Samson Blinded: A Machiavellian Perspective on the Middle East Conflict
[ Superficial Arab morality ] [ Live more important than land ]


Israel can have peaceful relations with Arabs

The other Arabs do not care about Israeli-Palestinian relations

Arab countries need not have peaceful relations with Israel

Israeli interests and policy in relations with the world of Islam

The relation of Arab mentality and discontent

People tend to respect and even enjoy those who defeat but do not oppress them. Israel should consider that as she insults the Arab world by oppressing Palestinians instead of defeating Arabs. To say that Arabs are totally different from Westerners is incorrect. Westerners show similar cruelty and treachery at times, but Arabs are cruel and treacherous now, and that makes the difference between the West’s current world-view and theirs.

The ever-growing disparity between Arab and Western capabilities also angers Arabs. While a free and enterprising people would have sought to bridge the gap by raising themselves, Muslims—rather like socialists—try to lower others. That is the source of Islamic aggression and terrorism. Unable to achieve economic dominance, Muslims contend in war. Losing in conventional war against tiny Israel, Islamists resort to terrorism.

The struggle adds apocalyptic dimensions to the Muslim’s self-image: they did not blame God for past economic failures, so the current abundance of petro-dollars is no proof of his favor. Early military successes established the truth of Mohammed’s teaching in his followers’ eyes. Arab failure on the battlefield today comes dangerously close to demonstrating that Islam is exhausted. In the hope that more devotion and self-sacrifice will incur divine favor, Muslims preach all-out war against the whole world. Such hysteria cannot last long, especially in the world of MTV values. The next generation of Arabs, like the communists before them, will likely succumb to Western mores, thus obviating the struggle against Israel. If Israel holds on a few decades more, she can win without war.

Israel can have peaceful relations with Arabs

In the end, both Israelis and Arabs need peace and normal relations with each other. That is not impossible. Many states become friends after protracted hostilities, the United States and England or France and Germany for example, but first the shooting war must stop and time pass. If Israelis and Arabs had a common enemy, the waiting period would shorten drastically, as post-World War II politics demonstrated, when Germany and France became allies and the Soviets and Western Europe became enemies. Since, however, the only likely candidate would be Christian, ergo Western, taking on such an enemy for the sake of accommodating the Arabs makes no sense for Israel.

The other Arabs do not care about Palestinians

To explain their position to the outside world, Arabs invented a reason for a non-peace solution: the Palestinian problem. That is ludicrous, since the other Arabs hate Palestinians[16] and ostracize Palestinian emigrants settled in their countries. The Palestine Liberation Organization fomented nationalist unrest and otherwise meddled in Jordan, Lebanon, and Tunisia, though even that is forgotten with the demand for a Palestinian state, not even in question in the early 1970s when Anwar Sadat made peace with Israel. Minor Arab contributions to the Palestinian cause show solidarity on the surface but perpetuate the Israeli-Palestinian war in substance.

Arabs need no peaceful relations with Israel

In a notable but commonly ignored example, Egypt concluded a peace treaty with Israel in return for repatriated territory. Other Arabs have no reason to seek peace with Israel. They do not need peace for economic reasons. They lose nothing by preserving the armistice. Israel does not threaten them. Why do they need peace?

From the Arab point of view, Israel looks weak, repeatedly asking for peace. Israel ignores the Arab mentality. Arabs must be forced to the peace table. Israel should turn the tables and change the rules. Israel does not need an armistice now. Israel should abandon it and tell the Arabs they have three months to negotiate and resettle the Israeli Palestinians or hostilities will resume.

Israeli interests and policy in relations with the Arab world

What are Israel’s interests? Defining them too vaguely eventually leads Israel to one of two extremes. If Israel overextends herself, Israel will go abroad “in search of distant monsters” and eventually bankrupt herself in foreign operations. If Israel does not guard her interests adequately, Israel’s threat of deterrence will deteriorate and provoke more enemy attacks. Although Israel is tempting to insist on full normalization of relations with Israel's neighbors, that leads nowhere, since the notion is vague. Considering intra-Arab tariff agreements and preference policies, Israel will be drawn into endless disputes about opening Arab markets, which will always be more open to other Arabs, and trade relations with Israel will remain less than normal. A customs union with Israel is unacceptable to Arabs, whose weak economies would be swamped by Israeli exports, and Israel would not welcome an influx of Arab Gastarbeiter. Opening foreign markets is neither unprofitable nor uncommon, witness Great Britain’s relentless pursuit of commercial interests by war. Indeed, Britain would not have allowed a boycott such as the Arabs' on Israel. The proper policy, however, seems to be laissez-faire. Israel cannot dictate Arab economic policies and preferences That leaves two practical definitions of national interest: war—no Islamic military or terrorist territorial violations of Israel—and economic—no discrimination against Israeli companies compared to other non-Muslims. Economic benefits likely do not justify the expenses of a large-scale war, especially since the Arab markets are relatively minor and oil is available elsewhere. This reasoning, to be sure, refers only to protracted war. An overwhelming initial strike and the establishment of local police enforcement without Israeli boots on the ground or the demand for tribute supported by the threat of aerial attack with weapons of mass destruction make sense while the Arabs possess oil. That, however, means crushing all resistance. Israel's model is Roman punitive expeditions, not the American involvement in Iraq.

Should Israelis decide that economic interests in small Arab markets justify maintaining standing Israel Defense Forces, that may become a proper objective. War threats to protect economic interests were common until the nineteenth century but usually from nations that needed standing armies anyway to control their empires. Maintaining Israel Defense Forces solely to promote economic interests in the Middle East is economically unjustifiable. The really large markets, however, usually belong to NATO members or affiliates, against whom Israel can hardly use force. The profit from such small markets would not pay the bill but would rather cost the Israeli economy its technological edge through addiction to low-end, low-profit, low-tech markets guaranteed by military power.

[16] This relation is two-way. Even given the background of Arab insouciance over the Russian incursion into Muslim Afghanistan, the Palestine Liberation Organization was the only Islamic organization to support the Soviets.