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 Israel Must Come to Terms With Islamist Reality in the Arab World

By Khalid Amayreh

in occupied Jerusalem

PIC, Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, December 8, 2011

The Arab world is not what it used to be. Popular revolutions fed by accumulated indignation over tyranny and corruption have already swept away several Arab despots who long repressed the masses, resisted political reform and even sought to bequeath power to their children and families.

There is no doubt that Israel, the apartheid state that is seeking the extirpation of the Palestinian people from their ancestral homeland, is one of the main losers of the Arab Spring.

As things look now, Islamic elements seem to have a greater opportunity to shape the political face of the Arab world, probably for many years to come.

Recent elections in Tunisia, Morocco, and probably Egypt have shown the Islamists are favored by the masses more than other secular, liberal and even nationalist groups.

It is hoped that the Islamists' march toward freedom, liberty and justice will continue until the new envisaged Arab world materializes into reality.

As said above, Israel has many reasons to worry as a result of the Arab Spring. Decades of Israeli arrogance, aggression and provocations have created a huge reservoir of hostility and hatred against the Jewish state.

Murderous acts, genocidal onslaughts and brazenly offensive and oppressive measures by Israel against the Palestinians and Lebanese peoples helped shape a nefarious and Satanic portrait for the Zionist state in the minds of hundreds of millions of Arabs. It is therefore hard to foresee any real sympathy by the Islamists toward a state that has long viewed them as children of a lesser God, whose rights can be trampled upon, and whose lives are expendable.

Unlike the defunct regimes, the Islamists are going to be answerable to the masses. Many observers argue the Islamists will be under immense pressure from the Arab Main Street to respond "adequately" to Israel provocations. Israel is notorious for being a provocative state par excellance, and the Islamists will have to demonstrate that they are "different."

The departure from the old ways of Mubarak and ilk will not necessarily manifest itself through rash, uncalculated or dramatic acts against the Jewish state. The Islamists know better than committing blunders that might rock their boat at such a crucial juncture.

None the less, Islamist rulers would have to justify themselves vis--vis Israel, the country that long humiliated, tormented the masses and incited and continued to incite against everything Islamic.

For example, while most Egyptians are likely to oppose the nullification of the Camp David Peace Treaty, especially at "at this phase," there seems to be a solid public support in Egypt for making active abidance by the peace treaty contingent upon Israeli behavior and treatment of the Palestinians.

In any case, the connivance, normalization, obsequiousness and occasional collusion and good chemistry that characterized the fallen regimes will have to disappear.

Likewise, it will be harder and riskier, at least from the political view point, for Israel to continue running roughshod on the Palestinians without inviting genuine reactions from the Arab world. In this regard, Israel should expect stands, postures and attitudes that are far more radical than anything shown so far by the Palestinian leadership of Mahmoud Abbas in response to Israeli provocations.

We know that the Ramallah leadership often sought to enlist and manipulate the Arab league to help justify excessive Palestinian moderation such as adopting stances that are utterly unpopular among Palestinians.

This repulsive meandering, which helped the PA justify its weakness and subservience to Israel and its guardian-ally, the United States, is expected to disappear, though slowly, in the new Arab world.

Even erstwhile "moderate Arab leaderships" such as King Abdullah of Jordan, who is already coming under immense pressure at home to be tough with Israel, will have to show sensitivity and deference to the anti-Israeli feelings of his people. This could reach the degree of considering the Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty into a certain level of dormancy.

I understand that the Islamists may not be able to achieve the kind of miracles many overzealous Arabs expect them to, especially in the economic field.

However, The Islamists can compensate any failures in certain fields with resounding successes in other fields. Needless to say, if the Islamists succeed in forcing Israel to tone down its belligerency, bellicosity and aggression, they would conceivably leave a most favorite impression among the masses.

In brief, Israel ought to realize that a new era has begun in the Arab world. It is an era where peoples and countries won't accept compromising their honor and dignity. Now, since time immemorial, the rulers seem to be afraid of the people, which means Israel ability to recruit puppet regimes in the Arab world is finished.


Islamists need to be vigilant, not euphoric

By Khalid Amyreh in occupied Jerusalem

The sweeping victories Islamist and quasi-Islamist political parties have scored in recent elections in a number of Arab countries should grant the Arab masses a lot of confidence in pursuing their goals.

The Islamists have suffered so much and waited so long before reaching this point

However, this is not the time for indulging in euphoria because the enemies of Islam, especially Israel and her guardian-ally, the United States, are far from coming to terms with the outcome of Arab revolutions.

Israel, which tightly controls the politics and policies of the U.S., is beginning to sense the strategic transformation that is unfolding in the region.

And while some Israeli officials and commentators try desperately to put a good face on the "new situation", a majority of Israeli strategic planners do admit that the apartheid regime is indeed the biggest loser of the Arab spring.

Israel has been especially phobic and spasmodic about the triumph of the Islamists in Egypt , with Israeli and Zionist leaders privately and publicly pleading to Washington to try to scuttle or circumvent some of the foreseen implications of the Islamists ascending to the helm of power in Cairo .

According to reliable sources, Israel is now pressing the Obama administration to press the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) in Cairo to deny a prospective Islamist-dominated parliament certain sovereign powers, including appointing government, running Egypt's foreign relations, with particular emphasis on the "Israeli file."

The Obama administration is yet to elucidate its "preferences" vis--vis the upcoming regime in Cairo. But the initial indications don't seem auspicious, especially with American elections looming on the horizon.

The administration has opened a channel of contact with the Muslim Brotherhood, but some Islamist sources have referred to this feat as being "belated or even too late."

One Egyptian Islamist leader who spent many years in Husni Mubarak's jails and dungeons told this writer that the Americans "are trying to explore the landscape of the Islamist map.''

"I think the main problem hindering constructive relations between an Islamist-dominated or Islamist-influenced regime in Cairo lies with Israel and its powerful lobby in Washington.

"We, in the Brotherhood, have no inherent or intrinsic hostility toward America or the American people. Our main problem with America is America's pornographic support for to Israel. We simply can't have stable relations with the U.S. if it keeps up its obscene embrace of Israeli oppression and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.

"If we pursue the old policies of Mubarak, the Egyptian masses will forsake us in the next elections. We can't take people's support for granted."


The Islamists in Egypt and elsewhere in the Arab world must not fall prey to the illusion that the West, especially the US, is undergoing a moral conversion and will soon come to terms with the will of the people.

The will of the people must be defended and consolidated through a bitter and sustained struggle. Only when our foes, near and distant, despair of their ability to thwart or confiscate the will of the people will they stop their exploitation, plots and evil conspiracies to control the will of the masses to regain their sovereignty and dignity from erstwhile tyranny and subservience to foreign powers.

Hence, the victorious Islamist parties are strongly advised to form the broadest possible front with all sincere forces, Islamist and otherwise, in order to repulse and overcome possible pressures from familiar headquarters.

This solid front will shield the fledgling Islamic experiment from some of the avoidable and unnecessary harms, coming from anti-Islamic forces.

Yes, the Algerian scenario, whereby the army carries out a coup against the will of the people, is unlikely to repeat itself in Egypt now. But this doesn't mean at all that even more insidious scenarios to undercut the will of the people can be ruled out.

This is why the Islamists must see to it that any foreign pressure or interference that has the smell of trying to turn the wheels of time backward must be met with the will of the people of Egypt, not by the Islamists alone.

There is no doubt that the Israeli snake and its agents and mouthpieces will try, even ferociously and vociferously, to create a lot of distraction to any government in Cairo that adopts a pro-active stance against Israeli Nazism, especially the pornographic oppression meted out to the Palestinians.

Israel and her supporters are likely to make a big fuss about the sectarian issue, probably by manipulating some Coptic separatists and expatriates in the West. Israel might also try to keep an anti-Israel government in Egypt in a perpetual defensive position, responding to Israeli propaganda fireballs.

Hence, the new would-be rulers of Egypt must see to it that no free ammunition is provided to fuel Israeli propaganda, such as taking a lenient stance toward any criminal attacks on churches or other targets.

Now a last word to the Salafi brothers. You have achieved a spectacular victory in the first round of the Egyptian elections. This is undoubtedly a great favor from the Almighty. But, you too, shouldn't be euphoric. Election victories can be won and lost like any other variable.

Only through unity with other Islamist forces, even those who might differ with you in their tactics and way of thinking, will the Islamic preference succeed and be vindicated in the eyes of many. So, please make sure you are not carried away by your spectacular performance. You need to be wise. Your enemies, our enemies and the enemies of Egypt are impatiently waiting to see you stumble. Please keep them waiting for eternity.




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