Roberts: On Israel, Don't Be Misled by Distractions

On Israel, don’t be misled by the misdirection plays.

The Arab League met about a month ago and issued a resolution that they will never accept the existence of a Jewish state in the Middle East. That is the basis of the Arab-Israeli conflict in general and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in particular.

The Arab counties have raised two generations on a cultural imperative of hatred towards Jews and Christians. America and the Europeans have allowed this and funded the societies who promoted such hatred in school books, cartoons, and television series.

The second force is the lack of democratic institutions. The Palestinian Authority is in its “10th year of a 4 year term” (quote from Daniel Greenfield). They are corrupt to their core and they siphon American and European money for the benefit of their leadership. Hamas is a religiously-dedicated totalitarian regime too. Neither group wants peace with Israel.

But the common theme of conflict in the Middle East does not involve Israel. It is the Muslim totalitarian regimes and movements. Look at what is going on in Syria. Look at the lack of democratic outcomes from the Arab Spring. Look at the Hezbollah/Iranian occupation of Lebanon. Look at the Muslim mutilation of women or their current practice of slavery. The brutality, hatred, oppression, and desolation of the Muslim Arab world is striking. That is seen in the Green Line of the border around Israel. At the border, the Israeli side is green with farms and forests that the Jews have developed, plus industry, democracy, and massive creativity. The Arab side of the Green Line is desolate, dust, barely inhabited, and lawless. One sees this with their own eyes from mountain tops that look down onto the Green Line.

So the problem of peace in the Middle East has nothing to do with Israel but everything to do with the failed Muslim Arab societies, their corrupt leaders, lack of democratic institutions, and radical religious movements.

The problem of peace between Israel and the Palestinians lies in the dysfunctional Palestinian societies, Palestinian corruption in the PA and the religious fanaticism of Hamas.

And don’t count on the unity of the PA and Hamas. Each one is dedicated to their own goals of corruption and religious fanaticism, respectively. They have had short lived reunifications in the past.

The solution is economic pressure and information technology.

The new Egyptian leader, General al-Sissi, stands a possibility of leading the Arabs out of their millennia of self-deception and self-frustration. He seems to stand for absolute destruction of radical Islamic elements in his country including the Muslim Brotherhood, economic stimulation, and anti-corruption. He has spoken about the need for the emergence of a new form of Islam that is not interested in destroying non-believers but wants to be part of a working, integrated, world. If he is sincere in his intentions then he could lead the revolution that the Arab Spring should have been. But it will require some harsh medicine first and then his staying true to his vision of transformation and not being seduced by corruption.

General al-Sissi cut off the Hamas smuggling tunnels from Egypt to Gaza. This has brought Hamas to the point of economic collapse -  something that the Americans and Europeans never had the nerve to do. Thus, we see the Hamas-PA rapprochement due to the economic desperation of Hamas and the PA’s unwillingness to recognize Israel’s right to exist as the nation of the Jewish people, i.e. to abandon the conflict with Israel and no longer seek its destruction.

Using economic force to open societies to the free flow of competing ideas has a good chance of breaking the stranglehold of the Muslim Arab corrupt or religious regimes on their people. The last Omnibus bill included some language to require the President to certify that the PA has stopped the teaching of hatred, and created an environment for peace, to continue receiving US aid. That it took until a few months ago to pass this is a disgrace for the US since we have enabled hatred to flourish in the PA with our funding for two generations now. That the language in the bill leaves loopholes for continued funding, even if hatred is still being promoted, is an ongoing disgrace for the US. We should not be funding those who are creating societies that are ripe for creating terrorists and rejecting peace.

But if we can force the Arab countries to develop democratic institutions, stop promoting hatred, and allow the free flow of information, then we can transform the region. If not then Israel will have to continue negotiation-in-a-sea-of-rejectionist-states, and the US and Europe will have to play defense against individuals and regimes who are playing offense to destroy us. Hamas alone, the PA alone and the PA-Hamas entity do not represent any change from the forces that must be changed.

Dr. Richard H. Roberts has a medical degree and a doctorate in biophysics, trained at Penn and Harvard, was CEO of a pharmaceutical company for 24 years, and is a major political donor who supports minority conservative candidates.