Sunday, August 04, 2013

The Slow Realization That Israel-Palestinian Conflict Is Not Center of Middle East -- Who Will Tell Kerry?

It is ironic that a Western officer would speak about Israel being a source of political difficulty when, under the table, Arab states are seeking closer ties with Israel because of the shared threat coming from Iran.
Dore Gold

Reuters informs us that Israeli-Palestinian riddle won't answer Middle East's wider woes
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which once transfixed the Arab world, has lost much of its resonance in a Middle East riven by religious strife, political upheaval and economic woes.

News that the two sides had resumed peace talks last week after a three-year halt was largely overshadowed by turmoil in Egypt and the Syrian civil war, which has set Sunni and Shia Muslims against one another.

U.S. officials still hope that resolving the decades-old confrontation will help to unlock the region's wider problems, but analysts say it no longer lies at the strategic heart of a troubled Middle East.
This information may come as a surprise to the Obama administration -- and especially to John Kerry, who responds with mere words to the turmoil in Egypt and Syria while taking concrete action only in the case of Israel and the Arabs.

The point is, the old days of the primacy of the Arab-Israel conflict are over:
"That was probably the case before the Arab uprisings, but a number of other struggles have now joined it, such as the Sunni-Shia struggle and an intra-Sunni conflict," said Salman Shaikh, director of the Brookings Doha Centre think tank.

"The issue is a sideshow now, but it might take centre-stage again if there was genuine progress," he said, underscoring deep skepticism in many quarters about the chances of a deal.

Much has changed in the Middle East since the last talks broke down in 2010. Autocratic leaders in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen have been ousted, Islamist radicalism has spread and sectarian warfare between Sunni and Shia Muslims has surged.
Read the whole thing.

In addition tothe over 100,000 people killed in Syria and violence on the streets of Egypt, there is the renewed violence in Iraq, where over 1,000 have been killed in July alone -- many by Al-Qaeda, the world's most active, defeated terrorist group.

Of course, no amount of articles in the media is going to dissuade the Obama administration from taking a course of action once it is taken. Nothing is going to stop John Kerry from pursuing peace talks between Israel and the Arabs.

More to the point, at this stage of the game -- what exactly is in it for Israel?

After all -- as Reuters points out -- does anyone seriously think that a peace treaty with the Abbas regime is going to quell the die-hard Islamists who seek the destruction of Israel?

Obama and Abbas
Obama and Abbas -- Abbas gets US money and support without
having to do anything. Credit: Israel Matzav

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