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Single Exception of 1967?

Reader comment on item: Surprising Support for Israel, not Hamas
in response to reader comment: A simple statement of Fact

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Jul 13, 2014 at 09:50

Hi, Daniel

It seems that you answered Ron on the fly. 1967 was not a "single exception" for Jordan, in fighting against Israel. In the Israeli War of Independence, Jordan was the principal antagonist, which suffered the most casualties. In the 1967 war, King Hussein became the only Arab leader to personally get involved in the fighting, and was wounded by Israeli fire. When you pointed to Jordan as the exception SINCE 1967, you glossed over the fact that all the Arab belligerents did not fight Israel at the same time. In 1948, Saudi Arabia dropped out early in the game and never returned. The Lebanese also dropped out, and sat out the 1967 and 1973 wars as well. After that time, they were so embroiled in a civil war that Israel actually had to intervene in the 1980s. For them, religion was certainly the motive in the Civil War; though Arab Nationalism was probably the prime motive in 1948. Nationalism was also the main motivation for Nassar's saber-rattling in 1956 and 1967, both times leading to Israeli pre-emptive strikes.

There seems to have been a shift over the years, from Arab Nationalist attacks in the early days to Islamist attacks today. The crossover period appears to have been between 1979 (when Khomeini came to power in Iran, and that country started its "Great Satan, Little Satan" drill) and some time after 1991 (when Saddam Hussein bombarded Israel with SKUDs). Egypt made peace with Israel in 1979; and Jordan did so in 1994. Also in 1994, Arab Nationalist Yasser Arafat signed the Oslo Accords. At the time of those accords, Western leaders thought Arafat could be counted on to keep the "religious" HAMAS in check.

One way to keep Arab Nationalism going after its expiration date, was to link Israel with the US as some sort of "Colonialist" axis. It would have been awkward for Jordan to claim "anticolonialist" credentials, seeing that their Arab Legion was officered by Brits. The first credible claimant to "anticolonialist" credentials was Egypt's Nassar, who fought the British and French (and Israel) in 1956. The US became the main target of Arab ire in 1973, when American-Israeli complicity was the only "honorable" way for the Arabs to suffer such a humiliating defeat at the hands of an outnumbered, out-gunned and surprised Israel. Iran's (non-Arab, but Muslim) Khomeini took up this torch in 1979, specifically targeting Americans with the embassy takeover. It was probably there, that the Islamist and Arab Nationalist causes became muddled together. During the Second Intifada of the early 200s, this process became essentially complete. Since then, Israel's main enemy has become Islamist Iran (and its Hamas and Jihad Islami clients in Gaza), rather than the Arab Nationalist PLO.

The Muslim Brotherhood (and its related ruling AKP party in Turkey) is essentially a politically- and socially-oriented front for the more overtly violent Jihadism of Al Qaeda and ISIS. Between the three of them, and their splinter groups, they have torn out the guts of Arab Nationalism. Between them and the Iranians, they have brought Islamic Jihad (the doctrine, not the group) to the forefront as the enemy of both Israel and the West. The fact that the Western leaders like Obama are caving in to them, is testimony to the moral and religious weakness of the West. At the same time, Western "Nationalism" is giving way to the "New World Order", a sort of Machiavellian Hedonist Dystropia.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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