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Tue, July 2, 2013 | RubinReports | By Barry Rubin

US Secretary of State John Kerry (right) meets with Israeli President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem on June 28, 2013. (Photo: AFP)

 

Here’s the story of the Middle East and of U.S. policy over decades in a few words in a headline from an article in the New York Times by Mark Landler and Jodi Rudoren: “Chaos in Middle East Grows as the U.S. Focuses on Israel.”

I’d call it: “Kerry Shuttles as the Middle East Burns.”

Once again the United States is too busy trying to get the Holy Grail of Arab-Israeli peace while every country is in turmoil. Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Iran, etc., are in dangerous crises. Yet the White House stays wake at night not about Benghazi but about fantasizing on dream-boundaries in Jerusalem. Once again, U.S. policy is trying to free Palestinian terrorists convicted of murder while tens of thousands of innocent people are being killed or imprisoned.

Not only is peace unobtainable because of Palestinian intransigence, but the powerful Islamist and nationalist forces don’t want peace. Peace with Israel would stir up more unrest and violence. Any Arab leaders who made peace would face overthrow and assassination. Everyone in the Middle East knows this; it often seems that nobody in Washington does. And Tony Blair, the negotiator for the Quartet — U.S., EU, UN, Russia — has been to Jerusalem 75 times in a decade with nothing to show for it.

Here’s another headline from the Washington Post: “Ëgypt’s Protesters find a new villain: the U.S. Ambassador.”

I’d rewrite this one as: “Ëgypt’s Protesters find a new villain: the U.S. President.”

In other words by helping to overthrow a U.S. ally, Obama bought 2.5 years of supposed popularity followed possibly by massive bloodshed along with a massive expression of a triumphalist anti-American, anti-Christian, antisemitic, anti-woman, anti-gay dictatorial movement.

Is it impossible to wake up, find a realpolitic, anti-Islamist strategy? Where are the experts to expose this emperor’s new clothes game?

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His next book, “Nazis, Islamists and the Making of the Modern Middle East,” written with Wolfgang G. Schwanitz, will be published by Yale University Press in January 2014. His latest book is “Israel: An Introduction,” also published by Yale. Thirteen of his books can be read and downloaded for free at the website of the GLORIA Center including “The Arab States and the Palestine Conflict,” “The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East” and “The Truth About Syria.” His blog is Rubin Reports. His original articles are published at PJMedia.


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About the Region, Islam and cultural totalitarianism...

    The resources of the country [Western Palestine] are still virgin soil and will be developed by the Jewish immigrants. One of the most amazing things until recent times was that the Palestinian used to leave his country, wandering over the high seas in every direction. His native soil could not retain a hold on him, though his ancestors had lived on it for 1,000 years. At the same time we have seen the Jews from foreign countries streaming to Palestine from Russia, Germany, Austria, Spain, America. The cause of causes could not escape those who had the gift of a deeper insight. They knew that the country was for its original sons [abna’ihi-l-asliyin], for all their differences, a sacred and beloved homeland. The return of these exiles [jaliya] to their homeland will prove materially and spiritually an experimental school for their brethren who are with them in the fields, factories, trades, and in all things connected with toil and labour.

    — Sharif al-Husayn Ibn Ali al-Husseini, Article published in “al-Qiblah” (the daily newspaper of Mecca al-Mukarramah) on March 23, 1918

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