By Lamis Andoni
05 August 2014
The Arab regimes' complicity with the Israeli occupation is not new; it was always a condition and a decisive factor in the success of the military objectives in the war against the Arabs and Palestinians. However, the new issue is that America has succeeded in forming a regional security alliance against "terrorism" that actually protects US-Israeli state terrorism.
There are two points we must pay attention to. First, in every Israeli war, the official Arab position plays a key role in undermining the resistance and gives a political cover to the Israeli attacks. Second, America achieved a historic success by depending on the fear of political Islam as well as the emergence of ISIS and similar groups which provided the most important service to the official Arab system and Israel.
I will not go all the way back to the Nakba; I am content with starting with Israel's invasion of Lebanon and its siege of Beirut in 1982. The Arab position weakened the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance in the hope of ending the resistance as a whole; this was a prelude to isolating the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, as well as pushes the PLO and the Arab world as a whole to negotiations on US-Israeli terms. This is where the US National Security Adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski's statement "Bye-bye PLO" originated from.
Israel's bold invasion of Lebanon would not have been possible without taking Egypt out of the equation of the Arab-Israeli conflict after the signing of the Camp David Accords, which was necessary for Israel to be let loose in the region. The same occurred in the 2006 war on Lebanon, and then during the 2008 and 2012 wars on Gaza; in between those incidents were the first and second Intifadas in 1987 and 2000. All of these occurred in order to liquidate the Palestinian cause by stigmatising the resistance, both secular and Islamist, as "terrorism".
There has always been an official Arab interest in containing the Palestinian resistance and using it as a political card or in eliminating it because, despite all of its shortcomings and mistakes, it always reveals the falsity of the Arab regime and puts the regimes in an awkward position with their masters in Washington. "Realistic" dealings require submission to Israel and the resistance spoils the subservience of the Arab regimes.
From cutting support to the Palestinians during the two Intifadas to pressuring the PLO, Hezbollah and Hamas during the Israeli wars to remain silent and submissive; the UN resolutions that, at best, do not hold Israel accountable or responsible; the development of resolutions condemning the resistance and supporting its disarmament; all of these fall under Arab positions that have helped and continue to help Israel to achieve objectives it has been unable to achieve militarily on the ground.
Even when the regimes condemned the aggression verbally, in practice, they were participating in isolating the resistance forces politically and were not ashamed to admit their annoyance with the resistance to America and the West, as they considered the resistance a threat to their own security and stability. Making peace with Israel protects the Arab regimes' and their rule; revolutionary liberation thought is far more dangerous to these regimes than any racist entity, and the life of an Arab or Palestinian child is not equal or worth a moment of survival on their thrones.
However, most of the regimes now do not even try to condemn the aggression. When some did break their silence and speak up against the humanitarian tragedy, they did not refer to the offender; it was as if the villain was unknown or as if a natural disaster had hit Gaza and its people. There are some who denounced the crimes, but they continue to justify their collusion and commitment to humiliating treaties with the Israeli war criminal and continue to tie their country's national interests and economy with Israel's interests.
There are various reasons for the decline, but perhaps the most important reason is the emergence of social and economic elites who have linked their interests to Israel and the Israeli-Arab regional security alliance, under the auspices of the US, against "radical Islamist terrorism". The regimes that feared the Arab revolutions saw this alliance as an opportunity to ensure their survival and to ensure the West's support of their presence; these regimes live and breathe to prove their functional role in "combatting terrorism" which allows them to suppress the people. This functional role is suitable for them as they are able to protect Israel under the pretext of warding off sectarian terrorism because they are unable to provide alternative solutions and remain subordinate to Washington and the West.
America has succeeded in achieving something it was unable to achieve at the height of the Cold War years. The Arab people dropped the Baghdad Pact in 1957 because the Iraqi capital was immune to localisation, but now we are witnessing a new alliance even more deadly and murderous. It is an alliance "against terrorism" aiming to protect Israeli terrorism, and there is no alternative for us but to support the resistance.