Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Crippling Arab Cold War - Patrick Seale

Middle East Online, January 19, 2009 - Israel has now done it again in Gaza. It has inflicted another strategic defeat on the Arab world. The Arab League, which was meant to defend common Arab interests, has been exposed as toothless and wholly ineffectual, to the great shame of its secretary-general, Amr Moussa. The Arabs have failed to make use of the many cards they possess -- their great numbers, their oil and gas assets, their financial clout, their international friendships....

The cost to Israel of its insane war has been immense....

In addition, Israel has lost all hope of peaceful integration into the region for the foreseeable future. It may not care. By its pitiless war, it has demonstrated yet again that, rather than wanting to coexist in peace with its neighbours, it prefers to assert its military supremacy in the harshest possible way. Its evident intention is to push Gaza into Egypt’s lap, while extending its control and absorption of the occupied West Bank.

The essential aim of Israel’s war in Gaza has been to impose a crushing defeat on the Palestinians and thus prevent the creation of a Palestinian state. But the means it has chosen are so outrageous -- and have so shocked international opinion -- that the outcome might be the very opposite.

Patrick Seale is a leading British writer on the Middle East, and the author of The Struggle for Syria; also,
Asad of Syria: The Struggle for the Middle East; and Abu Nidal: A Gun for Hire.

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