Every time something happens in the Middle East, the Arabs are quick to blame Israel. Israel is responsible for a lot of the problems, including the failure of peace with the Palestinians, but they are not responsible for the collapse of Democracy in Egypt or the escalating conflict in Syria.
It’s too easy to blame all of the Middle East’s problems on Israel when in fact the Arabs are often more to blame.
The Israeli are behind a lot of things, but I don’t think they are behind much of what is in the news today in Syria or in Egypt.
Too many Arabs are trying to explain away the collapse of the Arab Spring by blaming its failing consequences on Israel. Truthfully, Israel is not driving any of these events, but many Arabs are just afraid to admit the truth that their tragedy is sometimes of their own doing.
That doesn’t mean Israel is not quick to exploit those Arab-inflicted wounds for their own benefit. The Israelis often take the problems caused by Arabs and use them for their own good.
But blaming Israel for everything only weakens the Arab case for justice and fuels the extremism in the Arab and Muslim world that is behind most of the problems in the Middle East.
Israel clearly views the Muslim Brotherhood as a threat and they were not unhappy to see the Egyptian Military Coup that ousted the Democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi.
But Israel was not behind the military coup that removed Morsi. The Egyptian military was behind the coup and it had nothing to do with Israel. It had a lot to do with the fact that the secular Arabs are still much stronger in Egypt than in any other country and the rise of Islamicism frightens them, as it should.
Israel has always viewed Syria with concern, but not a fatal concern. Israel has always recognized that Syria’s President Basher al-Assad is no different than most of the other Arab leaders. Talk is cheap for the Arab regimes when it comes to “fighting for Palestine.”
The Syrians have never fought for Palestine, but they did make a lot of empty threats that Israel exploited for its own political agenda.
Who would they prefer in Syria? Well, it’s a toss up. Assad is an Alawite and religious tied to the extremist Shi’ite religion which is at war with the more moderate Sunni religion representing the majority of Arabs.
That makes Assad an ally of Iran, and Hezbollah. Although the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas are Sunni organizations, their extremist views and their unhesitant will to use violence, terrorism and suicide bombings to achieve their goals, makes them natural allies of the Shi’ites in Iran and Syria.
On the other hand, Israel is also no friend of bringing Democracy to the Arab World. The concept of the Arab Spring sounds good on paper, but in reality, the Arab Spring means that the people who be free to speak and act, and elect leaders who would practice what they preach.
Democracy, in its true essence, is not a friend of Israel. If the people of Syria, and Egypt, were given the real choice to deal with Israel, they would be more critical of Israel than the phony dictators who have run those countries to the ground like Hosni Mubarak and the Assad family.
Israel knows that while Assad is an Iranian puppet, he is also spoiled by Western conveniences and money. That has resulted only in him trying to appear Western while embracing the extremism of his Iranian allies. He has tried to maintain an image of being a tolerant dictator, but his brutality against his own people is unprecedented.
Is Israel behind the turmoil in Syria? That’s what many Arabs are trying to assert. But it is not true.
Israel clearly has priorities, but it will lose either way if Assad is removed from office or if he succeeds in wiping them out.
For the Israelis, Assad has been the perfect enemy. The Syrian military is incapable of conducting any kind of military operation against Israel, and it is only capable of oppressing its own people.
Why would the Israelis want Assad out? His ineffective as a threat is minimal. Syria has been a tepid Arab “confrontation state” that cannot do anything to harm Israel.
Israel also is no friend of the Syrian rebels who are trying to oust the Assad regime. If Democracy were to come to Syria, the people would probably demand that their government do more than just talk, the way Assad, Saddam Hussein and Gamal Abdul Nasser used to make empty threats against Israel.
On the other hand, Israel does benefit from the Syria turmoil. Syria is a puppet state under the influence of Iran, a far more powerful military presence in the greater Middle East region. And, Syria is allied to Hezbollah, which is strongly backed by Iran. Assad’s troubles weaken Hezbollah and Iran.
Those who claim Israel is behind the chemical attacks against Syrian civilians are merely surfing on their anger and emotions, as they always do.
It is difficult being an Arab sometimes. We rarely ever win a fight. Our leaders are often the most brutal oppressors of our people. More Arabs are killed by Arabs than by any other foreign power, in recent years.
That depressing reality fuels an insanity of emotion that seeks vengeance, not in actions but in emotion driven rhetoric.
Arab rhetoric is often poisonous and incendiary, but it is rarely effective.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist. Reach him at http://www.TheMediaOasis.com or on Twitter at @RayHanania.)