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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/3/11

Israel: Adapt to the New Middle East or Face Isolation, Exclusion, Marginalization

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Author 23439
Message Michael Payne

At this point, let's prepare a scorecard to show which major Middle East nations are allied with Israel and those who are considered to be against Israel and its policies. Those for Israel: Jordan (although shaky) and Saudi Arabia (kind of, sort of, depending). Now those who do not side with Israel: Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria; also the Palestinian Authority, Hezbollah and Hamas. When we consider that Israel has a population of 7.6 million, or about 2% of the total population of the Middle East, that could be very worrisome for its future.

 

Since Israel became a state in 1948, it has been involved with numerous military confrontations and conflicts with its neighbors that have severely damaged its reputation and its standing in the region. But the greatest turmoil that it has created in the region has been its relentless occupation and expansion of land once held by the Palestinian people. Please note on the image at the top of this article just how radical a change has taken place in the country over time. The dark portion represents Palestinian land and the white, that of Israel. The leftmost picture shows the land apportionment in 1946, the middle is the period from 1949-1967, and the rightmost is in the year 2000. As you can see, the land occupied by the Palestinians is now minuscule, completely dwarfed by that of Israel.

 

This relentless encroachment into land formerly considered a part of Palestine and the continued oppression of those people is a distinct violation of human rights. But this process continues unabated, aided and supported by the U.S. Over many decades since 1948, the United Nations and the Security Council have brought up resolution after resolution condemning Israel's actions against the Palestinians and various Middle East neighbors. However, the U.S. has vetoed every one of those resolutions, nearly 70 in total, to prevent any kind of censure or sanctions against Israel.

 

In the most recent example of this, the U.S. has once again shamelessly vetoed a UN resolution condemning Israeli settlement expansion. The vote in the Security Council was 14 to 1 with the U.S. voting no on the resolution even though Britain, Germany and France voted in favor of it. This latest miscarriage of justice, approved by President Obama, has angered the entire body of UN nations, in particular the 130 nations that had backed its creation. This act by Mr. Obama is yet one more brazen, unconscionable use of a U.S. veto to facilitate Israel's continued stranglehold on Palestine and the people of Gaza.

 

The big question, yet to be resolved, is: considering the rapidly spreading revolutionary movement in the Middle East, does Israel think that it can continue the same aggressive militant policies and actions that have, for so many decades, dominated and controlled the nations of that critical region of the world? Perhaps this biblical phrase, "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" describes Israel's current position in Middle East affairs. Or in modern day language, "your deeds, good or bad, will repay you in kind."

 

So, what of the future of Israel in the new Middle East? Well, it will be a great opportunity for Israel to adjust to the changing times and reverse its long history of aggressive, belligerent behavior against its neighbors. If, however, it fails to seize the moment and continues on its current path of using force rather than diplomacy and cooperation, it will find that, no matter how many vetoes the U.S. uses to shield its human rights violations, it will become isolated, excluded and marginalized within the Middle East.

 

Michael Payne

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