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Confronting Israel Through Unity

Al-Khaleej al-Jadid, UAE, August 24

Today’s Middle East can be divided ideologically into three camps: the Arab world, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Turkey. There is a fourth, secluded camp which is Israel. While the first three camps have been historically united against the fourth, recent years have seen the warming of ties between Israel and some Arab states. Furthermore, growing tensions among Arab states have led to rifts within what was once a united front against Israel. The main beneficiary of this strategic change has been Tel Aviv, which took advantage of internal Arab conflicts in order to isolate certain players to its own advantage. Israel’s ultimate goal, of course, is to divide and conquer the Arab world and broader Middle East. Ever since the Arab Spring, countries like Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia have focused their attention on fighting political forces within their own societies instead of those threatening them externally. These regimes have cracked down on organizations promoting political Islam, fearing their growing popularity among the public. Their anti-Islam campaigns have put many of these regimes at odds with Turkey, which is governed by an Islamic party that openly supports organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood. It is enough to look at the current relations between Cairo and Ankara to understand just how distant these two camps have become. Then there is Iran, which has been a source of division in the region due to its government’s aggressive expansionist agenda and its intervention in wars in Syria and Iraq. Tehran extended its realm of influence, creating divisions within alliances that were once unshakable. Here, too, the main beneficiary has been Israel, which was able to deflect attention away from the Palestinian issue and point fingers at the Islamic Republic instead. Thus, under the current conditions we are witnessing, it is difficult to envision a future in which the Arab world would once again be united around the Palestinian cause. Too many battles currently dominate the relationship between the Arab world, Turkey, and Iran. The only way to isolate Israel and confront its practices is to put away the divisions plaguing our societies and come together as one. This is no easy feat, but it is a necessary one. –Yasser Zatara

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