Monday, June 27, 2011

Israel to face ‘revolutionary Isamists,’ ‘crisis of stupendous proportions,’ with no help from US: R

Joanne Hill

TORONTO – Israel is about to face “a crisis of stupendous proportions” as Islamists gain power in Egypt, Turkey and Syria and it will not be able to rely on America for help, warned Professor Barry Rubin, Middle East political analyst and director of the Gloria Center.

Rubin addressed the topic, Turmoil in the Middle East: What is Really Happening, last week at a luncheon lecture hosted by the Speakers Action Group, Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University and the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem. He described recent events in Arab and Muslim countries – including key elements that he said have been ignored or whitewashed by America’s leaders and media – and predicted a long struggle which will eventually be won against what he called “revolutionary Islamists.” “The most important single thing to understand about the Middle that what we are witnessing is a titanic battle between revolutionary Islamists and everybody else. This is as significant a struggle as the struggle with fascism in the ’30s, the struggle with Communism during the Cold War and, in the Middle East, with the radical Arab nationalism from the 1950s to the 1980s. This battle is going to take up decades."

Rubin predicted that Egypt’s elections this September will result in “a radical majority composed of Islamists, independents willing to work with them, far-leftists and very radical nationalists, and they will write Egypt’s new constitution.” This government will be “committed to not observing the peace treaty with Israel.”

Support from the Muslim Brotherhood will empower Hamas “over the next year or so” and Hamas “will attack Israel with rockets, with mortars and with attempts at cross-border attacks.” When Israel responds in self-defence, there is a strong likelihood that Egypt will act either directly or indirectly by allowing arms, money, terrorists and Egyptian fighters to enter Gaza. Egypt likely would not be zealous in guarding its border with Israel.

Turkey and Lebanon are also becoming more Islamicized. Turkey’s citizens are suffering under “more and more oppression” and their government is aligned with Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah. In Lebanon, which is also allied with Iran and Syria, “we now have an Islamist-dominated government...for the first time in history.”

US policy under President Barack Obama is “very weak” and “very bad,” Rubin said.

“It’s a policy of tending to reward enemies and punish friends...that has given no support to the most real democratic forces in the region...and it’s a policy that does not understand the revolutionary Islamist threat.” As a result, if Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the opposition parties in Lebanon, Iran, Turkey and Syria can’t depend on the United States for help, they will have to choose between making deals with Islamists or going it alone to prevent an Islamist take-over.

President Obama’s recent speech at the US State Department made it clear that “his actual plan is... that Israel will very quickly turn over the entire West Bank to the Palestinian Authority, go back to the ’67 borders and then the two sides will negotiate an agreement. Israel, therefore, faces a difficult situation. For the first time since 1956, it knows it cannot depend on the United States."

Rubin added to loud applause and laughter, "Thank goodness for Canada. When people ask me what is the solution to all this, I say it’s very simple: I’m ready to announce a campaign to draft the Prime Minister of Canada to also be President of the United States. And we won't ask to see his birth certificate.”

Israel is more united than ever and Rubin is confident that it will do what is necessary to defend itself, including rebuilding its defences along the borders with Egypt and Lebanon.

Rubin told the Jewish Tribune in an interview that researching and writing his new book, Nazis, Arab Radicals and the Making of the Modern Middle East, with co-author Wolfgang Schwanitz, an expert on German-Middle East relations, “changed my view of the Middle East.” The book, scheduled for release in April 2012, contains “a number of new revelations” based on thousands of pages of previously unreleased documents. Many German-language documents were translated into English for the first time by Schwanitz. About 1,000 pages pertained to the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, a Nazi collaborator.

It is impossible to fully comprehend events in the Middle East’s past and present without understanding the connections that will be revealed in his book, Rubin said.

“The alliances with Muslim and Arab groups was far greater than anyone has ever suspected. But it’s not that these people were influenced by the Nazis: they allied with the Nazis precisely because they held parallel views. Basically, what happened in the Middle East, unlike anywhere else in the world, is that the Nazi collaborators won: they actually took power and held power.”

Another new book by Rubin, Israel: An Introduction, will feature photographs and examine Israeli economics, politics, culture and sports.

“It’s an attempt to give a complete portrait of the country and nothing like that has ever been done before," Rubin sail.

The book, scheduled for release in November, was designed to be used by individuals or in a classroom. Both books will be published by Yale University Press.

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