The Arab/Muslim Awakening–and USA/Israel
EDITORIAL, 21 Nov 2022
#772 | Johan Galtung - TRANSCEND Media Service
The Middle East-North Africa–MENA–is Arab-Muslim with a growing Jewish island in its midst. Former colonial territory–under Sunni Ottoman Turks for four centuries+ and the secular West, England-Italy-France, for a half–now under Jewish colonialism and US imperialism. They have controlled MENA through dictatorships, condoning violence and corruption as long as they support US-Israel policies in the area. The Arab awakening is against the violence and corruption in favor of democracy, against corruption in favor of growth and jobs, and against US-Israel domination. There is also a Muslim awakening–to believe that Islam tolerates imposed secularism is incredibly naive. But there are many Islams, like there are Christianities and Judaisms.
How do USA-Israel react, and what would be a positive reaction to their reaction–keeping in mind that this is old colonial territory?
US policy is by and large state-building with USA as model, with multi-party national elections and “free” markets controlled by multi-nationals in general, private banks in particular and finance banking—including speculations with derivatives–more particularly (also controlling elections). On maps states have one color, so states are seen as unitary, with one market for the economy, one state for multi-party elections, and one political focus: the capital. Multi-colored maps showing the nations and fault-lines inside might be enlightening.
That realty is used to fragment states that stand in the way: the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia were divided into 15 and 7 states, some now members of NATO or EU. States seen as islamists-terrorists are in for the same: Sudan-Somalia broken into 2 and 3 parts. They are both on the list of 7 the White House ordered the Pentagon to “take out” right after 9/11 (General Wesley Clark, Democracy Now, 2 March 2007): Iraq, Iran, Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Sudan, Somalia; seen as hostile, with state, not private central banks blocking market globalization.
For Israel what matters most are the neighbors. From the early beginning this is the usual story of violence and counter-violence read two ways. The Israeli reading is violence against a Jewish homeland becoming a state, legitimized by the shoa in general; and counter-violence to defend that emerging state. The Arab reading is an Israel established by violence, the Nakba, and counter-violence to contain the expansion of that state. A typical example of two truths that do not add up to one Truth. The result is an endless, fruitless, angry exchange of accusations about who started what, where, and when. A Truth would go beyond fruitless quarrels, identifying a stop. an end to escalation, acceptable to both; like 4 June 1967 with swaps.
However, that symmetry breaks down when Israel still expands– invades-occupies-lays siege–on ever more Arab-Palestinian territory. And even more so when visions of a Greater Israel take shape:
- Scenario 1: from the Mediterranean to Jordan, as a Palestinian state;
- Scenario 2: from the Nile to the Euphrates (Genesis 15:18)–where 9 countries are located. Both scenarios are for Jews only, Jewish states. And, a
- Scenario 3: first Scenario 1, then Scenario 2?
In search of recognized and secure borders? Only by forcing Arab-Muslim states into submission, dissolving them into mini-states, using internal fault-lines (see Oded Yinnon, “A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties”, Kivunim, Feb. 1982). The list would certainly include Pakistan, a doubly artificial construct, and a nuclear power. Deep Israeli-Indian, Mossad-RAW, cooperation against Pakistan follows. Assuming that Lebanon and Iraq–like Palestine–are fragmented, that Jordan is kept for a possible Scenario 1 Palestinian state, that Libya is steeped in internal provincial-clan-racial-religious fights, what remains of the 7 are Syria, Iran and Egypt. Israeli press mentions a partition of Syria into 4 states: Shia Alawite, Sunni, Druze and Kurdish (in the Northeast). Egypt, Tunisia are resilient.
The approach to Iran–no colonial construct, fault-lines (Kurds, Azeris. Arabs in Khuzistan) but less vulnerable–is bombing, based on US-Israeli division of labor, the shared accusation that Iran is close to their status as nuclear powers, and the shared, fabricated lie that newly elected Ahmadinejad said in a speech in Tehran 25 October 2005 “Israel must be wiped off the map”. He never said that, but quoted Khomeini: “The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time” and mentioned three examples of such regimes: the Shah of Iran, the Soviet Union and Saddam Hussein. History tells us that regimes come and go; countries, even states remain.
They use self-fulfilling predictions as political strategy, like the Israeli “facts on the ground”. CNN ran a text before invading Iraq 19 March 2003: Iraq – the unfinished war. And now, against Islamist Hamas (as opposed to nationalist Fatah): You talk about a two states solution but do not recognize Israel’s right to exist. Could it be that they do not recognize the present regime?
The US strategy in the region is to use existing states and bend them to their economic purposes–like imposing private central banks in all 7–is doomed to fail because of inner fault-lines. The Israeli strategy is more intelligent, using fault-lines to fragment states.
In all these cases how much fragmentation is by US-Israeli design and how much by inner tensions will sooner or later be better known.
What would be the Arab-Muslim counter-strategy?
- Federations. Fault-lines are real and most people want to be governed by their own kind in autonomous sub-states with common foreign-security-finance-logistic policies. 40% of humanity live in 25 federations, an there is much to learn from Mother Switzerland.
- Confederations-communities. Tie them together in strong solidary communities resisting divide and rule policies.
Do both, and the Arab-Muslim world is more resilient than today.
First published on 28 Jan 2013
Johan Galtung, a professor of peace studies, dr hc mult, is founder of TRANSCEND International and rector of TRANSCEND Peace University. He was awarded among others the 1987 Right Livelihood Award, known as the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize. Galtung has mediated in over 150 conflicts in more than 150 countries, and written more than 170 books on peace and related issues, 96 as the sole author. More than 40 have been translated to other languages, including 50 Years-100 Peace and Conflict Perspectives published by TRANSCEND University Press. His book, Transcend and Transform, was translated to 25 languages. He has published more than 1700 articles and book chapters and over 500 Editorials for TRANSCEND Media Service. More information about Prof. Galtung and all of his publications can be found at transcend.org/galtung.
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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 21 Nov 2022.
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