This year’s Nakba commemoration coincides with slightly changing attitudes towards Israel in the Middle East

Israeli flagToday is Nakba Day, the day Muslims the world over violently commemorate the “disaster” that was Israel’s creation. (JoshuaPundit explains what nakba is really about and why it is such a loathsome commemoration.)

But here’s something interesting: Even as anti-Israel sentiment burns ever brighter on America’s college campuses, most recently at UCLA, there’s a different narrative shaping up in the Middle East. I have three (admittedly small) pieces of evidence to support my contention that some Arabs are very cautiously changing their attitude towards Israel. It gives me hope that, if Israel can survive the Obama administration, she may be entering a second golden age, this one without a uniformly genocidal Muslim world taking aim at her existence.

The first interesting thing is an opinion piece in the Arab News (a Saudi publication, I believe), telling Arabs it’s time (1) to learn the real truth about the 1948 war, (2) to get over the Nakba, and (3) to start accepting Israel’s existence within their midst. My first thought was that the author, Abdulateef Al-Mulhim, is an incredibly brave man. I still think that’s true, but I had a companion second thought that’s a bit more Machiavellian. Could it be that Saudi Arabia is laying the groundwork for some sort of formal recognition of Israel as a counterweight to a nuclear Iran?

The second interesting thing is that a Syrian rebel contends that the rebels should ally themselves with Israel, which is their only stable, true friend in the region. I commented on this piece before, noting that it’s nothing more than a reasonable extension of the old Arab doctrine that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” In other words, it reflects precisely what I think might be going on with Saudi Arabia. Nevertheless, it represents a new age in Arab-Israeli relationships because, before this explicitly expressed desire for a partnership with Israel, Egypt, way back in 1977, was the only Arab nation ever to contemplate that there could be a benefit, even a short-term one, to working with Israel.

And the third interesting thing is a report from the Gatestone Institute saying that more and more Arabs in surrounding nations are envious of Israel’s criminal system, one that is willing even to prosecute politicians. Looking at Israel and then looking at their own countries, they realize that their countries suffer badly from the comparison.

As I said, these are all little bits of data, but I certainly hope that the shifting allegiances in the Middle East — all related to Iran, whether her nuclear ambitions or her proxy war in Syria — will work to Israel’s benefit.

Be Sociable, Share!
  • jj

    The Saudis are interesting, in a kind of lab-rattish way.  As far as I can see the royal family isn’t really concerned with much of anything – nor are they genuine True Believers in much of anything – beyond their own survival.  With the clear implication, of course, that it’s them who remain atop the pyramid of huddled masses yearning to… well, whatever it is for which they yearn: the princes do not care.    They make noises to establish that they do care – for example they fund the Wahhabi brand of BS, because it buys them peace with the most rabid (and therefore dangerous) brand of True Believers – but I don’t believe they really do.  (God knows they aren’t particularly Muslims, as anyone whose ever seen them running drunkenly  riot in London can attest.  Saudi princes – and princesses, driving their own cars in miniskirts, yet –  on vacation have been a huge pain in the ass of the constabulary for much of my life.  Fun to party with with, though, now and then.)
    But they are survivors.  They have a powerful instinct and a great drive to insure their own survival.  Could I see them at least easing off, if not positively allying with, Israel?  You bet.  Most of Islam tends to the crazy, but the royal mafia that runs Saudi Arabia is just like the other mafia: they’re nothing if not pragmatic.  “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” indeed.  At least.
    Being fundamentally uninterested in the proposal that the purpose of life is to advance Islam – they get far too much enjoyment out of the fleshpots of the West – they therefore keep a weather eye on Iran.  The inevitable corollary of this is that they keep an eye on those who oppose the nuts in Iran.  Under Obama and Kerry, that ain’t realistically us.  But it is Israel.  And the Saudis have proven on more than one occasion that they’re willing to let someone else be their fist – even to the point of paying those both better equipped and more willing than they are to do that.
    I suspect that there already exists – and has for a while – more than one back-channel operating freely between Riyadh and Tel Aviv.  Both capitols are just too damned careful about not getting too directly in each other’s face, and when it’s necessary and somebody must, the reaction of the other is just too reasonable to be entirely certain they didn’t know it was coming ahead of time.  They both make, in other words, allowances for each other.
    I could see Israel getting a quiet green light from the Saudis to overfly, and even use their airspace to orbit the tankers to refuel, in the course of a long-range mission to Iran.  I don’t think the Saudis are quite at the point where they can do it openly, but I don’t think they’re all that far from that point, either.  Unlike most of Islam, they’re not dopes.  The peace and stability of Israel is powerfully attractive to them: they’re very much in favor of peace and stability.  With themselves on top, of course. 
    As you point out, even the most festering of the ongoing riots in the Middle East have those who are envious of what Israel has.  Finding the Saudis in that camp isn’t much of a leap at all.

  • raymondjelli

    My guess is that this actually happening because the USA and Europe are becoming infected with Islamism. Ironically that means Arabs and Moslems will be looking around for allies because everything changes. Obama backs the Moslem Brotherhood. Russia might be backing any side that is convenient to Russia. Rather than seeing Israel as an extension of the United States and Europe they are probably seeing it as an alternative to being killed by the various Jihadis.
    People are not stupid. If the USA and Europe can not be trusted to even help Middle Eastern Christians they’ll play games with Moslems and right now we are sadly playing games with the worst of Moslems.
    The truth is a lot of Arabs truly hate the Palestinians. The Palestinians have blocked every attempt by Arab countries to modernize themselves by always doing the dirty work for hire. They have made terrorism acceptable which has backfired  and they have been kicked out of every Islamic country they have resided in. Tunisia, Jordan, Lebanon, etc.
    I don’t think Israel should be involved with jihadist factions. It hasn’t worked too well for the U.S. (although Obama didn’t align for the good of the U.S. but for the well-being of his allies, whatever and whomever they are). On the other hand there is always the side of decency. Decency is always to be found.


    Attitudes or varying degrees of ‘hatred’ outside of Israel does not insulate her. The pre-Nakba attempt to fire-bomb an entire bus of Bat Mitzvah girls goes nearly unreported (save Arutz Sheva).

  • Ymarsakar

    “Could it be that Saudi Arabia is laying the groundwork for some sort of formal recognition of Israel as a counterweight to a nuclear Iran?”
    That’s an interesting thought and it is plausible or feasible. Top down hierarchies tend to setup operations like that.

  • Pingback: What ‘Nakba Day’ Really Means – And Why Israel And the Civilized World Should Ban It | askmarion()