict continues. If you want to have a conflict, you have to convince both sides that the other is to blame, always and forever. This is the way the Arabs and Jews have been pitted against each other.
Instead of rational explanations for why Middle East leaders do what they do, we are handed “morally-inspired” rationale. For instance, President Bush declared that Arafat had to be made “irrelevant” because, according to the US leader, he “disappointed him by not doing enough to stop terrorism.” Having taken the high moral ground, Bush then began yet another Middle East peace initiative with the Roadmap. Once again, the mainstream media failed to present the picture as anything other than a moral crusade of the President to put his weight behind the peace process.
The public was told that the American plan envisioned a Palestinian state being created by 2005 (18 months from then) without any media source presenting the alternative view that such a plan was unreasonable and unlikely to take place. Instead of presenting the public with quality information and analyses, the media served the foreign interests and the Middle East conflict kept right on rolling.
The need to corrupt Israel’s leaders
Israelis don’t hate Arabs/Palestinians any more than Arab peoples hate Israelis. It is the national leaders of both sides who tell their people to hate their neighbors. If tomorrow both peoples woke up and found their national leaders had all suffered heart attacks and died, peaceful relations would prevail.
In exchange for doing their part in keeping the Israeli public focused on not trusting the Arabs, Israeli national leaders like Sharon and Peres are kept in power, given enormous clout and reverence abroad and, if need be, plenty of money to get re-elected (after every Israeli election the winning candidate always faces a financial scandal, yet the investigations are always dropped by the Attorney General for “lack of evidence”). The two aging leaders, Sharon and Peres, keep Israeli society fixated on the Left versus Right argument as to how Israel should negotiate with the Palestinians. Peres is presented as a liberal, seeking to compromise with the Arabs, while Sharon is supposedly a staunch right-wing nationalist whose only concern is Israel’s security. The fact that both have been corrupted by foreign elements never makes it onto the pages of Haaretz, Maariv or Yediot.
If you are a leftist in Israel, you are scolded by the Right for “worrying too much what the goyim think” and being naïve about Arab intentions. If you are on the Right, you are told by the Left that “Israel must compromise for peace.” Hence the structure of the Middle East conflict allows for discussion only within these two borders. Both sides believe the Americans are the key, and the Left urges the US president to pressure Israel, while the Right is only interested in having the president “better understand Israel’s position.” Both Left and Right use the same words to describe the other’s view: “shortsighted,” “naïve” or “afraid to admit they are wrong.” Meanwhile, despite the fact that Sharon and Peres are at opposite sides of the ideological spectrum, they have no problem sitting in the same government as partners and smile every Sunday at the weekly cabinet meeting.
This exercise in creating erroneous public perceptions allows the Israeli public to focus on two simple ideologies. What this does is keep them ignorant of all other facets of the Arab-Israeli conflict – including how the foreigners interfere and corrupt both sides’ leaders.
The reason why the Israeli public has such a low opinion of Israel’s political system is because they can see that their leaders are not going to bat for the Israeli citizenry, but serving foreign interests. Like most Arab leaders, Israeli leaders are not legitimate, as they are not popular with their own people. That is why Shimon Peres is hated in his own country, yet abroad is regarded as a great elderly statesman, and why Sharon must rely on his past glory as an Israeli military hero in order to establish his credentials with the Israeli public and Jews in the Diaspora.
If you are a foreigner you don’t use money to corrupt Israeli leaders; you merely promise them that you will help them stay in power. Thus corrupt Israeli leaders such as Sharon and Peres – who would be shamed into resigning from public life if they were politicians in most other western countries – continue to control the destiny of the Jewish state. While Israelis may believe Israel to be democratic, with its leaders carrying out the will of its people, that is nothing more than a perception planted and nurtured by the Israeli media. The fact is that Israeli figures such as Shimon Peres, Ariel Sharon, Yitzhak Rabin, Ehud Barak, Bibi Netanyahu, Yossi Beilin, Moshe Dayan, Golda Meir, etc. are much bigger heroes outside Israel than inside.
Israeli statesmen may present an image to their own people and their own party of always being concerned about Israel’s national interests, but in the end, they always wind up pushing the plan the foreigners come up with. That is why Sharon, supposedly a right-wing nationalist, went against the wishes of his entire Likud party in 2002 and went on record as supporting the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Looking at the Middle East conflict through Arab eyes
It is ironic that in the entire history of the Middle East conflict, it has always been the claim of the pro-Israel camp that “the Arabs view their history as one long conspiracy against them,” when in fact such a view is completely accurate.
Unlike Israelis, Arab intellectuals aren’t swayed by the propaganda of their own leaders. They know their leaders serve foreign interests.
So if Arab intellectuals complain of exploitation and colonialism at the hands of the foreigners, this isn’t because of some “wild conspiracy theory that all Arabs have about foreigners” but because it is the truth. Israelis would do themselves a favor if they stopped thinking their governmental system is so much more advanced than the “primitive” Arab culture, and realized that their perception of the history of the conflict is not accurate.
So if one is to dive into the history of the Arab world – leaving the Arab-Israeli conflict aside for the moment – it would be helpful to understand the Arab perception of reality. That reality is based on one simple principle: legitimate Arabs leaders are never allowed to develop or surface because unless an Arab leader does what the foreigners want them to do, they will find themselves the victim of a coup concocted by foreign elements. Or the Arab leader will be branded a “radical Arab dictator” and thus a “threat to regional security.”
For instance, Gamal Abdel Nasser was loved by his own people and the entire Arab world for standing up to the foreigners. While not democratically elected, he was not considered at all “radical” or a “threat to regional stability” – as the western nations made him out to be.
Israel’s purpose in the conflict is to play the role of the “hated enemy” that Arab national leaders can point their finger at and say to their masses: “see, that is your real enemy.” While Israeli propaganda claims these leaders do that in order to keep their people from realizing how bad their socio-economic condition is, the actual reason is that this is what the foreigners demand so that nobody will be looking at what the foreigners are doing –dominating the oil reserves and proposing multi-billion dollar arms sales. Thus the poor quality of Arab national leadership is the result of the foreigners’ need to have Arab leaders who will do what is expected of them in order to keep the conflict with Israel alive.
How do the foreigners corrupt Arab national leaders?
There have been about 35 coups and coup attempts in the Middle East in the past 50 years. Only one of them came about without Western involvement.
Any independent review of modern Middle East history reveals that except for Egypt, the boundaries of every state which emerged after the First World War were drawn by European powers. Indeed, every Arab state of the time was run by what Desmond Stewart (The Temple of Janus, p. 166) calls a “client dynasty.”
Says Middle East scholar, Dr. Mohammed Daud Mirak : “Most of the time, the elite controlling the governments of Muslim states view their survival as being parallel to the interests of the elite in the United States and her allies, and view the continuation of their hold on power in their submission to the will of the United States.” (Essay January 28, 2003)
In Richard Becker’s October 2002 article: “The Battle For Iraqi Oil: US Corporate Skullduggery Since WW1,” we learn about the real history of the foreigners’ involvement in the Arab Middle East:
“In February 1919, Sir Arthur Hirtzel, a top British colonial official, warned his associates: ‘It should be borne in mind that the Standard Oil Company is very anxious to take over Iraq.’ (Quoted in Peter Sluglett, Britain in Iraq, 1914-32, London, 1974)
Becker continues: “In 1927, major oil exploration got underway. Huge deposits were discovered in Iraq, and the Iraqi Petroleum Company was created by Anglo-Iranian (today British Petroleum), Shell and Mobil, and Standard Oil of New Jersey (Exxon) was set up. Within a few years it had totally monopolized Iraqi oil production.”
Baker explains that during the same period the al-Saud family, with Washington’s backing, conquered much of the neighboring Arabian Peninsula. Saudi Arabia came into being in the 1930s as a colony of the United States. The US embassy in Riyadh was located in the Armco (Arab American Oil Company) building. But the US oil companies and their government in Washington weren’t satisfied. They wanted complete control of the oil, just as they had a near monopoly on the Western hemisphere’s petroleum reserves. This meant displacing the British, who were still top dog in the region.
Rami Khouri, a syndicated columnist for The Daily Star in Beirut, offers this view of the Arab elite’s ties to foreign elements:
“We Middle Easterners (Arabs, Iranians, Turks, Israelis, Kurds, and others) have a long track record of both arranging others’ national configurations and having our own rearranged by others. The modern Middle East was largely configured by the British and French, who sought to ensure their own colonial interests; they created new countries whose fundamental assets and attributes often made little logical sense. One of the problems we suffered after our last reconfiguration by the British and the French around 1920 was that most of the Arab countries had closer relations with London and Paris than they did with each other. The scheduled flights of our national airlines went to Paris and London more frequently than they went to other Arab capitals. This indicated that political and economic ties with the former colonial powers were more important for the nascent Arab ruling political powers than relations with other Arabs.”
Khouri contends there is nothing inherently wrong with being rearranged; peoples, societies and states do it all the time, to themselves and to others.
“However, our experience in the Arab world indicates that if the people being reconfigured have a say in the process, and their new national map corresponds to their identities and aspirations, the resulting reconfigured region may prove satisfying to both its citizens and state within the global context. The British and the French did not do this around 1920, and left behind a mess of fragile, often violent, states. That episode resulted in unsatisfactory, intemperate Arab statehood in many cases – a terrible modern legacy of security states and tensions that finally exploded into political terror in the 1990s and beyond.” (Essay, February 13, 2003)
Why the foreign elite corrupts Arab leaders
If one really wants to understand how the Arabs view the west, they should read A Brutal Friendship; The West and the Arab Elite (St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1997) by the well-known Arab journalist, Said Aburish.
Aburish claims there are no legitimate regimes in the Arab Middle East. The House of Saud, King Hussein of Jordan, Presidents Hosni Mubarak, Saddam Hussein, Hafez al-Assad, Yasser Arafat and the remaining minor Arab heads of state run various types of dictatorships. He claims they depend on phony claims of legitimacy while representing small special interest groups – minorities whose members owe their allegiance to them rather than to the state….
“The result is religious, tribal, army-based or hybrid ruling cliques and leaders who have one thing in common: they are opposed to the desire of the majority of the Arab people to develop legitimate governments. By affording dictatorships unqualified recognition, the foreign powers support the individual leaders, army groups, sects, clans and families who run the Middle East and determine its shape and direction. Perpetuating Western political hegemony and protecting economic interests from real or imagined threats takes precedence over considerations of legitimacy.”
Aburish believes that it isn’t Islam the West is battling, but the notion of popular political movements that represent a threat to the West’s interests. The bad image the West creates for them isn’t meant to explain them; it is meant to justify declaring war on them.
He explains: “The ruling groups in the Middle East use income from oil, and their armed forces (including the security forces), to stay in power. Because the West controls or influences the acquisition of arms… and because it manipulates the oil market through oil companies which decide where to buy, refine, distribute and use the income generated from oil, it relies on both tools to determine the policies of these countries. This is why the West, in cooperation with friendly regimes and against the wishes of the unfriendly ones, seeks to perpetuate its monopoly of both businesses. The rich Arab states were discouraged from developing their petrochemical industries, moving into refining and distribution, investing in the industries of the West or making any move toward a more equitable distribution of wealth.”
On the subject of what the oil states did with their newfound wealth, Aburish explains: “The surplus from oil was linked to the world capital market controlled by US, British and French banks. Placing the surpluses in Western banks ensured the continued use of money to fuel Western economies. There was no attempt to use the surpluses to develop the Middle East.”
Regardless of how the mainstream media ignore the role oil plays in the conflict, the fact is if the Middle East had no oil reserves, there probably never would have been a Middle East conflict for the past 75 years.
As to where this policy of the British (and later the Americans) originated, we needn’t look further than a series of meetings held in Britain starting in 1905 headed by Prime Minister Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman. From these meetings, a High Committee was formed. It specialized in matters of colonialism, and consisted of members from the participating states, leading historians, social, economic and agricultural analysts, scholars, geologists and experts in oil and gas. The members met in London in 1907. The final decisions made were threefold:
1) Separating the Muslim lands in the East from those in the West, thus making their unification more difficult.
2) Planting a new enemy for the Muslims on their lands. This would focus their attention on the new enemy, and in turn weaken their ability to resist Western aggression.
3) Establishing an advanced base for the colonialists – at the head of them Britain – to protect their interests, implement their plans and ensure the outflow of natural resources from the region, as well as the import of their goods and products into the markets of the region.
The goal of the colonialist powers – then and now – is to keep the Arab peoples backwards by not enabling them to elect popular leaders, and to control the vast mineral wealth that the Arabs were fortune enough to possess.
How Britain kept Jews and Arabs from living in peace
Alternative views of the Arab-Israeli conflict are rare. We are taught to believe that Jews and Arabs hate each other, and no other view of the conflict is given. Blame for the conflict is usually fixed on one side or the other – based on a “moral claim” that one side is not acting nicely toward the other.
It is in this context that a book first published in 1938 is critical to our understanding of why the Middle East conflict was created, and to dispute the notion that Jews and Arabs in the Middle East have always hated each other.
Although little is known about the author, William Ziff’s book, The Rape of Palestine, (Argus Books, US) is the first attempt to offer an alternative view of the origins of the conflict. The book documents the difference between the overall pro-Jewish sentiments of the British political elite, who saw a strong Jewish presence in Palestine as being good for the empire, and the group of high level anti-Jewish British officials who believed that the Jews would become so powerful (if Britain let them) that they would no longer have to accede to British demands.
The latter group was entirely right. A strong Jewish presence in Palestine meant Jewish national independence, which wouldn’t serve the British masters the way the Arab puppets did. Arab tribal leaders were corruptible, and this was how those running Britain’s colonial policies could control them. They realized that controlling the Jews was not going to be so easy.
Ziff’s book documents how the British created the opposition to Zionism, and proves that until these so-called “radical Arab leaders” came into the picture, most Arab residents of Palestine wanted nothing more than to live in peace and prosperity with the Jews.
“The Moslem religious leader, the Mufti, was openly friendly. Throughout Arabia, the chiefs were for the most part distinctly pro-Zionist: and in Palestine the peasantry was delighted at every prospect of Jewish settlement near their villages. Commercial intercourse between Arab and Jew was constant and steady.” pp.13
“The Arab National Movement was hated by the huge Levantine population, who continued to regard themselves simply as Ottoman subjects, and looked to the strong, influential Zionist Organization for sympathy and assistance.”
“Hussein of the Hejaz looked to the Zionists for the financial and scientific experience which the projected Arab state would badly need. In May 1918, Dr. Chaim Weizmann and Hussein of the Hejaz met in Cairo, where the latter spoke of mutual cooperation between Jews and Arabs in Palestine. In early 19l9 a Treaty of Friendship was signed to provide for “the closest possible collaboration in the development of the Arab state and the coming Jewish Commonwealth of Palestine.” On March 3, 19l9, another Arab leader, Feisal, son of Sherif, wrote: “We wish the Jews a most hearty welcome home.”
“With conscious design, the Administration fostered hostility between Arabs and Jews. It directly advised the amazed Arabs of Palestine and Egypt to abstain from any concessions to the Jews. It formed the Moslem-Christian Association, and used it as a weapon against the Zionists. It instructed astonished Arab young-bloods in the technique and tenets of modern nationalism, in order to resist Jewish ‘pretenses.’ And in London it contacted reliable anti-Jewish elements to form a liaison that has endured to this day. The Arabs were not only instigated and advised, but supplied with funds and their arguments ghost-written by Englishmen in high places.”
“Matters came to a head in 1920, when Feisal staged a revolt against the French in Damascus, using money and ammunition supplied by the British General Headquarters. He had been proclaimed King by a ‘Syrian Congress’ which included Palestinians, and which asserted the principle that Palestine was a part of Syria and couldn’t be cut off from it. Almost simultaneously, in order to show how impossible it was to implement the Balfour Declaration in the face of native hostility, the generals arranged a pogrom in Jerusalem.”
Ziff believed that the stage was set, charging that “the riots of April 1920 were perfectly timed.” He reveals how Arab agitators ran through the Moslem crowds gathered for the Nebi Moussa festival in Jerusalem, urging ‘death to the Jews’ and shouting that ‘the government is with us.’ Ziff discovered that all Jewish policemen had been relieved from duty in the Old City.
He says that such planned riots occurred again in April 1921 in Jerusalem. Ziff charges that the British Commandant of Police was “conveniently out of the country. The few Jews on the police force had been mysteriously taken off duty for the day. The Arab mob shouted: ‘Bolshevik! Bolshevik! The Zionists are flooding the country with Bolsheviks!’” pp. 20
The point isn’t that the British government was pro-Arab, or anti-Jewish. The point is that much of the violence and strife was contrived – and didn’t occur as a natural result of Jews and Arabs hating each other, as the mainstream media have told us for decades.
While many students of the Arab-Israeli conflict have heard of the Mufti of Jerusalem, most don't know how the Mufti became the Mufti. Ziff writes:
“Implicated in the disturbances was a political adventurer named Haj Amin al Husseini. Haj Amin was sentenced by a British court to 15 years hard labor. Conveniently allowed to escape by the police, he was a fugitive in Syria. Shortly after, the British allowed him to return to Palestine where, despite the opposition of the Moslem High Council who regarded him as a hoodlum, Haj Amin was appointed by the British High Commissioner as Grand Mufi of Jerusalem for life.” pp. 22
Regarding the Arab pogroms of 1929, Alif Beh, an Arab newspaper in Damascus, wrote: “the uprising was the result of British intrigue... the English were looking for an excuse to reject the demands of the Jewish Agency to participate in the administration of the country, and encouraged the Arabs to teach the Jews a lesson.”
Regarding Arab views toward Jewish immigration, Ziff quotes Count Carlos Sforza in his book, Europe and Europeans: “Syrians of all classes, who had been watching Palestine’s development with envious yes, were anxious to have something of the same phenomena duplicated in their country.”
This desire is written in the clamorous petition sent to the French in 1935 by the inhabitants of Lebanon, begging them to encourage Jewish immigration, as that would bring prosperity. Said the Damascus newspaper, Iissan Alkhar : “We ought to demand Jewish immigration, for through it our situation will be saved.”
Sensing that some crude agenda was toying with their collective destiny, in May 1930 the Jerusalem-based Arab newspaper Al Iqdam wrote: “We are led by a group of men who bargain us away, buying and selling us like cattle. The Arab people have not yet said their last word on the Arab-Jewish question. When this word has been said, it will not be one of hatred, but one of peace and brotherhood, as is suitable for two people who live in one country.”
During a seminar of leading Moslems and Christians of Nazareth in March 1934, a statement given to the press read: “On behalf of the majority of the property owners and consumers, we declare that we would welcome Jewish immigration, and trust the enlightened Jews with their financial commercial associations.”
Ziff is suggesting that the opposition to Jewish immigration to Palestine was not nearly as widespread as conventional wisdom and standard history books have led us to believe. By the time the Peel Commission was in full swing in 1937, Arab desires for rapprochement began appearing. From The New York Times of August 5, 1937, we read: “For the first time in the 20 years since the Balfour Declaration, the Arabs openly censured the Palestine government for never having attempted to bring the two peoples together.”
The Arab newspaper Falastin claimed in an editorial that, “despite British allegations of an unreachable enmity between Jews and Arabs, we cannot recall a single instance since the British occupation here when they made the slightest effort to bring the Arabs and Jews together. Pre-war Jewish residents lived here peacefully with Arabs for hundreds of years. To this day these Jews, in addition to the Arabs, maintain that if it were not for the British policy of divide and rule, the Arabs and Jews would again live in Palestine in peace and harmony.”
On November 15, 1937 the Arab daily Ad-Difaa asserted that the British government had categorically rejected all proposals for a round-table discussion between Jews, Arabs and British, though the Jews and Arabs were anxious for such a meeting. After talking to all sections of the Arab population, the Near East correspondent for the New York Times reported on November 21 that their unanimous cry was “we’ve suffered enough and we don’t wish to have any more trouble. May Allah curse and cut off the lives of these intruders from the outside who are disturbing our existence.”
Pamphlets were distributed in Arab villages throughout Palestine violently attacking Great Britain as “the cause of their ruin.” (pp.104)
Dr. Gustavo Gutierrez, former president of Cuba’s Chamber of Deputies, stated after his visit to the Holy Land in late 1936 that he saw “no evidence of friction or disagreement between the Arab and Jewish people in Palestine,” and that “if Arabs and Jews were left to their own councils they could settle the Palestine problem wisely and permanently.”
Contrary to what history books tell us, there was Arab opposition to British rule – and a genuine desire to live in peace with the Jews – even as late as 1937.
Describing the Arab predicament, which has not changed in the six decades since he wrote his book, Ziff states: “The Arabs are compelled to free themselves from the present despotic and feudal regimes under which all the Arab peoples suffer. In Arab countries, despite the paper constitutions which exist in several of them, there is little in the way of liberty. Poverty and ignorance are endemic.”
What is important about Ziff’s book is that it was written close to when the events were taking place. It is the first revisionist account of the role the British played in the Middle East in general and in the Arab-Israeli conflict in particular. Its main premise – that the Arab-Israeli conflict was created and stoked by the British, and isn't the result of ethnic hatred on the part of the participants – is in a sense a revolutionary new perspective on Middle East history.
If nothing more, Ziff’s book should encourage the Israeli government to establish a body to rename all the streets in the country that are named after British Mandate personalities. The British government was the reason why it took Israel until 1948 to attain independence. Considering the state of Palestine’s economy in 1937, independence was already possible then. Had the British not ruled Palestine, by 1930 unrestricted Jewish immigration and the hard work and creativity of the new Jewish immigrants would have created an economy twice as large as it was in that year. The Arabs themselves acknowledge that they would have participated fully in this economic boom.
Instead, the British government created phony Arab “radicals” like Haj Amin to stoke the conflict. The British government was also to blame for corrupting Arab leaders and conspiring to keep all Arabs poor and their economies undeveloped.
The function of the mainstream media in the Middle East conflict
By design or not, the mainstream media are an organic part of the Middle East conflict. In fact, they are one of the main factors keeping the conflict alive. If there were no more media coverage of the conflict, it would eventually stop being a conflict in the consciousness of the world. Whatever people who don’t live in the Middle East know or think about the conflict comes directly from the perceptions created by the media.
The role of the media is to deceive the public into thinking the conflict continues because both sides hate each other. The media convey messages that the public can easily absorb, such as: “the Palestinians are stateless, and the lack of a Palestinian state is the reason why the Middle East is unstable.”
The official version is relayed via the media, and it goes something like this: “In addition to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict – which if left unsolved causes regional instability – Arab countries have a problem establishing democracies, and thus are plagued by dictators who cause the region’s instability.”
While some Arabs may believe the immense media coverage is good, as they believe Israel has wronged the Palestinians and the world should know about it, this isn’t the reason for the media obsession with the region. The Arabs and Palestinians may be flattered to believe that the world at large is concerned with Arab grievances, and with how badly the Palestinians have been treated, but this isn’t the reason the media constantly report on the conflict; it isn’t injustice that is behind the media’s interest. It is the foreign elites that exploit the media to keep the Middle East conflict alive. Seeking justice for the Palestinians is not part of their plan.
Instead, the foreigners create a new “road map” and then talk for six months or a year about whether it is good or not. Both sides complain, and then before you know it, six months have gone by and there aren’t any more meetings or delegations, because the entire process is “stalled.” Fingers are then pointed at either Arab terrorism or Israeli intransigence, and the circle of blame goes around and around before it is time to initiate a “new round of Middle East peace talks” and “confidence-building measures.” Yet the end result is never lasting peace.
The role of the media is merely to highlight the fact that every time the Middle East peace talks stall, there may still be hope in this “new initiative,” which of course is introduced by the foreigners, never by the local participants.
This approach of talking about peace but never actually arriving at peace is the hallmark of those in charge of the new peace initiatives. They aren’t necessarily interested in peace, but in wasting time. The media play a key role in this deceit, as long as they fail to ask the tough questions and dig a little deeper.
Much of the control the foreigners have over the Jews and Arabs is exercised via manipulation of the public’s perceptions. Break that stranglehold and the true interests of the foreigners will be exposed. If we want to solve the problems in the region, we need to understand the harmful role of the international media.
The media aren’t just standing on the sidelines observing events, as the experts like to tell us. Instead, the media are organically linked to the conflict and are directed by elements outside the region. The media present images and perceptions that reinforce the two sides’ negative view of each other.
Major international media outlets keep the Middle East conflict in the center of the public’s eye. Is this by design? Well, it certainly isn’t the result of consumer demand. Most people are sick and tired of hearing about the conflict. So why do the major media outlets cover the region day in, day out, year in, year-out, decade after decade? With most other subjects, the public tires of hearing about it and so the media move on to the next story. Not with the Middle East conflict. Why?
The mere presence of the media essentially creates the Middle East conflict, and keeps it alive by media manipulation that creates erroneous perceptions in the minds of the Israeli and Arab populations.
Whether all this is done by design or not, the end result is the same.
Strip the major western media outlets of their credibility by calling their objectivity and independence into question, and the power of the foreigners over the Middle East will crumble. The deception would be exposed.
Radical Middle East dictators are a creation of the mainstream media
Ever wonder why, on a per-capita basis, there seem to be more radical dictators in the Middle East than in any other region? What is it about Arab politics that leads to the creation of so many “radical” leaders?
It is important to note that the source of public information about the Middle East is the same voice which promotes the idea that radical Arab leaders are regional threats, and western leaders, for reasons of morality and decency, have to contain these bad elements.
The way the mainstream media tell the story, these radical Arab leaders are “angry” at Israel and the US. Because of that “anger,” they seek to wreak havoc on the otherwise peaceful order of the Middle East.
And yet, while some Arab dictators are considered “evil” and “immoral” because they don’t allow democracy in their country, neither do the rulers of Saudi Arabia. But since Saudi Arabia’s leaders are supported by the West, the label of
“dictator” is never applied to them.
“The truth is, the more democratic the Saudis become, the less cooperative they will be with us. So why should we want that? Asks F. Gregory Gause, a specialist on Saudi Arabia at the University of Vermont (“Time to Question The US Role in Saudi Arabia”, May 20, 2003, Foreign Policy in Focus)
Throughout the past 100 years in the Middle East, there have been various “radical Arab leaders” (i.e., bogeymen) touted by the world’s media as “strategic threats” to western powers. The first such radical leader was Nasser of Egypt, then came PLO leaders, then Assad of Syria, Qadaffi of Libya, the Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran, Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, and Saddam Hussein again.
If the mainstream media didn’t tell their readers and viewers that these Arab leaders were a threat, they wouldn’t be perceived as one. By the same token, if the media didn’t write stories highlighting the “instability” of the Middle East, most people wouldn’t see a problem. The media stamp certain concepts and issues “relevant,” and then focus on only these issues and concepts, to the exclusion of all others.
What the media fail to tell us is that these dictatorships rule over tiny economies with no industrial or technological know-how, and thus whatever weapons they have were procured from western countries – including their weapons of mass destruction. The way the media tell the story, the western leaders know full well that the dictators are “evil,” yet they approve the sales of conventional and non-conventional weapons. Later, when it comes out in the press that these deals took place, the western leaders say, “you evil dictator, you are not being morally upstanding and acting in a peaceful manner with your neighbors. I pledge to depose you.”
Thus a new war is conducted in order to disarm a regime that was supported and armed by the very countries that take part in the deposing exercise. All of this is, according to the media, because zealous western leaders took the high moral ground and proclaimed: “Enough is enough, we must have democracy and freedom in the Middle East.”
The mainstream media never question government officials when they claim they didn’t realize Saddam Hussein was such a bad guy. Or when the CIA says, “we supported Osama Bin Laden in the early 1980s to fight the Russians in Afghanistan, but then he became a loose cannon.”
No mainstream media ever call high government officials liars when these weak excuses are offered. Never is the public presented with the fact that the arming of the dictator was the intended policy. Instead, we are told it was due to “human error.”
So what can we learn from all this?
That only those Arab leaders who don’t play ball with the foreigners are branded as “radical” and “threats to regional security.” The leaders of all the oil-rich states are no more democratic than those in Libya or Iraq – yet they are considered “moderate.”
Says Middle East expert, Professor Stephen Zunes: “Will Saudi Arabia be yet another case of where, like Manuel Noriega’s Panama and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, the United States supports a dictatorship for years, only to suddenly declare it such a threat that the country must be invaded and the regime overthrown?” (“Time to Question The US Role in Saudi Arabia,” May 20, 2003, Foreign Policy in Focus)
If we want to solve the Middle East conflict and not create more “radical Arab dictators” the western countries, led by the US and Western Europe, should stop selling military technology to all countries in the Middle East. Stop the arms sales and presto – no more “dangerous radical Arab leaders.”
How do the foreigners get away with such deceit?
Because what is presented in the media about the Middle East conflict (regardless of whether it is in Israel, the Arab world, Europe or the US) is carefully fit into certain “acceptable” parameters. Those parameters include moralizing the conflict by enabling each side to point a figure at the other. The goals and objectives of the foreigners are never discussed. Instead, western leaders are always presumed to be interested only in “furthering peace efforts.”
Whether arms sales to the region further peace is never addressed.
The soap opera the mainstream media presents every day as Middle East diplomacy
Ever notice how the mainstream media treat Middle East diplomacy and the region’s national leaders? Their coverage always seem to be about what these people “like” and how they “feel” about other Middle East leaders, and they are always presented as having the highest standards of right and wrong. Nearly all downsides in the peace process are presented as the result of “mistakes” by Middle East leaders. Everything seems to fit into what researcher Paul David Collins calls “the accidental perspective of history,” whereby radical Arab dictators are the product of “circumstantial spontaneity” rather than having been supported and armed by a western country. Intifadas against Israel “break out” because the Palestinians are “frustrated.”
The mainstream media never question the objectivity and credibility of government spokespersons. Thus there is never any honest skepticism as to whether a statement is really true or merely prepared text.
The mainstream media also present the national leaders as basically patriotic, just trying to do a good job, trying to the right thing, trying to do what’s best for their own country. We are led to believe that in the end, all they are interested in is regional peace and stability, or in getting themselves enshrined in the history books.
Their motivation is always simple, honest, noble and patriotic, and these regional leaders are always presented as independent agents. The media don’t reveal any other influence on their decision-making process. When so-called analysts are interviewed, they all seem to know exactly why Middle East politicians do what they do and what motivates their actions, even though the only information the “experts” have is what is reported in the media or presented via the national spokespersons.
The media coverage and analyses of Middle East leaders is always about personal management style; it never has anything to do with what the foreign leaders tell them or expect them to do. Whatever Middle East politicians may do, it is always explained away as “posturing.”
For instance, we are told that because Ariel Sharon didn’t finish off Arafat in 1982 in Beirut, he is taking revenge on him now, and that is why he is keeping Arafat locked up in his compound in Ramallah. Supposedly, Sharon wanted to kill or exile Arafat, but Bush refused, even though Bush himself said Arafat is now irrelevant. Thus Arafat can’t leave his home/office, and Sharon is merely posturing by not taking action against the guy he says directs all the terrorism against Israel. Meanwhile, when Sharon has the chance to get rid of Arafat for good, he doesn’t, and instead orders the Israeli army to fire a missile at his headquarters that merely damages the building.
The mainstream media and their Middle East experts don’t point out the absurdity of such actions, and instead report only the most superficial aspects of the story.
Once elected, the media presents the story of the national leader as being only about “character” no matter how many flaws the guy may have. He is never thrown out of office because of these shortcomings, and is always given the benefit of the doubt in any scandal.
For instance, no matter how many scandals were exposed implicating the current Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, or the previous one, Ehud Barak, neither faced any serious attempt to force them to resign, and eventually the scandals died out. The media never probed further.
The mainstream media inform us that countries wage war because national leaders don’t like one another. For example, back in the first Gulf War, senior President Bush was mad at Saddam Hussein. The public is asked to believe that the whole story is that Bush was pissed off at him because Hussein didn’t do what Bush asked him to do, which was to get out of Kuwait.
In the second Gulf War, President Bush said to the American people, “this guy is a bully, a dictator, not a nice human being, and I am going to do the moral thing and depose him.” The media allowed this image to be presented unchallenged, and thus that is how history was recorded.
For the mainstream media, international diplomacy is run according to the principle of “positive chemistries” and “chance meetings.” War is the result of two leaders not getting along. Peace treaties aren’t signed because one side’s leader was “stubborn.”
Here is an example of what Israeli citizens are fed in their mainstream media.
Long-time Haaretz op-ed writer Avi Shavit told the Israeli public on June 12th, 2003 that when foreigners like Henry Kissinger meet secretly with Israeli leaders- it is merely to instruct them on the inner workings of international diplomacy, things which Shavit calls, "a Kissinger perception of reality". Israel's national leaders supposedly listen to very elderly statesmen who haven't held public over in over thirty years and then decide to "do what they tell them", and that is the story about what is happening in the political arena.
Shavit writes: "However, Rabin was not Kissinger's only pupil. He had another Israeli pupil, studious and energetic, who is now Israel's prime minister. So, when trying to decipher Ariel Sharon's policy, it must be understood that he is doing what he is doing out of a Kissinger perception of reality….Kissinger and Sharon keep their closeness under wraps - most of their meetings do not come to media attention. However, the connection between the Israeli-Jewish warrior and the American-Jewish statesman is very tight. Sharon has a profound respect for Kissinger, regarding him as someone who knows how to add historic and international dimensions to Sharon's own understandings of the events on the ground."
Somehow Shavit thinks Kissinger's ethnic roots play a role in his secret dealings with Israeli leaders like Rabin and Sharon. We are told that Sharon has a "profound respect" to someone like Kissinger yet Shavit never bothers to ask why Israeli national leaders like Sharon are having secret meetings with a non-elected government official.
Shavit continues: "That's the reason why Sharon is now ready to stretch the internal Kissinger logic to its ultimate conclusion - he has decided to grant the Palestinians a state in the interim period and to evacuate 17 settlements even without a peace agreement. In these two respects, Sharon is more Rabin than Rabin. He has become the most outstanding proponent of the interim arrangement school and he is ready to go all the way with his pessimist-pragmatic approach."
According to senior political analyst and leading op-ed writer for Haaretz, what is really happening is that Sharon is getting educated in international diplomacy and as the aging chubby Israeli Premier gets older- he is finally starting to grasp what the 85 year old Kissinger has been telling him all along- that the best way to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict is to take the "pessimist-pragmatic" approach. Sharon isn't doing what he is doing because he "hates Arabs" or because he is a "right wing hawk", which is what the rest of Shavit's newspaper has been telling the Israeli public for the past 30 years- but because he is "taking lessons in international diplomacy from his mentor, Henry Kissinger".
Why Sharon is guiding Israel's political destiny according to advice given to him from Kissinger- who hasn't held public office in a western democracy for more than thirty years- is never part of the discussion on the editorial pages of Israel's leading periodical.
It is for that reason that Israel's mainstream media coverage of why the Middle East conflict exists is credible.
And while the reporters are busy parroting what the spokespersons for the national politicians tell them, they are missing the real important stuff – the arms deals, the pressure to keep oil prices low and oil priced in dollars, etc. No wonder few people are aware of these aspects of the Middle East conflict.
The control of the region’s oil supplies and the sale of weapons by western nations to Middle East dictators are not issues because the mainstream media do not report on these subjects.
As the famous Canadian media commentator Marshal McLuhan put it: “The message is the media.”
In the Middle East conflict, the message is whatever the mainstream media decide the public should be told. Clearly, public perceptions are being manipulated. The only reason why most people believe that the absence of a Palestinian state is the cause of instability in the region is because the media has instilled that perception in their minds. If there were no Palestinian state for another 50 years, the Middle East could still attain stability and prosperity. The conflict is more in our heads than on the ground.
If Jews and Arabs want to live in peace with each other, they must expunge the mainstream media from their regional conflict instead of trying to convince the press corps that “we’re right and they’re wrong.”
The function of Oil, Weapons, and the US Dollar in the Middle East conflict
There is a view in the mainstream media that assumes the only concern the western nations have in the Middle East is for Arabs and Jews to kiss and make up. Yet after all their years of being involved in peace making, how come there isn’t any peace?
Because peace is not good business for them. What is important is maintaining the supremacy of the US dollar in world markets, recycling petrodollars to earn profits from the oil industry, and the sale of military products to the oil-rich Arab regimes. The unwritten agreement that the US has with the ruler of the oil states is that the oil will be priced in US dollars, and in return the US will protect them.
While CNN never discusses this issue, it is imperative for the strength of the US dollar that oil is priced only in US currency. When oil is sold in US dollars, countries around the world need to maintain a certain level of US currency in the reserves of their central bank to finance their oil purchases. OPEC is a cartel created by the US specifically for this purpose.
At the end of 2000, the Bank for International Settlements estimates world dollar reserves of $1.45 trillion, or 76% of the total world reserves of $1.09 trillion.
If oil was priced in other currencies, most countries would have little need to stockpile dollars, and thus all the currency the US government has printed over the years would be of value only in the US. This would flood the country with dollars and cause huge inflation. In addition, current and future trade and current account deficits would no longer be financed by the foreigners who purchase American Treasury bills and other US-dominated debt instruments. In other words, the US would no longer be an economic superpower.
In a brilliant essay on this subject entitled A Macroeconomic and Geostrategic Analysis of the Unspoken Truth, economist William Clark wrote in January 2003:
“The Federal Reserve’s greatest nightmare is that OPEC will switch from a dollar standard to a euro standard. Iraq actually made this switch. The real reason the Bush administration wants a puppet government in Iraq – or more importantly, the reason why the corporate-military-industrial network wants a puppet government in Iraq – is so that it will revert back to a dollar standard.”
Others have come to the same conclusion as this issue relates to other regions in the world. . On June 18th, 2003, the publisher of the Venezuelan economic on-line journal, Veheadline.com, Roy Carson, wrote:
"A move by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias to replace the US$ with the €uro is seen as upsetting Washington more than when Iraq's Saddam Hussein started using the €uro for oil transactions last November ... precipitating the US-led action to invade Iraq. CIA and other intelligence organizations, including Britain's MI5, now fear that the next step is that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is about to switch to €uros ... the immediate effect would be a massive devaluation, perhaps sparking of domino-effect devaluations worldwide in US$-related foreign reserves and foreign debt calculations. With a massive budget deficit, the United States is running scared of latest intelligence that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is on the brink of converting to the €uros and the opinion held by many OPEC ministers is that the conversion is an inevitability ... the only question left is WHEN? Arab sources claim that €uro conversion across the Middle and Far East is a rational step to counteract the United States' capacity to "wage further illegal wars (a.k.a. State-sponsored terrorism)" around the world. A significant step in this direction is that Iran is contemplating switching to the €uro and, as a result, is the latest object of United States undiplomatic interference ... an intelligence sources says "they are stimulating opposition forces, making covert threats ... the next step is destabilization and quasi-liberation warfare under the pretext of promoting US-style democracy but essentially aimed at maintaining the US dollar as a global transaction currency."
Says researcher/writer David Lindorff: “When it comes to oil, a dictator is ‘friendly’ to the US when he’s willing to do business, and he’s ‘a mortal enemy’ when he’s not. That has been the driving force behind national security policy, especially since the fall of the Soviet Union. Oil and national security policy were all submerged in the context of the Cold War. But once that Cold War collapsed, now it’s a no-holds-barred battle for oil globally.”
The goal of the foreigners is to keep the oil flowing to western economies at a relatively low price so as not to harm the profits the elite oil companies earn from refining and marketing petroleum products, and ensuring that this oil remains priced in US dollars. To do that, foreigners have to prop up undemocratic and corrupt regimes (i.e., Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Oman, UAE, Qatar and Bahrain) so they will continue to serve foreign interests. In return, these countries keep the price of oil relatively low, keep the oil priced in US dollars, and never move upstream in the petroleum production process so as to compete with foreign oil companies.
The other “unwritten law” is that a certain amount of the oil revenues earned by the oil-rich states must be spent on the purchase of weapons. In 2002, Arab governments in the Middle East spent $52 billion on their military forces, of which $18 billion was for purchases from foreign countries. Arab countries devote 8%-11% of their national incomes to defense (23% of all government expenditures). (Yahya Sadowski, Guns or Butter, p.3). In the past decade, Saudi Arabia alone has spent over $100 billion on weapons. According to the Federation of American Scientists, in the decade after the Gulf War (1991-2001) the US sold more than $43 billion worth of weapons, equipment and military construction projects to Saudi Arabia, and $16 billion more to Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. Saudi Arabia alone imports about $15 billion worth of weapons each year.
Instead of using this wealth for building an economic infrastructure throughout the region, it is wasted on arms. The rest of the oil revenues (after basic government expenditures are met) are deposited in western banks as the private property of the corrupted Arab leaders. This benefits both the leaders and the large western banking interests. This process is called “recycling petrodollars.” As much of that wealth winds up in banks controlled by the foreign elite, this is another way that foreigners profit from the continued tension in the Middle East.
Another activity of the foreigners is to sell massive amounts of military hardware and technology to Arab dictators like Saddam Hussein and then, years later, when the dictator doesn’t do what the foreigners want, the dictator becomes “a threat to regional stability” and an expensive (to the public, not to the arms industry) military invasion is suddenly required to contain him. When the smoke clears, nobody points a finger at the foreigners, accusing them of arming the dictator in the first place.
As no Arab country has a military industry, all weapons in the region are imported. If the western nations were truly interested in bringing peace to the Middle East, they would have placed a moratorium on arms sales to the region decades ago. Instead, they sell tens of billions worth of military hardware every year to the unstable regimes of the region. So the entities that are sending “special envoys” to “help the two sides make peace” are at the same time the main providers of weapons to the region.
Somehow, this contradiction is never exposed.
What function does Israel serve?
The foreigners need a local, regional conflict presented in “moral terms” so that the peoples of the region will not pay attention to their real interests in the Middle East, such as oil and arms sales. That reason alone – considering how vital maintaining the status quo is to the foreigners – is enough for them to keep the conflict simmering.
Now, if you want to create and sustain a conflict, you need two sides. Israel is one of the participants, and that is its major role as far as the foreigners are concerned. This explains why, no matter how angry the US may get at Israel, it will never weaken Israel’s geo-strategic position and put the Arabs in a position where they could actually defeat Israel. It isn’t concern for Israel’s safety that motivates the western nations; it is their concern for the safety of their own vested interests.
Despite what Israelis and American Jews may believe, US aid is not given to Israel because the US identifies with the Jewish state or has pledged to safeguard Israel’s security. That is merely another cover story.
As for why the US provides military aid to Israel, Middle East scholar, Professor Stephen Zunes of the University of San Francisco, claims: “this aid is little more than an American subsidy to U.S. arms manufacturers,” considering that the majority of it must be used to buy weapons from the U.S. Moreover, arms to Israel increase demand for weaponry in the Arab states. The Israelis announced back in 1991 that they supported the idea of a freeze in Middle East arms transfers. It was the United States that rejected it.
Explaining the function of the aid America grants Israel, Zunes contends:
“In the fall of 1993, when many had high hopes for peace, 78 senators wrote to former president Bill Clinton insisting that aid to Israel remain ‘at current levels.’ Their ‘only reason’ was the ‘massive procurement of sophisticated arms by Arab states.’ The letter neglected to mention that 80% of those arms to Arab countries came from the U.S. I’m not denying for a moment the power of AIPAC [the American Israel Public Affairs Committee], the pro-Israel lobby, and other similar groups,” Zunes said. “Yet the Aerospace Industry Association which promotes these massive arms shipments… is even more influential. This association has given two times more money to campaigns than all of the pro-Israel groups combined. Its force on Capitol Hill, in terms of lobbying, surpasses that of even AIPAC. The general thrust of U.S. policy would be pretty much the same even if AIPAC didn’t exist.”
Zunes admits this is a complex issue, and says he does not want to sound “conspiratorial,” but asked us to imagine what Palestinian industriousness, Israeli technology, and Arabian oil money would do to transform the Middle East. “What would that mean to American arms manufacturers? Oil companies? Pentagon planners?”
Another Middle East analyst, Dr. Musil Shehadeh, points out:
“Israel is a reliable ally when compared to the unstable Arab regimes, while the wars in the region would keep the US military factories operating at full tilt.” (“Who Controls Whom,” The Palestine Chronicle)
An economic solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict
If the foreigners’ plan is to keep the Middle East conflict going, it is logical to assume that they are not interested in the creation of a stable and prosperous Palestinian state which would create the conditions necessary for peaceful co-existence between Jews and Arabs. So it’s safe to assume that, as long as the foreign interests hold sway, a Palestinian state will never happen… purported destinations on a “road map” notwithstanding..
As they – and not Israel – are in control of what happens in the Middle East,
how can the Palestinians are helped?
how can the Palestinians are helped?
Let’s be honest. No political solution to the conflict will succeed if it doesn’t result in a better socio-economic life for the Palestinians. The Oslo Accords neglected economics, and thus failed. If peace is going to take hold, economics has to take precedence over politics, not vice-versa. Economic prosperity has to be created before political stability can prevail.
Starting with the assumption that the lack of a Palestinian state is the reason the conflict continues keeps the real problems from being addressed. The fact is, Arabs can live under Israeli rule, and have, to their great benefit. The million-strong Israeli Arab population is a prime example. And even a peaceful yet indirect relationship with Israel bears fruit; the West Bank and Gaza populations never lived as well or have had their standard of living improve as rapidly as between 1967 and 1987. The worst economic conditions they have experienced in the past 35 years have come as a result of being ruled by the Palestinian Authority/PLO.
Thus it should not be automatically assumed that the best solution for the Palestinians is a Palestinian state. Even if on believes this should be the goal, however, the goal will never be realized unless the economic infrastructure is built first, and that will take time – a decade or two at least. The State of Israel could not have been declared in the late 1940s if the economic and industrial infrastructure hadn’t been created over the previous 25 years. For some reason, those who advocate the establishment of a Palestinian state never bother to deal with the question of where the meat on the state’s bones will come from. Without it, a newly-created Palestinian political entity won’t last long, because the radicals – from the Left or from the religious camps – will have the power to challenge the legitimacy of the ruling regime due to its inability to create prosperity.
Independent states don’t come on silver platters. Unless the Palestinians can first build the infrastructure for an independent entity, they will have no true independence, period. No amount of rhetoric can replace the need for economic development.
What should be done?
While the idea of Palestinians expressing their political aspirations via Jordan has always been considered by pro-Arab voices to be a “racist” view requiring forced relocation, that doesn’t have to be the case.
Let’s all admit that 100% of Jordan does not rightfully belong to the Hashemites. Their claim to the land was even weaker in the 1920s, when the British installed them in power, but even today, with 65% of the population being Palestinian, why doesn’t Jordan offer the “West Bank” Palestinians at least half of the country to house their political infrastructure? Why shouldn’t West Bank Arabs be encouraged to join political parties based in Amman? Why shouldn’t West Bankers use their Jordanian citizenship to further their interests? The West Bankers were part of Jordan before 1967; why shouldn’t they be associated with that political entity?
By the same token, those Israeli Arabs who do not want to identify with Israel should be given citizenship in Jordan, and be given the right to express their political aspirations there rather than in the Knesset.
None of this implies that West Bankers or Israeli Arabs must move to Jordan. But Israeli Arabs should at least have the option to vote in the Jordanian elections or the Israeli elections. One would think that the Palestinians themselves – those in Jordan, the West Bank, and Israel – would be the first to back such a scheme, and pressure King Hussein to finally “do the right thing.” A political union and a market of five million Palestinian and Jordanian Arabs could create a very viable, peaceful political entity.
The only “problem” is that Jordan would thus contribute to solving the Arab-Israeli conflict and improving the socio-economic conditions of the Israeli and West Bank Arabs. If the foreigners weren’t doing everything they can to keep the Israeli-Palestinian conflict alive, this relationship between Jordan and the Israeli and West Bank Arabs would have occurred naturally.
If the foreigners only stopped interfering with the region by corrupting Arab and Israeli national leaders, this would happen, and the Arab-Israeli conflict would be solved.
What must come next?
Having solved the issue of citizenship in the manner suggested above, West Bank Arabs would then need a better socio-economic infrastructure: roads, schools, community centers, hospitals, factories, telecommunications facilities, etc. All of this will take 10-20 years, if not longer. It took the Jews that long, and they began with a lot more going for them than the Palestinian population currently has. Let’s not be naïve in thinking that the Palestinians today can do in a shorter time what the Jews did in the early part of the last century. The Palestinians have suffered enough from deluded thinking; now is the time to start thinking about what can realistically be achieved to better their lives.
I suggest that they be allowed and encouraged to start building that infrastructure, and leave the issue of statehood and the “right of return” aside for now. Only when that step is complete will the time be ripe to discuss whether an independent Palestinian state or an autonomous entity affiliated with Israel and/or Jordan is the way to go, and how many refugees the new West Bank and Gazan economy can absorb.
While many pro-Palestinian voices will say, “no, a Palestinian state has to be created for economic development to occur,” they are ignorant of the current economic conditions on the ground. Until these voices that support the Palestinians stop blaming Israel and point a finger or two at the low quality of Palestinian political leadership when it comes to social and economic development, the standard of living in the West Bank and Gaza will not improve. That leadership failed dismally when it had the chance, from 1993 to 2000, to improve the lives of the Palestinians. Whether a new leadership would do any better is not the issue. What is important is that all Palestinians realize they have been shortchanged by their own leaders.
A new commercial, economic entity should be created to raise capital from private and public sources, to make buy, sell, or whatever helps build infrastructure for the West Bank and Gaza. It would have a board of directors and strategic advisers (not chosen by political affiliation, but by qualifications), most of whom would be Israeli Arabs and West Bank Palestinians. While there are currently a number of “Palestinian welfare organizations,” all are part and parcel of the PLO terrorist leadership, and thus suffer from the corruption of that entity.
While this may be wishful thinking, as most people reading this will say that nothing can be done in the West Bank or Gaza without the PA’s approval, then at least we know what the problem is and how to solve it: tell the PLO/PA to step aside and let someone else do the job.
The underlying goal of Palestinians Inc. would be to offer shares to Palestinians and Israeli Arabs, wherever they may live. To become a common shareholder you must only share the organization’s basic principles and vision, which is to help the Palestinian people prosper. Membership in this new commercial/economic entity would be reserved exclusively for Israeli Arabs, West Bank and Gaza Arabs, East Bank Palestinians, and Palestinians from everywhere else in the world. And in order to ensure that this new corporation remains free of the “pneumonia” which conflict with Israel would entail, before a share is allocated a pledge would be made to support peaceful co-existence with Israel.
What type of investments and assets are we talking about? Perhaps a Palestinian cellular license awarded at low cost with the promise to raise capital in order to build a proper cellular infrastructure in the region. Perhaps a private radio or TV channel created by a wealthy Palestinian in Detroit in order to help his people. Perhaps, with a grant from an international aid agency, a new factory could be established in Jenin which produces construction material. The owner would be Palestinians Inc., and any profits would be turned over to the management of this enterprise. Any profits left over at the end of the year would be distributed among the shareholders.
It may be that Palestinians from London would use this new entity as a vehicle to export unique arts and crafts from Palestinian artists and sell them in Europe. There could be a publishing venture whereby a grant from the European Union is administered via Palestinians Inc. so that a truly free press is able to develop. Palestinians Inc. could own the rights to establish a string of McDonalds, petrol stations, and Blockbuster Video stores throughout the East Bank, West Bank and the Israeli Arab sectors of Israel. Whatever deals it does and whatever profits it earns will be for the benefit of the shareholders, just as it is in any corporation that is in business to create wealth.
Under this arrangement, Israel would retain control over the external borders for at least 10 years – until economic development creates a stable environment, thereby marginalizing radical organizations and terrorism. The Israeli government would thus do for the Palestinians what the British did for the Jewish community in Palestine between 1921 and 1945 – create an umbrella of security under which to develop the social and industrial infrastructure that enable the creation of an independent state. Once the violence stops and people go back to work, stability will return and a period of rebuilding and reconstruction would begin.
But it is essential that such an entity remain free of the corruption that is so endemic among other Arab states; otherwise, nothing will change for the Palestinians. The solution I have proposed will never work as long this economic entity remains under the control of the current dictatorship in the West Bank and Gaza.
Another important aspect of this solution is that the Israeli Arabs would be the natural vanguard, as they have ties to Israel. The Israeli Arabs would thus take over the role performed by Israel for nearly 30 years, and become the “senior trade partner” with the West Bank and Gaza. It will be easier for the Palestinians to receive services from the Israeli Arabs rather than from Israel, even if those services ultimately come as a result of Israeli know-how.
For the Israeli Arabs, all this new economic activity will be welcome, considering how educated they are and how few white-color jobs there are for them in Israel. If just $5 billion of economic activity was stimulated by this new model in the first three years! Think of what a few billion in public and private investment could do to cheer the spirits of the Palestinians! How great it would be to see Israeli Arabs working these issues out with Palestinian Arabs. There would be no need to return to the days when the Israeli Civil Administration ruled over the Palestinians; the Israeli Arabs can provide all the services the Palestinian population needs. Under the peace I am describing, military rule over the Palestinians by Israel can end.
Why this approach could work
The founders of America came up with the idea that the state should provide a small number of services, such as basic security, international customs and duties, coinage. In return for pledging a common security and common goals, those who believed in the new form of government benefited from being able to develop and prosper in peace.
The concept is the same here. The Israeli Arabs are being asked to take the West Bankers by the hand and create an economic institution that promotes trade, commerce and deal making between the Israeli Arab sector, the West Bank, the East Bank, and Gaza. That entity will be owned by anyone who “pledges allegiance” to its goals. In return, they will become instant owners in this enterprise – which over time could be worth tens of billions of dollars.
Can you imagine how things would change if people were making money and jobs were plentiful, with brand new infrastructure projects popping up everywhere? Why should it matter if the Palestinians have a state or not, if they see their lives are improving? Israel can provide political stability without having to beat up or kill Palestinians. From 1967 to 1987 the Palestinians may have been under “Israeli military occupation.” but boy were they ever advancing! In that 20-year period there were few if any military problems between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs. Thus nobody can tell me regional strife and conflict is inevitable. It isn’t, because Jews and Arabs have lived together even when there was no Palestinian sovereignty.
What makes anyone think the existing Palestinian ruling class is capable of creating an independent and prosperous Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace with Israel? The fact is that the Palestinians have failed on every level to build an infrastructure for their own political entity. While this may be unpleasant for some in the Palestinian world and their supporters to hear, it’s still the simple truth. Israel and the Israeli Arabs can help them create that infrastructure in order to raise their living standards and improve their quality of life.
While many will say “but the Palestinians would never accept that,” my response is “so what?” Some may not. Many may defy Hamas and Arafat’s screeching and apply to own a piece of this new economic institution, because whoever has a share in it could be richer in the future. I have faith in the magic formula that says higher standards of living diminish the attraction of radical rhetoric.
Together, Jews and Arabs can solve the Middle East conflict
If Jews and Arabs understood why there are still embroiled in this century-old conflict – who created the conflict in the first place, and who wants to keep it festering – then the power the Foreign Elite (FE) would dissipate.
Once both peoples realize the game that is being played with their lives (i.e. divide and rule), the foreigners will no longer find advantage in corrupting the region’s leaders. Arabs and Jews need to realize they are not each other’s number one enemy, and that they have more in common with each other than they do with the foreigners. The primary goal should be to get the foreigners’ fingers out of the Middle East pie.
If both sides to this conflict are serious about ending the tragedy, they must begin by realizing who gains the most from the ongoing instability.
All the Arab oil revenues that should have gone toward economic and social development have been used instead to enrich foreign weapons manufacturers. Instead of receiving the maximum benefit from the sale of their natural resources, OPEC has kept prices at a minimum because this is what the foreigners want. Instead of being invested in job-producing projects throughout the Middle East, these funds wind up in Treasury Bills and other US-based financial instruments.
For the foreigners, exploiting the Arabs and keeping the region in turmoil is very profitable. Israel gains nothing from this aspect of the Middle East conflict.
So the next time foreigners appear with yet another “roadmap” that will supposedly guide the region toward peace, perhaps we should first ask ourselves how they can be so committed to finding a peaceful solution while continuing to sell weapons to undemocratic regimes in the region.
Both peoples have the power to keep the foreigners from interfering. The way to do it is by negating the influence of the mainstream media – the instrument that the foreigners use to weasel their way into the conflict in the first place. The foreigners exploit the media, which report on every minute detail of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. If they didn’t keep the conflict in the public eye, it would soon be forgotten, and would eventually end.
Of course, that isn’t the foreigners’ plan; they need to have a never-ending conflict so that nobody will look at their other deals in the region. To this end, Israel has to be supported, but not made strong enough to defeat the Arabs outright. The Arabs need to be presented to the Israelis as a threat, while never being allowed to actually become one. It doesn’t benefit the foreigners for either Israel or the Arabs to be victorious; they need the two sides in constant battle so that the other agendas they have on the table can proceed without public scrutiny.
Both sides to the conflict have to realize that the foreigners are able to extend the conflict by keeping the media focused on the “morality issues.” Instead of the media presenting plans to rehabilitate refugees, reduce arms sales to the region, and develop local industries to move the petrochemical industry upstream, all the reporting serves to focus blame on one side or the other.
Take United States Congressman Ron Paul, for example. If he were in charge of America’s Middle East policy, the conflict would come to an end.
He offers hope when he states:
“The tired assertion that America ‘supports democracy’ in the Middle East is increasingly transparent. It was false 50 years ago, when we
supported and funded the hated Shah of Iran to prevent the nationalization of Iranian oil, and its false today when we back an unelected military dictator in Pakistan, just to name two examples. If honest popular elections were held throughout the Middle East tomorrow, the people in most countries would elect religious fundamentalist leaders hostile to the United States. Cliché or not, the Arab street really doesn't like America, so we should stop the charade about democracy and start pursuing a coherent foreign policy that serves America’s long-term interests.
“We should stop the endless game of playing faction against faction, and recognize that buying allies doesn’t work. We should curtail the heavy militarization of the area by ending our disastrous foreign aid payments. We should stop propping up dictators and putting band-aids on festering problems. We should understand that our political and military involvement in the region creates far more problems than it solves. All Americans will benefit – both in terms of their safety and their pocketbooks – if we pursue a coherent, neutral foreign policy of non-interventionism, free trade, and self-determination in the Middle East.”
Unfortunately, the history of American involvement in the region does not reflect the principles held by Paul.