American Herald Tribune | MIKO PELED: From the earliest years of the Zionist project, the leaders of the movement which then morphed into the State of Israel understood that regional coalitions were crucial to its success. But Israel is a settler colonial project and therefor it was and still is very much hated by people in the region. Israel and its leaders invested in creating and promoting corrupt unprincipled despots to lead in the countries around it, men who would control the Arab world by keeping its people poor, uneducated and without representation and would pose no threat to Israel and its policies of genocide and ethnic cleansing perpetuated against the people of Palestine. Israel has had some degree of success in this, especially with the reactionary monarchies. Countries who had leaders that resisted Israel ended up paying a heavy price. These were states like Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya which are now destroyed and so it can come as no surprise that the new Saudi Crown Prince is keen to take his regime’s relations with Israel to a new level, some say he even intends to establish diplomatic ties with Israel.
It is ironic that some of the greatest perpetrators and supporters of terrorism are those who talk of fighting terrorism. The latest unholy alliance between the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt is a source of unspeakable terror which without fail is inflicted on innocent civilians but guarantees Israeli interests will be safe. The new boss calling the shots from Riyadh, Mohammad Bin Salman is for now at the center of this unholy alliance which in the short term will satisfy his hunger for power and influence but is sure to fail and in the meantime, will surely produce more misery in Yemen, Palestine, Lebanon and God only knows where else. But state terrorism like that perpetuated by Israeli military against Palestinians and the Saudis in Yemen is heralded by the weapons suppliers in the US and the UK as heroic while the people who fight for their rights are inevitably forgotten and left to die.
Two issues that have been brought to the forefront by the unholy alliance are Iran and its fictional threat to world peace and stability and its mythical support for terrorism. Iran which has invaded no one and attacked no one but supports Hezbollah and Hamas in their resistance against Israel is the favorite enemy in Tel-Aviv, Washington, DC and Riyadh. The new Saudi boss wants to consolidate regional power and he thinks he can do so by aligning with Israel and the US in order to weaken Iran. What he may not realize is that Iran is not a threat and cannot be threatened. While the Saudi monarchy gets its legitimacy from oil and money and from Israel and the US who supply it with weapons, Iranian legitimacy stems from its people, its long history and extraordinary culture. As for weakening Iranian influence in the region by weakening Hezbollah and Syria, that has been a colossal failure. Hezbollah is strong and well respected and is seen as the guarantee for stability in Lebanon. Furthermore, having been struck by Hezbollah might twice, Israel will not dare challenge it. And in Syria regardless of what one may think of the regime, it has clearly maintained the upper hand as a result of the support of Iran and Hezbollah.
The new Saudi boss wants to consolidate regional power and he thinks he can do so by aligning with Israel and the US in order to weaken Iran. What he may not realize is that Iran is not a threat and cannot be threatened.
What Israel wants however is legitimacy. It wants to continue the genocide of the Palestinian people uninterrupted, it wants to demonstrate to the world that it won on all fronts and it wants the US embassy to move to Jerusalem once and for all. And while Israel is being allowed to destroy Palestine and kill its people, the Jerusalem issue is a more complicated one and can only happen if ambitious yet ignorant and careless people are in power. And so it happens that at this moment in time there is precisely such a combination in place. With the new Saudi Crown Prince, Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu, let the games begin. Interrupting the status quo regarding Jerusalem is so dangerous and has such destructive potential that even King Abdullah of Jordan, who himself owes his power to Israel and the US is warning the US to avoid meddling with it.
Jerusalem has been a Muslim city with a minority of other religions who are living there for around fifteen hundred years. It was only the sheer brutality of the Israeli military and the ethnic cleansing campaign Israel has put in place that has somewhat changed the nature of the city. But no recognition was ever given to the Zionist conquest of Jerusalem and hard as they try, it will never be seen as legitimate. Although for seven decades Israel has maintained that Jerusalem is its capital, the rest of the world was not able to swallow this breach of international law and common sense. And even today after seven decades of destruction the city of Jerusalem still maintains its Muslim heritage and is considered to be an icon of Islam peppered with symbols of other religions which reside within it. If Mohamad Bin Salman, Trump and Netanyahu attempt to make change this, it will surely hasten the collapse of the unholy alliance but it is also sure to bring a great deal of misery and violence.
In the meantime, the three musketeers have a plan for the Palestinians. They are to give up their dignity, forgo their rights and swallow an indignation designed especially for them. With their land stolen, rights taken away, water denied and existence ignored at best and mostly destroyed, they should accept a small fraction of Palestine designated as Area A of what used to be the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as a Palestinian state. But what if they do not accept this indignation? The US is threatening to close down the PLO mission in Washington DC. The mission is not an embassy and in many ways its existence is in and of itself an indignation which the Palestinian Authority seems to be willing to swallow. Palestinians will be no worse off if it is closed and as was said by my friend Issa Amro, co-founder and leader of Youth Against Settlements in Hebron, recently, there are enough Palestinians in the US to represent the Palestinian voice proudly and truthfully until such time that a real ambassador of an actual Palestinian government presents credentials to the president of the United States.
Mohammad Bin Salman summoning the Lebanese Prime MinisterHariri and attempting to force him to discredit Hezbollah – a legitimate and stabilizing part of the Lebanese government – and the summoning of Mahmoud Abbas from Ramallah and ordering him to accept the new peace deal, is nothing more than a show of muscle by a new and inexperienced player. Even the praise Thomas Friedman heaped on him in the New York Times, and rather foolishly wrote that, “The most significant reform process underway anywhere in the Middle East today,” only shows that Bin Salman is over reaching and that he is too young and inexperienced to understand the Middle East. Having failed miserably in Yemen, Syria and Iraq, Saudi Arabia lost massive ground to the Iranians and he hopes that Trump and Netanyahu will come to his aid. But he is relying on some very weak allies: The very legitimacy of Netanyahu and the entire Zionist project are now being brought to question and Trump will be fortunate if he is able to see the end of his first term as president without being forced to resign. One hopes that with the inevitable collapse of this alliance a new one will rise, one that will support a free Palestine and a peaceful Middle East.