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Reader comment on item: Searching for Peace
in response to reader comment: Regarding the Mideast...

Submitted by David (United States), Oct 12, 2022 at 19:34

First I want to thank you, Dr. Pipes, for graciously including my comments here. And I look forward to your book. I am tempted to join Twitter to respond more briefly to your comments there, but I've never used the social media platform and dislike the format as well as the nature of discourse there.
I noticed a comment on the subject of Russians fleeing the war and seeking Jewish ancestry to do so. I cannot help but note the absence of a comment on the development today in regards to the surrender, by the Israeli government, of natural gas reserves within Israel's territorial waters to Hezbollah. The author has previously condemned former PM Netanyahu for paying Hamas in the hopes of avoiding conflict, as a policy incompatible with the pursuit of victory, and has likewise criticized any decision by Netanyahu to desist from a complete ground operation in Gaza to remove Hamas from power. I also recall decisively negative remarks against a proposal by then PM Netanyahu, in 2019, to enter into a defense pact with the United States.

Today the Israeli government surrendered to extortion from a terrorist group that had brought Lebanon to the brink of the worst financial crisis since the 19th century, and did so in return for unspecified "commitments" by the Biden administration to somehow fight Hezbollah should there be a future war. In one fell swoop they are markedly going against two trenchant criticisms the author has previously directed at the former PM. Why no criticism today?

On a related subject, it is hard not to notice the implications of all Russia related events both on the battlefield and in the UNGA today, for Israel. The Biden administration obtained overwhelming support in the UN for a resolution condemning Putin's annexation of territory in Ukraine and reaffirmed a UN vote from 1970 regarding the immutability of national borders, as per the 1945 convention. Israel voted in approval. It is hard not to interpret this as a bizarre circumstance of Israel voting against its own sovereignty in the Golan Heights. Perhaps I am overly conspiratorial but it is also hard not to notice that all of the countries and world leaders to which the Biden administration is most hostile-- Vladimir Putin, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman-- have been friendly to Israel in ways atypical of any previous leaders of their respective nations. Whereas by contrast, those leaders conspicuously most adored by the White House, are often those who have been most hostile. Hard not to notice that of all countries in the Mideast, it is the Islamist Qataris who have been designated "significant non-NATO allies." And of all countries in the world, the administration elected to ask the rabidly anti-Israel leader of Chile to be the first sponsor of a letter to condemn the Iranian regime for its human rights violation, in what seems to be a very conscious effort to decouple opposition to the Ayatollahs, from support for Israel.

While noting the barbarity of the war in Ukraine, it is hard to imagine that a future leader of Russia will, in any way, be an improvement, as the author himself noted. And if the Russian Federation is heaven forbid to collapse, it is hard to see good tidings from the prospect of its 7000 nuclear weapons falling into the hands of the oftentimes violent, 30% Muslim minority, that is on track to reach parity with the ethnic Russian population by mid century, in what may have been one of the factors driving the Russians to seek unification with ethnic Russian populations beyond their 1991 borders. Likewise, inasmuch as the significant gains by Turkey in the international stage, as a result of this war, are considerably undesirable, it is difficult to be surprised, as international relations is typically a zero sum game, and the relative status of Turkey to Russia has almost always been a significant factor and consequence, of Western powers' relations with Moscow. The German treaty of neutrality with Turkey, for example, was signed on the eve of Operation Barbarossa and was almost certainly a precipitating factor. And Turkey's entry into WWI, again, was marked by direct confrontation with Russia, precisely in "Novorossiy" on the Black Sea. Geopolitics is zero-sum. It was entirely foreseeable for Turkey to benefit from this current war, was it not?


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