Palestinians still live under apartheid in Israel, 25 years after the Oslo accord Avi Shlaim Read more Echoing deep scepticism among the Palestinians, Arab countries and analysts, Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian chief negotiator, said the Trump administration was siding with Israel on the core issues of the decades-old conflict, burying all chances for Middle East peace.
Dealing specifically with Iran, but implying that the Arab dictators and despots of the Middle East move to the same beat, Rhode concludes that the paradigms that govern US foreign policy in the Middle East today are totally at odds with the paradigms that actually govern the actions of our enemies.
The Western concept of demanding that a leader subscribe to a moral and ethical code does not resonate with Iranians or the Arab world in general. If one believes that his adversary will gain even the slightest advantage through such a measure, he will never concede an inch.
Much the same point is made by Richard Landes in Augean Stables: Such a blow to Arab honor cannot be tolerated for cultural and political reasons: In this kind of war, negotiations will not work as the solution is in zero-sum terms: I win, you lose. The Palestinians cannot recognize Israel without suffering an unbearable, catastrophic loss of honor; while Israel cannot cede any further territory without absolute security guarantees and its recognition as a Jewish state.
As Hitler later stated to his General Staff: I saw them at Munich". Our adversaries -- Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah -- see "negotiations" and our desire for dialogue as opportunities to "best others, to demonstrate power," and to make certain that we know who is in control.
Under such circumstances, goodwill and confidence-building measures by the West are interpreted as a lack of strength or resolve.
Israel should not have been surprised when, in return for withdrawing from southern Lebanon in and Gaza init received terror in the form of increased suicide bombings and missile attacks on its civilian population. Nor, for that matter, should President Obama have been surprised when his many overtures to our enemies were seen as symptomatic of American weakness, vulnerability, lack of resolve and an opportunity for conquest in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere - which is why American foreign policy in the Middle East is in shambles.
As Rhode writes, such regimes are prepared to "negotiate" only after they have defeated their enemies and established their superiority - at which point they need only dictate terms rather than negotiate them.
Contrary to the view of Western diplomats, "signaling a desire to talk before being victorious is [interpreted as] a sign of weakness or lack of will to win," and, in the view of our enemies, can only lead to an escalation of violence against them and invite demands for further concessions from them.
Understanding this mindset, and adding frustrated religious imperialism jihadism into the equation as Landes does, explains why Hamas and Hezbollah are not prepared to negotiate any settlement with Israel, and are adamant in stating their intention to destroy the Jewish state.
It also accounts for the reason why Ahmedinejad, despite numerous US attempts at accommodation, feels secure in threatening the Sunni regimes of the region; continues his quest for nuclear weapons despite global censure; openly assists al Qaeda and the Taliban in killing Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan; funds terrorist organizations throughout the Middle East, and has no qualms in stating his intention to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.
In each case, we have conveyed to our enemies the belief that we are weak, fearful, indecisive, irresolute and do not represent an immediate threat to their power. Our diplomats may argue that dialogue is necessary to clarify "misunderstandings" and to "make amends for past injustices" real or imagined, but our enemies see it otherwise: As Rhode also notes, in the wake of the Iranian hostage-taking crisis "Iran put the hostages on a plane less than an hour before Ronald Reagan became president.
The hostages left Iranian airspace when Reagan raised his hand and took the oath of office. The Iranian "students" believed Reagan was a cowboy and feared he would "level" Tehran…… Interestingly, during the hostage crisis, a group of Iranian terrorists also occupied the Soviet embassy in Tehran.
But they quickly left, because Moscow informed Tehran that if the Iranians did not leave the Soviet Embassy within hours, Tehran would be bombed," and they knew the Russians meant it.
Only when the West, including Israel, re-establishes its credibility as the most powerful force in the region, and shows the strength and resolve expected of a superpower, will those who threaten us come on board.
Regrettably, as power, honor and humiliation cannot be separated from Iranian or Arab political cultures, it may become necessary to destroy both the military forces and the political infrastructures of our enemies to such an extent that the mullahs of Iran and the jihadist foot soldiers of Hamas and Hezbollah will be utterly defeated and humiliated.
In the Arab-Persian world, those who seek to challenge us do not intend to be on the losing side. As power, honor and humiliation are inextricably bound together in Iranian and Arab cultures, it may become necessary to destroy both national symbols, as well as leadership strongholds, of our adversaries.
Only when they are convinced that we are serious in protecting our interests in the region, and show the strength of resolve expected of a superpower, will those who threaten us come on board. Neither Hitler nor Tojo would have stood before their nations at the end of World War II and proclaimed that "this was just a temporary setback.
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News > World > Middle East Iran's Jews on life inside Israel's 'enemy state': 'We feel secure and happy' Despite its often turbulent dealings with Israel, Iran has one of the world's largest and. Further, while Iranians, and the Arab world cope with adverse situations by being "warm, gracious, polite, and obsequious," whereas Americans place a high value on "candor, straightforwardness, and honesty," we in the West fail to realize, to our detriment, that we are easily deceived by our enemies' effusively friendly, kind, generous, and engaging .
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