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Jews after the Arab Revolt

Posted By Obadiah Shoher On June 28, 2011 @ 8:50 pm In Islam | 2 Comments

The talk of returning to the 1948 borders has a grim irony to it: Israel’s current situation is worse than it was then.

The Israeli will to fight has deteriorated to nil, while the Arabs have been heated up by decades of anti-Zionist propaganda. The ultra-expensive IDF has very little staying power, perhaps no more than two weeks—a far cry from the protracted military effort of 1947-1948. Arab armies are sufficiently primitive to sustain themselves for months. In 1948, Iran was practically neutral; today it is a major enemy.

Obama’s ouster of Mubarak removed the bulwark that had prevented the ascent of the Muslim Brotherhood. In Egypt, the Brotherhood will win the elections, either directly or through its nominally independent proxies. In Gaza, the Brotherhood already rules through Hamas, which also subdued Fatah in the West Bank through the unity deal. In Jordan, the Brotherhood and Hamas control a parliamentary majority, and the king has promised that parliament will form the next government. The Brotherhood is strong in Sudan, thus linking the Mediterranean with Africa’s Al Qaeda and the Iranian orbit.

Iran virtually controls Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. Though Hezbollah may become more independent from Iran now that the terrorist group heads the Lebanese government and has its own sources of income, it is unlikely to abandon Iran, which is its only diplomatic sponsor.

The Muslim Brotherhood and Iran are linked in Gaza, Sudan, and Egypt. Though their interests clash in Syria and will eventually clash in Egypt as well, both sides are pragmatic enough to cooperate against Israel. The Camp David peace treaty won’t hamper the Brotherhood’s efforts: it can simply re-militarize Sinai, forcing Israel to freeze its peaceful relations.

Saudi Arabia remains the only bulwark against the Brotherhood’s dominance, but Saudi policy is extremely capricious as it depends on the whims of the royals. An Iranian proxy war in the Saudi Shiite oil-fields region might prompt the Saudis to embrace isolationism. The Saudi alliance with Pakistan for nukes and manpower is unstable because Pakistan is vulnerable to takeover by its own Islamists, whose natural ally is Iran.

The clerical regimes of Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood won’t last long. In the modern world, people prefer consumerism to transcendent values. Yet, Muslim societies will have to pass three stages—revolutionary euphoria, increasingly fundamentalist Islam, and nationalism—before settling into the milieu of nihilistic Western values. Even then, the clerical regimes will only be overthrown by revolutions. The entire Middle East will continue to be very hostile toward Israel for at least another forty years. Unlike six decades ago, they have substantial armies with advanced American and Russian weaponry, and will soon have nukes.

Israel has few options. Ad hoc alliances, such as with Saudi Arabia, can be useful, as can saber-rattling about our association with America (a paper tiger itself). The propaganda of sex, consumerism, and atheism in Muslim societies is useful against their Islamic rulers. A publicly adopted doctrine of the first use of nuclear weapons might boost Israeli deterrence. But overall, surviving in such circumstances would take a miracle, which Judaism bars us from counting upon.

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