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Another 50 Years of Mideast Strife

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One of my favorite literary expressions is the term ‘Parthian shaft.’ It refers to the favored tactic of the Parthians, a Persian people, of turning while on horseback and firing arrows while retreating.

The Roman consul Crassus, who defeated Spartacus, may have died from such a Parthian shaft after his defeat at the battle of Carrhae in 53 BC.

This week, outgoing President Barack Obama loosed his own Parthian shaft at Israel’s leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, by refusing, for once, to veto a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s ongoing expropriation of Arab land on the occupied West Bank.

There was no mention of similar expropriation and ethnic cleansing on the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights which legally belong to Syria.

For the past eight years, the Obama administration has discreetly
argued with Israel over its settlement building on the West Bank and Jerusalem. In public, the Obama government maintained the ludicrous but convenient fiction that fruitful talks were under way that would lead to creation of two states in historic Palestine.

No one really believed this nonsense: not Israel, not Mahmoud Abbas, the US and Israeli-installed Palestinian Quisling, not the UN, not America’s allies, including its client Arab states. By keeping this lie going meant that no one would have to do anything to block Israel’s in-you face expansion.

When Barack Obama and his feminist foreign policy cadre made occasional public peeps of protest, he and VP Joe Biden were slapped down and abjectly humiliated. It mattered not that the Obama administration pledged to give Israel $38 billion of US taxpayer’s money to buy arms, vetoed an endless series of UN resolutions condemning Israel for illegal expansion and massive violations of human rights, Israel made clear who was really boss in Washington, and it wasn’t Barack Obama.

When Netanyahu did an end run around Obama by coming to address Congress, US congressmen and senators, made giddy by Netanyahu’s presence and its promise of lavish political donations caused these yes-men to jump up and down in crass adulation of the ‘King of Israel.’

America’s media, no less adoring, lauded Netanyahu and blasted Obama for trying, however feebly, to assert America’s interests in the Mideast and slow down Israel’s quest for lebensraum. As the wise Voltaire observed, `TO LEARN WHO RULES OVER YOU SIMPLY FIND OUT WHO YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO CRITICIZE.’

Obama should have taken action eight years ago, not in the last minutes of his administration. Now, the specter of bumptious Donald Trump hangs over the moribund administration, accentuated its manifest failures abroad. If we believe Trump’s Tweets this week in response to the US refusing, for once, to veto a mild UN resolution on Palestine, the Mideast is in for a rougher time than usual.

Trump does not know much about the Mideast. He will rely on a tight circle of extreme Zionists he has named to deal with the issue. That’s crazy and utterly deluded – unless Trump somehow hopes to push Israel into a real two-state peace deal by somehow using his cohorts of Greater Israel expansionists.

Mideast peace hardly seems in the offing. Israel’s hardline far right, increasingly ascendant, appears bent on further expanding Israel’s ‘temporary’ borders into parts of Syria. Some ultra-Zionists even talk about Iraq’s oil in Kurdistan. Why not. The feeble Arab states are collapsing. Egypt is run by a ferocious dictator funded by Saudi and Israeli money. The Saudis are useless and crazed by childish dreams ofpower. The US is now safely in Israeli hands. There’s oil and gas off in the Mediterranean (Palestinians will get none, of course.)

What to do with all those Palestinians? The late Gen. Ariel Sharon had the answer: shove them into the barren wastes of Jordan, a US-Israeli protectorate, and call it Palestine.

If the world does not like it, too bad. Israel may look small on the map but it’s a giant of a country, filled with very smart people who know just what they want and how to get it.

But that’s a very short-sighted victory. By thwarting a UN peace deal that would have ended nearly a century of strife, Israel guarantees endless more years of violence, growing anti-Semitism, and its continued estrangement from the rest of the world. A new apartheid state is being born. All of President Obama’s perfumed orations about Mideast peace have come to nothing.

(Reprinted from by permission of author or representative)

16 Comments to "Another 50 Years of Mideast Strife"

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  1. Even if Israel were obliterated from the map, there would still be decades of strife in the Middle East, such are the size and number of warring states and factions in the region. Admittedly, outside powers have fomented and exacerbated problems, but the regional actors themselves are the principal culprits.
    We need fully competent, cheap electric motor vehicles and cheap plastic derived from non-petrol sources. This will reduce the Middle East to insignificance and deprive their states of money to wage wars. And, please, get rid of subsidies to places like Egypt and Israel, too.

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  2. Israel will find itself with many allies as the right wing wave continues।।

  3. And now for some more New Years’ bombast concerning the perennial “Jewish Problem”.

    Catholic Europe and Orthodox Russia have long wanted to be rid of their Jewish charges.

    The English imperialists foist a Jewish “homeland” on the hapless Arabs in exchange for US participation in WWI by Jewish American intermediaries. Palestine festers.

    German Fascists eradicate poor European Jews however the wealthy Jews immigrate to England and the US thereby escaping the “Final Solution” but sowing the seeds of a Jewish Renaissance. Palestine festers.

    American and European Jews are instrumental in developing the atomic bomb for America.

    American Jews gradually gain control of critical sectors of the American economy and become fabulously wealthy and powerful. American Jewish power takes control of the American government by means of bribery and coercion resulting in America’s unquestioning fealty to an unpopular, brutal, militaristic, apartheid , expansionary Zionist state called Israel. Palestine festers.

    America looks the other way and the French help Israel acquire nuclear weapons. Palestine continues to fester as Jewish colonists expropriate Arab lands in defiance of international law.

    The descendants of Russian hating American Jews, formulate a plan to militarily dominate the Middle East and to destabilize Russia, Iran and encircle China with military bases.

    World Jewry is again ascendant while Anti-Semitism grows in Europe and America. The Jews are in a position to exact revenge if they chose to but in the meantime they have gotten the Europeans and Americans to beat up on Islamic countries, begetting Islamic Terrorism and thereby diverting the goyim against Islam and not themselves.

    We may all suffer an apocalyptic holocaust if we do not solve the “Jewish Problem” and the Zionist Cuckoo!

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  4. Nice job there!

    What do you think of the additions (in bold)?

    Catholic Europe and Orthodox Russia have long wanted to be rid of their Jewish charges; despite that a lot of the Russian Jews find a homeland in Catholic but mostly Protestant Germany and thrive. German Jews gradually gain control of critical sectors of the German economy and become quite wealthy and powerful.

    The English imperialists hoping to beat the Germans to the punch foist a Jewish “homeland” on the hapless Arabs in exchange for US participation in WWI by Jewish American intermediaries. Palestine festers.

    BTW: Uri Avnery has another good article out today.

    Anti-Semitic Zionists

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  5. Thank you. Yes I like your additions which shows that my narrative [Jewish timeline] is just the bare bones and missing many seminal events to the present day.

    One glaring omission might have been: American Jewish bankers successfully lobby goy law makers to drop Dodd Frank bank regulations and go on a speculative orgy which brings down the American financial system and then successfully lobby the government to “bail out” the banks with goy taxpayer indebtedness and even get their annual bonuses without serving jail time for larceny.

    Palestine and the American economy festers indefinitely.

    Yes I read Uri Avnery regularly on Counterpunch.

    Readers, please don’t brand me as a blanket anti-semite, I am fond of many Jewish intellectuals and other Jews who ascribe to a universal code of ethics instead of a Jewish tribal ethic and the worship of Mammon [money].

  6. Especially India, hey?

  7. “Egypt is run by a ferocious dictator…”

    Al Sisi is far from been ‘ferocious’ . He is trying to correct the result of the abject US influence that has created and supported dictators all over the Middle East at the condition they don’t threaten “baby” Israel. Al Sisi is gradually getting rid of the elements that the USA have setup in the region based on the latest ‘panacea’ : A moderate political Islam promoted by cool allies Qatar and Turkey that will accept Israel .
    I guess you won’t say the same of the ex-Shah of Iran, Erdogan or the King of Saudi Arabia or emir of Qatar. Of course not because they overtly and covertly support Israel.
    The USA with its Zionist advisers have aimed all their foreign policy in the Middle east at weakening any country opposing Israel and promoting its protectors.
    No wonder the Arab world is powerless. Yet there is hope. With the assistance of Iran and Russia, we see an awareness in the Arab world that it is possible to stand in front of the USA’s plans for the region. This is why the victory in Syria is a ray of hope. For once in the region the USA and its allies are defeated in favor of Iran and Russia. Turkey has realized that the USA was loosing ground in the region and has decided to join in. Therefore we a see a bloc representing the major religious sects in the middle east: Sunni, Shia and Christian. This bloc if it succeeds will represent the biggest threat to Israel’s hegemonic ambitions.
    If Egypt and Iraq joins this bloc it will be overwhelming powerful.
    The next USA foreign policy will then be to prevent the formation of such bloc by seeding divisions. This time because of the religious mix of this group, the USA won’t be able to use the sectarian card that they have abused of years. In addition its traditional allies ( Saudi Arabia,Qatar and the GCC) has been seriously weakened by events in Bahrain, Yemen and Syria. The USA would have to find other ways to divide and rule. It seems that this time it may fail again and Israel will be pressed to make huge concession or disappear as Jewish state.

  8. says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    How would you solve it?

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  9. I thought there were around 20 % of israeli citizens from arab background, and many others without citizenship with the right to apply for it. Also, from another perspective, I’m sure there are many smart people there (in Israel) who don’t feel represented and that their only wish is a better future.

  10. […] Eric Margolis, in his article “Another 50 Years of Mideast Strife,” says that Trump doesn’t know much about the Middle East and “will rely on a […]

  11. You are an anti Semite you loathesome (sic)piece of crap!

    Zionism has been charged with anti-Semitism too. Is the charge valid or not? Explain?

    Are violent Zionists loathsome as well? Why or why not?

    What do you think of this comment? Explain.

    “ZIONISM, AS I have often pointed out, was among other things a rebellion against Judaism, no less than Martin Luther’s rebellion against Catholicism.

    Uri Avnery, Israeli Mustard, 02/06/12

  12. The most basic problem for the West vs. Islam today is that throughout most of the long history of this conflict until recently the West had a strong numerical advantage. In most of the history of this conflict there was simply no way that Islam could simply overrun the West. They didn’t have the numbers to do so.

    That numerical advantage is no longer the case. That combined with the lack of will in the West to resist is very ominous for the survival of the West.

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  13. Touche! I just posed a rhetorical question to the world [WE]. It is a difficult problem, I don’t have an easy answer but I think the problem is soluble rather than insoluble. I suspect that there won’t be a peaceful solution but like most intractable human problems it will require violence and that may not count as a “solution”.
    However, may I suggest that America is capable of solving the “Israeli problem” since they and the Europeans are responsible for making the problem and sustaining it.

    As for the “Jewish problem” within America it will require a political revolution which is possible but a long way off.

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  14. As for the “Jewish problem” within America it will require a political revolution which is possible but a long way off.

    The “Jew political problem” is a voting problem – 2018 and the problem could be over.

    The real deep problem is the private Jew control of our money and media.

    Peace — Art

  15. There is still no way Islam has the numbers to overcome Europe. There are still large numbers of troops in Europe who could easily repulse this. The lack of will of those in political authority is the problem. They must be replaced by those who will repulse Islam.

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Bin Laden is dead, but his strategy still bleeds the United States.
Egyptians revolted against American rule as well as Mubarak’s.
“America’s strategic and economic interests in the Mideast and Muslim world are being threatened by the agony in Palestine, which inevitably invites terrorist attacks against US citizens and property.”
A menace grows from Bush’s Korean blind spot.
Far from being a model for a “liberated” Iraq, Afghanistan shows how the U.S. can get bogged down Soviet-style.