Middle East Defence & Security

STURM

Well-Known Member
The Arab nations provide a security to force work alongside Israeli security forces to root out Hamas, Hezbollah and any other Iranian influences.
IMO this is not possible. Iran can't be rooted out because it's an important regional player in it's own right and because of other issues. Any lasting peace has to include Iran; it can't be excluded; irrespective of how the U.S, Israel and the others continues to try to isolate Iran.
As for Hamas; Palestinians selected it over Fatah which they saw as feeble, incompetent and corrupt. They have to be given a better alternative to Hamas. As long as there is no Palestinian state and as long Israel continues to pursue its policies; Hamas will have its narrative.
Hezbollah has long transitioned from just being a Shia organisation supported by Iran. It's firmly part of the Lebanese political landscape and although its power base lies with the Shia population; it would a mistake to assume it has absolutely zero support from other ethnic groups. It would also be a mistake to assume that Hezbollah can be easily done way with.

There has been little to no discussion on the root causes of the longstanding tensions which exist and which have for so long affected not only the region but the rest of the world. If we objectively look at the roots causes; perhaps we can start looking at viable solutions. Assuming it's in the interests of all the players to really have a solution which ultimately leads to peace,

with the aim of securing the region from aggression from the likes of Iran and others.
Who secures the region from threats within and from outside countries like the U.S? We saw how destabilising and devastating the Iraq invasion became and we see what's happening in Yemen. We also saw what happened in Syria; various players meddling for their own interests.

I see Iran as being part of the problem but it is is also part of the solution and other countries are also part of the problem. The fact the the UAE has engaged in talks with Iran is a good sign and is telling [it wouldn't have done so without the go ahead from Saudi]. What is needed is dialogue and compromise. Naturally there will be parties - within and outside the region - who want things to remain as they are.

I think it's in Israel's and the Arab states common interest to start working along these or similar lines.
There has been attempts in the past; beyond the Abraham Accords which is great as a PR exercise but ultimately does little to resolve key regional issues. For the Arabs and Israel to really work together for a common good; a major obstacle remains the Palestinian issue. Unless or until it is resolved; peace will be elusive. The blame game will go on and some will claim a monopoly on various things but there will be no peace - assuming all the parties actually want peace.
 
Last edited:

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Part 2 of 2: The Strength of Iranian Proxies

5. Mahmoud Abbas is in the 19th year of his 4 year term. He refuses to hold elections. Imprisons, kills those who criticize his corruption. 245 Palestinians have been arrested by the Palestinian security forces between Apr to Dec 2021, on charges of inciting sectarian strife, illegal gatherings, possession of illegal weapons, and collecting money (for rival groups) and receiving money (from these groups). The West Bank faces an “explosion” and President Abbas is a major part of the issue. Expecting a political solution with Abbas at its helm to solve the issue is naive at best.

6. Meanwhile, Hamas and PIJ sends their traditional new year greeting to Israel. Large booms were heard in Tel Aviv, Holon, Bat Yam and Rishon. No sirens were activated and the Iron Dome was not used because the trajectory showed that they were headed towards the sea.

(a) Israel’s military said it launched strikes against militant targets in the Gaza Strip, a day after at least 2 rockets were fired from the Hamas-ruled territory, which exploded off the coast of Jaffa — which Hamas says they were fired due to weather related malfunction.​
(b) IMO, the IDF responded mildly to the 2 Hamas rockets, by targeting 2 known Hamas sites/compounds (that were emptied out). Reportedly, 2 SA-7 missiles were fired by Hamas terrorists towards IDF helicopters that participated in the air strikes. Israel already had intel that apparently Hamas got hold of more sophisticated surface to air missiles. If the SA-7s had managed to down any IDF helicopter, the response would have been more intense.​
(c) If we add the administrative detention and health of Hisham Abu Hawash — things could get very violent very soon in Q1 2022. Hamas in a statement says it is closely watching the condition of Hisham Abu Hawash (on hunger strike since 17 Aug 2021). It warns, in line with the PIJ, that Hawash is being subjected to "a slow execution."​
 
Last edited:

Big_Zucchini

Well-Known Member
I think that the region needs to rethink it's imagined dependency upon a superpower, grow up and start sorting it's own rubbish out. It's time for Israel to cut the apron strings and stand on its own two feet. It's the sole regional nuclear power and the technological leader within the region. Yes it has problems with Iran because of the Ayatollahs, but there are other nations in the region that it can deal with. It doesn't have to leap into bed with them, but it can still work with them if it wants to. In order for that to happen it's going to have to swallow some dead rats at home and prove that it's willing to act in good faith. The Arab states are going to have to do the same and the first thing is sorting out the Palestinian problem once and for all. This is one of Israel's dead rats.
Israel is the region's most powerful nation, but that's not nearly enough. It needs:

(1) power projection;​
(2) competent allies, and​
(3) the ability to rally key regional players behind it.​

So far it has achieved plenty, but not those 3 things. Its navy is one of the smallest. It does not have the ally network to deploy meaningful amounts of ground forces, nor does it have the strategic mobility to do so.

Especially when Israel is easily outnumbered and out-spended by almost every other country in the region.
  • Obviously Arab countries cannot take this role either. That's why the region is still superpower-dependent.
  • Other than Israel, only the UAE is on a path of reducing superpower-dependence by diversifying its economy.
Palestine is also at the very least of concerns for the Arab states, so its status is hardly a factor in the strategic posture of Israel, or any other Arab country versus it.

  • Israel stops all suppression of Palestinian rights and discrimination, giving them equal rights to Jewish citizens.
  • That Israel cease forthwith any new Jewish settlements on Palestinian lands and that all illegal settlements since a yet to be agreed to date, be removed at Israeli expense. The cost to the Israeli government can of course be recoverable from the settlers and / or the settler organisation.
Those two can only occur if and when an Israeli-Palestinian formal peace is achieved. And there are many reasons (from a short term strategy, not what's actually right) for the Palestinians to stall formal peace until further notice.

What you see is not Israeli suppression of Palestinian rights. Rather a security situation that cannot change until an agreement is reached, and a Palestinian autonomy in the West Bank in which the PA is responsible for setting the rights and later suppressing them.

The Arab nations financially support the Palestinian economy and help rebuild it along side the Israeli government.
De facto happens already.

The Arab nations provide a security to force work alongside Israeli security forces to root out Hamas, Hezbollah and any other Iranian influences. Such people found will be tried in Palestine under Saudi law and punishment meted out in Saudi Arabia. Why i suggest Saudi Law is because it's harsher than Israeli Law and the criminals are being tried, judged and punished by Arabs, not Jews.
Major taboo in the Arab world. No way they'll ever agree.

That a regional organisation be formed involving Israel and Arab nations with the aim of securing the region from aggression from the likes of Iran and others. This organisation would also foster diplomatic and economic relations within the region.
De facto happens already.

So you keep saying but the facts indicate that Israel benefits from a huge way by the near unconditional support it receives from America [from 1967 onwards]... America goes of it's way to guarantees Israel's security; it undertakes certain actions/policies which are great for Israel but not so great for itself; it has long ceased to be an impartial mediator/broker in any peace talks; it blocks any criticism of Israel at the UN equating it to antisemitism; it enabled Israel to became the largest recipient of U.S. aid as a reward for Camp David; it ensures Israel has a technological edge over its neighbours [despite none of Israel's neighbours having the intent or capability to threaten Israel, etc, etc.

As it stands there is no other country with the economic, military or diplomatic might; to replace the U.S. in terms of what it provides Israel..
I don't know if intentionally or not, but you are obviously twisting my words. When I say the relations are not the topic of discussion, then that's exactly what it means. Not some covert declaration of war.

And if a general talks about Russia, it doesn't mean he dismisses China, and vice versa. It's just different topics.

We can add Nasser, Gadaffi, Arafat and a long list of others - some were first vilified by the West and Israel but later became ''partners''; only to become the bad guys again. In the case of Saddam he had no interest to engage Israel. His focus was regime survival and Iran. Beyond Iran his main enemy was Syria [they both fought a proxy war in Lebanon]. Israel was inconsequential to him.
Apparently he was consequential enough to Israel to warrant an assassination attempt.

Destabilising'' in what way and to Israel alone or to others as well? IMO higher chance in the future of a Gulf State government falling; compared to Iran which actually has experience in democracy [it had an elected leader who was overthrown by the 'democratic' West]; it has a stronger opposition and has stronger state institutions. Iran is far less fragile than any Gulf Arab state
To the region, and Israel which is in that region.

Israel's enterprise of peace is built on stability. Whether an oppressive dictator or a benevolent head of a democracy, Israel can only really build peace and trust with those it knows, and who are going to stay in power long enough to honor that peace and normalize it for the people.
  • Many of the countries with whom Israel has no relations were not actually at war with Israel, so a mere normalization will have serious economical benefits.
  • Iran is indeed very strong, internally. But it too is not going to last forever. Tyrants come and go. Democracies in the true sense, where people strive for cultural progress and not just to officially have elections and that's it, are what lasts.
I see Iran as being part of the problem but it is is also part of the solution and other countries are also part of the problem. The fact the the UAE has engaged in talks with Iran is a good sign and is telling [it wouldn't have done so without the go ahead from Saudi]. What is needed is dialogue and compromise. Naturally there will be parties - within and outside the region - who want things to remain as they are.
Iran's end goal is regional dominance, and to exert the same deterrence against its regime to the outside, as it has inside against its citizens.

This is not something one can compromise on.
  • When Iran tells a country it's going to annihilate it. What will the compromise look like? Kill only half?
  • Despite the assumed role of UAE as an ally against Iran, it's still a key source of revenue for Iran, and is violating sanctions. Sooner or later it's going to clash with US strategy, or may already have.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Part 1 of 2: Sharing Inchoate thoughts

1. Yemen and the Houthi militia’s attacks on sea lanes and Saudi Arabia is a problem that is not going away any time soon.

I see Iran as being part of the problem but it is is also part of the solution and other countries are also part of the problem. The fact the the UAE has engaged in talks with Iran is a good sign and is telling [it wouldn't have done so without the go ahead from Saudi]. What is needed is dialogue and compromise. Naturally there will be parties - within and outside the region - who want things to remain as they are.
2. I don't condemn Iran, but I also don't condone the acts of terror done by proxies of Iran and its IRGC.

3. I focus on trying to understand what is happening, and what could happen next that's all. In this respect, I don’t think UAE is helping, when it helps Iran skirt sanctions — and I also don’t approve of US sanctions, as it is a blunt tool.

So you keep saying but the facts indicate that Israel benefits from a huge way by the near unconditional support it receives from America [from 1967 onwards]... America goes of it's way to guarantees Israel's security; it undertakes certain actions/policies which are great for Israel but not so great for itself; it has long ceased to be an impartial mediator/broker in any peace talks; it blocks any criticism of Israel at the UN equating it to antisemitism; it enabled Israel to became the largest recipient of U.S. aid as a reward for Camp David; it ensures Israel has a technological edge over its neighbours [despite none of Israel's neighbours having the intent or capability to threaten Israel, etc, etc.

As it stands there is no other country with the economic, military or diplomatic might; to replace the U.S. in terms of what it provides Israel..
4. There is scope for discussion/disagreement on the ‘proper’ role of America in the Middle East. Most of us are not here for a debate on political narratives or to tell you who is right or wrong. Many times I don't know myself, who is in the ‘right’, or who is ‘wrong’ — in the action reaction dynamics of the Middle East. I think interns of decisions, choices, 2nd order effects and consequences of these, to move forward or regress.
 
Last edited:

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Part 2 of 2: Sharing Inchoate thoughts

The Arab nations provide a security to force work alongside Israeli security forces to root out Hamas, Hezbollah and any other Iranian influences.
5. I don’t think that can ever happen.

Such people found will be tried in Palestine under Saudi law and punishment meted out in Saudi Arabia. Why i suggest Saudi Law is because it's harsher than Israeli Law and the criminals are being tried, judged and punished by Arabs, not Jews.
6. Due to Hamas rocket attacks, in May 2021, the Gaza Strip experienced renewed destruction as Israel launched a 11-day military offensive which destroyed 1,800 residential units and partially demolished at least 14,300 other units — the IDF air strikes came in response to rockets launched from the Gaza Strip toward Israel. Arab forces and legal systems can’t be seen as working with the enemy to the detriment of the Palestinian cause.

7. The ‘moderate’ Malaysian Government and many of its citizens on social media, who are pro-Palestinian, will go nuts. Especially, if any Arabs try to work with Jews to punish crimes committed in Gaza — if you go to Malaysian social media, it would seem that there are no rockets launched at Isreal from Gaza (during the conflict flare-ups).

8. Based on behaviour when challenged on factual errors, I suspect some of these Palestinian cause supporters (in Malaysia), are prejudiced against or have hatred of Jews — just like the militants featured in the above Palestinian propaganda video. It may be that hating Jews gets votes in Malaysian politics.

9. Malaysia is a supporter of the 2 state solution, and Palestinian children at the Malaysian Al-Quran School built by Aman Palestin in Gaza are even praying for Malaysians affected by recent floods.
 
Last edited:

STURM

Well-Known Member
I don't know if intentionally or not, but you are obviously twisting my words.
I'm my post I laid out in a clear and concise manner what I was driving at; the point I was making... I have no reason to ''twist'' your words and you are mistaken for assuming so...

Apparently he was consequential enough to Israel to warrant an assassination attempt.
I can give you a whole list of Arab leaders and figures who were ''consequential' enough to warrant Western or Israeli assassination attempts....
For Saddam; Israel was a sideshow; something to be used at garner support amongst the masses but his main goal was always to preserve the survival of himself and the Iraqi Baath party. Externally his concern was centered on Iran and other Arab states who were were in direct competition with him in places such as Lebanon.... Same with Assads.

And if a general talks about Russia, it doesn't mean he dismisses China, and vice versa. It's just different topics.
Indeed but I was clearly talking about the same topic; raising points which I felt was germane to the topic/discussion.

Many of the countries with whom Israel has no relations were not actually at war with Israel, so a mere normalization will have serious economical benefits.
The vast majority of countries which do not have official ties with Israel are not or ever were technically at war with Israel. Yes, you keep mentioning the economic benefits; something I agree with.

But it too is not going to last forever.
Iran under it's present form indeed might not 'last forever' but then how long will America retain it's status as the world's undisputed sole superpower? How long will Israel last in its present form; based on post 1967 borders? How long will the Gulf Arab states continue to last under the present forms of government?

L:ike I said in a previous post; unless things change; in 2035 we'll be hearing about a U.S. special envoy rushing to Tel Aviv to discuss the latest rounds of tensions; about a new gen Hamas rocket and about IDF movements along the occupied West Bank. We'll hear about Israelis and Arabs killed.

We'll continue to hear similar stories similar to that of Mohammed Shaban; aged 7 who had his eyes removed by doctors after his house was hit in Gaza. A few days ago he told his mother he wished he could see her... When will this endless and meaningless cycle of violence and suffering end?

1641270104420.png

One was killed and two injured in this Ashkelon apartment. When does it end?

1641270216196.png

Iran's end goal is regional dominance
My narrative is that Iran is hell bent on preserving and safeguarding its core interests in the face of what it sees as an ''axis'' of Gulf Arab states supported by the U.S; Gulf states who at times and in certain areas share the same goal as Israel; to weaken and isolate Iran. All this is part of a larger ''cold war'' - driven largely by the Sunni/Shia schism - which has been fought since 1979 and is a reason why various outsiders meddled in Lebanon, Syria and Yemen. It is also a reason why Iran rushed troops to shore up Assad and why it did the same in Iraq to stop IS.

There is no black/white or right/wrong; all the players in the Middle East share responsibility for the state of the region; all have blood on their hands; all engage in double standards and hypocrisy and none can claim a monopoly on truth; righteousness or justice....

many of its citizens on social media, who are pro-Palestinian, will go nuts. Especially, if any Arabs try to work with Jews to punish crimes committed in Gaza
Not necessarily so. If as part of a future peace deal; Arab countries are required to work alongside Israeli forces to prevent threats to the peace deal; this will be understood by supporters of the Palestinian cause as being absolutely needed tp ensure the peace deal works. Similarly; Malaysian supporters of the Palestinian cause do not condemn Fatah when - as agreed with Israel - it cracks down or use to in the past; on certain Palestinian elements. Unlike in the past; Malaysians - thanks to the internet - have a much wider range of sources to get their news from; in order to base their opinions on.

If indeed a peace deal with is acceptable to both the Palestinians and and Israel is reached; any Palestinian elements who engage in actions that can jeopardise the peace deal should be neutralised. Same goes for any Israeli elements; be they settlers or right wing elements which do the same.

There is scope for discussion/disagreement on the ‘proper’ role of America in the Middle East. Most of us are not here for a debate on political narratives or to tell you who is right or wrong.
Unfortunately politics is part and parcel of the topic and any discussion will inevitably include politics.. It's my humble opinion that nobody's right or wrong per see; with regards to the Middle East. All are part of the problem; all share part of the blame.

I don't condemn Iran, but I also don't condone the acts of terror done by proxies of Iran and its IRGC.
I don't condone any acts of violence which results in civilian casualties; irrespective of whether it's done by Israel; Saudi, the U.S. or Iran.

I suspect some of these Palestinian cause supporters, in Malaysia, are prejudiced against or have hatred of Jews .
Of course... Just like how there will be supporters/apologists of Israel who are highly prejudiced against Muslims and have a particular loathing against Arabs and Palestinians because in their narrative the Palestinians don't want peace; they prefer death over life and and want to wipe out Israel. In their view the Palestinians are to blame and only them. Hatred, ignorance and bigotry exists on both sides of the spectrum.

It may be that hating Jews gets votes in Malaysian politics.
Showing solidarity with the Palestinian cause gets approval from a large part of the voter base [or at least it used to] but ''hating Jews'' per see doesn't. Malaysian voters have far more pressing issues to be concerned about - especially in COVID times - and it's addressing those issues which gets votes for politicians - the average Malaysian voter is focused and concerned on local issues. Also; during the present climate; when the country is making a slow recovery from the COVID; any politician who focuses on external issues will be accused of neglecting local issues which are seen as more pressing by the average voter.

Malaysia is a supporter of the 2 state solution, and Palestinian children at the Malaysian Al-Quran School built by Aman Palestin in Gaza are even praying for Malaysians affected by recent floods.
Yes, like various other countries Malaysia is a supporter of a future Palestinian state and it's unsurprising that Palestinian children at a school funded by a Malaysian NGO would show solidarity with Malaysians who were affected by a very bad flood.
 
Last edited:

Big_Zucchini

Well-Known Member
Post 1 of 2: Background & geo-political context

For Saddam; Israel was a sideshow; something to be used at garner support amongst the masses but his main goal was always to preserve the survival of himself and the Baath party.
1. It doesn't matter. What matters is that in his sideshows he made actual, credible threats to Israel, including WMDs like chemical weapons.
(i) He miscalculated and made himself too big of a target for the west, ultimately resulting in a suicide for himself and his party.​

(ii) To survive, one can either gain the crowd's support, or fear. He chose fear, and in that path you naturally make enemies.​
(iii) Ballistic missiles were already fired at Tel Aviv. Arming them with chemical weapons is just a short technical step away from that.​

We'll continue to hear similar stories to that of Mohammed Shaban; aged 7 who had his eyes removed by doctors after his house was hit in Gaza. A few days ago he told his mother he wished he could see her... When will this endless and meaningless cycle of violence and suffering end?
2. So what's the solution? A ground operation that completely eradicates Hamas and frees these people from its oppressive rule? Because there are some who support this approach. Others believe it'll just allow the PIJ to rise to power, who are even more extremist in their views, and closer to Iran. Topple them and it's the PFLP. Topple them and it's an offshoot of ISIS. The cycle continues.
  • Maybe install the PA? They are not known to last long there, and Hamas has many supporters.
  • Maybe the better strategy is to simply wait? Isn't time on our side?
3. We, Israelis, often accuse the government of inaction. But no party, no politician, no thinktank, or independent critic, can actually formulate a truly comprehensive, action based approach to Gaza that would turn it into a peaceful neighbor.

4. There is a 99% probability that whatever strategy you may propose, was already tried in some capacity. But I am still genuinely interested in hearing your proposal nonetheless.

My narrative is that Iran is hell bent on preserving and safeguarding its core interests in the face of what it sees as an ''axis'' of Gulf Arab states supported by the U.S; Gulf states who at times and in certain areas share the same goal as Israel; to weaken and isolate Iran. All this is part of a larger ''cold war'' - driven largely by the Sunni/Shia schism - which has been fought since 1979 and is a reason why various outsiders meddled in Lebanon, Syria and Yemen. It is also a reason why Iran rushed troops to shore up Assad and why it did the same in Iraq to stop IS.
5. Wasn't Israel the primary target for isolation for decades after its formation? And yet, it did not do what Iran does. It may have occupied temporarily territories, either for formal peace or for calm, but it did not go around overthrowing governments all over the middle east, installing terrorist groups for the purpose of waging wars on others, and generally expanding in every way. In fact it shrunk quite a bit.

6. There are ways to safeguard a regime. Iran went about the ugliest possible way, whilst also paradoxically making even more enemies in the process.

7. Had it not occupied Lebanon and used Syria and Iraq for a train of weapons and fighters to use against Israel, it would not have nearly as much opposition from Israel in any aspect. Had it remained an ally to Israel it would likely even have a nuke by now, or maybe would never felt compelled to get one.

There is no black/white or right/wrong; all the players in the Middle East share responsibility for the state of the region; all have blood on their hands; all engage in double standards and hypocrisy and none can claim a monopoly on truth; righteousness or justice....
8. See, that's a very problematic approach. No player is equal. Everyone has unique circumstances and approaches. If you treat everyone equally, you'll get nowhere.

9. You tell a couple that they're equally responsible for the husband beating his wife, the husband would probably rejoice, gaining more than he's losing, and the wife... not so much. Will keep getting beaten, even if at half the force, because now it's normalized and she has to make a compromise because we've established she's equally responsible.

10. Similarly, treating democracies with high respect for human rights and a peaceful and defensive approach, and monarchies that support terrorism but are only mildly active in that aspect and also mildly oppress citizens, and theocracies that expand terrorism far and wide and brutally oppress all the people they control, the same way, is a recipe for disaster. It would be a severe punishment to those who already made the most effort to stay on a righteous path, and be very relaxed with those who made the most effort to do the opposite. The sum is a negative result. i.e more harm done than good.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

STURM

Well-Known Member
Wasn't Israel the primary target for isolation for decades after its formation? And yet, it did not do what Iran does.
Israel was isolated but in a different way. For one it never faced a bloc of enemies which were actually united and had the backing of major Western powers; the way Iran did during the Iran/Iraq war. Israel from 1967 onwards also had the near unconditional backing of the U.S.. The only tru ally Iran had was Syria.

but it did not go around overthrowing governments all over the middle east,
What government's has Iran overthrown?

Had it not occupied Lebanon
Iran has major influence in Lebanon but it did not ''occupy'' the country per see.

Iran went about the ugliest possible way
Of course it did/does but it's forced to use whatever means it has to compensate for its inability to achieve its aims and safeguard its interests via other means; if Iran had a capable air force or a more capable armed forces; it would not have to resort to proxy groups and would rely on ballistic missiles to a lesser extent.

No player is equal. Everyone has unique circumstances and approaches.
I didn't imply that all players were equal; merely that no side bears sole responsibility for all that's gone wrong in the region and all that will continue to go wrong and that no side has a monopoly on truth; righteousness or justice....

Had it remained an ally to Israel it would likely even have a nuke by now, or maybe would never felt compelled to get one.
Based on what you're saying; in the event of Saudi/Israel ties officially being established and fully normalising and in the event of Iran actually acquiring a nuke capability; Israel would be more than willing to lose its nuke monopoly by allowing Saudi to get nukes? Saudi has openly stated that it would pursue a nuke option in response to Iran acquiring nukes. Please don't say I'm twisting your words; what I'm doing is seeking clarification on a point you made on a topic feel is related... Also; the intention of Iran to acquire the means of assembling a nuke device and the means to deliver it is aimed not only at Israel but also others whom it perceives as a threat.

Maybe the better strategy is to simply wait? Isn't time on our side?
Maybe, maybe not. If you recall; in the past there was a school of thought that said that time was on Israel's side; that the Palestinian issue would go away [Palestinians would migrate and be absorbed by Syria, Jordan and Lebanon] and that the Arabs would readily be lining up to make peace and normalise relations.

A ground operation that completely eradicates Hamas and frees these people from its oppressive rule?
A ground operation would be focused on removing the threat Hamas poses but not to free '' these people from its oppressive rule''. A ground operation would also be a messy affair; one politically dicey and one not guaranteed to achieve what Israel sets out to achieve [Israel has experience of this]. To me; one way would be to work with others to offer Gazans a much better alternative to Hamas.
 

Vivendi

Well-Known Member
I may be wrong, but I suspect many of the dictators in the middle east are not necessarily so eager to resolve the "Palestinian issue", even if they keep telling their citizens and the rest of the world how important it is, and the need to resolve it before progress can be made on other issues. Most of the dictators are probably more focused on themselves and their personal needs. If they care so little about citizens of their own country why should they care more about Palestinians? I suspect most of them use it mainly for distraction from other issues, and although they would never admit it of course, if this is the case, they would probably actually prefer the Palestinian issue not to be resolved, since focus would then be shifted elsewhere.
 

Big_Zucchini

Well-Known Member
Post 2 of 2: Background & geo-political context

I may be wrong, but I suspect many of the dictators in the middle east are not necessarily so eager to resolve the "Palestinian issue", even if they keep telling their citizens and the rest of the world how important it is, and the need to resolve it before progress can be made on other issues. Most of the dictators are probably more focused on themselves and their personal needs. If they care so little about citizens of their own country why should they care more about Palestinians? I suspect most of them use it mainly for distraction from other issues, and although they would never admit it of course, if this is the case, they would probably actually prefer the Palestinian issue not to be resolved, since focus would then be shifted elsewhere.
11. This trend can be seen in a greater scope at the UN. Initially a forum for superpowers and other powers to have a continuous dialogue, it has since accepted dictatorships and the worst regimes in the world to take up spots for what is officially termed - a "circlejerk".

12. Organizations like the UNHRC and UNESCO have long ago become mouthpieces for said regimes. IIRC the composition of the UNHRC, said to be a human rights body, is almost 70% non-democracies and dictatorships.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Big Zucchini and STURM
Thanks for your thoughtful and civil discussion here over the last few days, it’s been a real education for one who knew little of these events apart from the odd media report.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Big Zucchini and STURM
Thanks for your thoughtful and civil discussion here over the last few days, it’s been a real education for one who knew little of these events apart from the odd media report.
I second that.
 

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
This trend can be seen in a greater scope at the UN. Initially a forum for superpowers and other powers to have a continuous dialogue, it has since accepted dictatorships and the worst regimes in the world to take up spots for what is officially termed - a "circlejerk".
Organizations like the UNHRC and UNESCO have long ago become mouthpieces for said regimes. IIRC the composition of the UNHRC, said to be a human rights body, is almost 70% non-democracies and dictatorships.
It's kind of the essence of the issue though. An international organization that only includes capitalist liberal democracies would just be NATO+EU+Japan/Aus/RoK/NZ/Singapore. Remember at its inception the UN included countries that by a western standard would also be called the worst regimes. Dictatorships make up a large portion of the planet. The current system of international relations doesn't really differentiate between the two. But if you start differentiating, you raise the ghost of neocolonialism, and of course you may divide the world all over again. Not to mention that plenty of US allies are less then democratic by any reasonable standard, and in fact might be called some of the worst regimes (Saudi Arabia anyone?). Separate them too? You weaken the US positions. Don't separate them? Now you're a laughable hypocrite and your divisions of democracy and dictatorship become arbitrary, or at least subservient to political expedience. This doesn't negate the problem you outlined, or even make it less significant, but it makes a solution complex at best.
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
I may be wrong, but I suspect many of the dictators in the middle east are not necessarily so eager to resolve the "Palestinian issue", even if they keep telling their citizens and the rest of the world how important it is, and the need to resolve it before progress can be made on other issues.
I suspect you're right but that it isn't only Arab dictators who also might not want to see a truly stable and peaceful Middle East but also others; both from within and outside the region.. For decades the Palestinian issue was used by various Arab leaders to score points with citizens; to divert attention and as a rallying means but it also was a double edged sword; one that could backfire. In private the majority of ordinary Arabs - from the shores of North Africa to the Persian Gulf - are plainly disgusted with the inability of their leaders, the Arab League [good mainly for issuing meaningless declarations; bickering and holding emergency summits which don't achieve anything] and the the U.S. [whom they rightly see as the main party which enables Israel to do what it wants with near impunity and to get away with it in a way no other country could]. The 1967 war had a huge impact on various Arab states; it led to Palestinians moving to Lebanon [making things more worse in an already unstable country]; to Jordan [we saw the events in 1971 when various Palestinian groups fought against the Jordanian army leading to a Syrian incursion]; and in other places; placing a huge strain on the host countries; creating huge economic, social and political problems and a constant reminder to the Arabs of their inability to do anything. Sadat to be fair did the right thing; he signed Camp David because he knew that it was the only way forward but it created a major rift in a Arab world already divided - something which benefited others. Contrary to popular opinion Sadat did not abandon the Palestinians; during talks with the Israelis he asked for and received assurances that the issue would be resolved but he was later extremely disappointed. Carter was vilified by Israeli supporters but he genuinely tried to resolve the issue.

Some observers have questioned whether Israel actually wants to the Palestinian issue resolved or is it just bidding its time and waiting for the right conditions to created in order to achieve the end game it really wants; as opposed to what it openly says it wants. At various points in the past Israel was undecided on what to do; some Israelis were full of hubris from 1967 and questioned why there was even a need to negotiate; others struck a more cautionary and realistic note. If however we look at statements made by Israeli leaders and IDF figures from the late 1960's to the end of the 1970's; there was a greater willingness for accommodation and compromise then there is now. It's also my opinion Arabs and Israelis from earlier generations had more understanding and even empathy towards one another compared to what exists now; to be expected I suppose.

A valid question is that even if a peace deal is ever achieved what will a future Palestinian stare look like; given that land allocated for a future state is shrinking year by year due to the building of settlements. Unless of course an optimist believes that a major portion of the settlements will be vacated as part of a peace deal. Both sides have to make compromises; whether it's Israel of enabling part of Bayt al-Muqaddas/Jerusalem to be part of Palestinian or the Palestinians doing away with the 'right of return' condition - just like how popular Palestinian opinion will be a major factor for Palestinian leaders; Israeli leaders will have to weight in all the various internal political aspects when agreeing to a peace deal. Then there's the question of Gaza and the need for it to be included as part of any future peace deal. How does Hamas fit in and which Arab state can be an impartial go between with the needed influence and persistence to help resolve key issues? On the Gazans not [who of course are not originally from Gaza but elsewhere] support or are members of Hamas per see but a lot of them see Hamas as a legitimate resistance movement.
 
Last edited:

Big_Zucchini

Well-Known Member
Post 1 of 3: Clarifications in politics & roles of certain UN bodies

It's kind of the essence of the issue though. An international organization that only includes capitalist liberal democracies would just be NATO+EU+Japan/Aus/RoK/NZ/Singapore. Remember at its inception the UN included countries that by a western standard would also be called the worst regimes. Dictatorships make up a large portion of the planet. The current system of international relations doesn't really differentiate between the two. But if you start differentiating, you raise the ghost of neocolonialism, and of course you may divide the world all over again. Not to mention that plenty of US allies are less then democratic by any reasonable standard, and in fact might be called some of the worst regimes (Saudi Arabia anyone?). Separate them too? You weaken the US positions. Don't separate them? Now you're a laughable hypocrite and your divisions of democracy and dictatorship become arbitrary, or at least subservient to political expedience. This doesn't negate the problem you outlined, or even make it less significant, but it makes a solution complex at best.
1. The UNGA is important - assemble everyone and have them voice their opinions. But the existence of organizations like UNHRC and UNESCO is only doing more harm than good.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
The UNGA is important - assemble everyone and have them voice their opinions. But the existence of organizations like UNHRC and UNESCO is only doing more harm than good.
Are the UNHCR & UNESCO doing more harm than good? That's debatable and it depends upon where you sit in the room doesn't it. Some people will have a particularly jaundiced view of it because them doesn't they don't fit into their political world view or bend to their political will. For example US right wing conservatives, the Israeli far right, the CCP, and various far left wing organisations around the world. It doesn't help that some UN members with hold their annual dues and payments for political reasons. Both those two organisations do good on the the ground where they are most needed. That's what is important.
 

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
The UNGA is important - assemble everyone and have them voice their opinions. But the existence of organizations like UNHRC and UNESCO is only doing more harm than good.
I'm not well enough versed in their activities to comment, but doesn't UNESCO deal with education programs, preservation of sites of historic significance and natural wonder, and assist developing countries with fostering a domestic base of scientific research? How does this do more harm then good? I'm genuinely curious.
 

swerve

Super Moderator
I've proofread some UNESCO stuff done by an institute in Japan which was set up many years ago to preserve old stuff (archeological remains, surviving buildings - all sorts of things) in Japan. It has a big research department & considerable expertise.

Under UNESCO's auspices it provides free training & assistance to people seeking to do the same elsewhere, but who are short of money, expertise, or both. UNESCO does the coordination, as it already has contacts.

I think that helping Afghans try to preserve the tangible remains of their history is worthwhile. Same for Uzbeks, Nepalis, Bhutanese, & so on. I've seen feedback from people who've been through the training. Some of them are almost pathetically grateful. And the same for equipment they're given. Both the training & equipment transforms what they're able to do, in some cases.

I think there'd be less of that sort of stuff going on without UNESCO, & it'd be less well targeted. UNESCO does a hell of a lot of facilitating & coordination. It has people on the ground in very many places. That Japanese institute would still be doing good work, but it wouldn't be able to reach anywhere near as many of the people it wants to without UNESCO. It seems very happy to be working with UNESCO.
 

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
I've proofread some UNESCO stuff done by an institute in Japan which was set up many years ago to preserve old stuff (archeological remains, surviving buildings - all sorts of things) in Japan. It has a big research department & considerable expertise.

Under UNESCO's auspices it provides free training & assistance to people seeking to do the same elsewhere, but who are short of money, expertise, or both. UNESCO does the coordination, as it already has contacts.

I think that helping Afghans try to preserve the tangible remains of their history is worthwhile. Same for Uzbeks, Nepalis, Bhutanese, & so on. I've seen feedback from people who've been through the training. Some of them are almost pathetically grateful. And the same for equipment they're given. Both the training & equipment transforms what they're able to do, in some cases.

I think there'd be less of that sort of stuff going on without UNESCO, & it'd be less well targeted. UNESCO does a hell of a lot of facilitating & coordination. It has people on the ground in very many places. That Japanese institute would still be doing good work, but it wouldn't be able to reach anywhere near as many of the people it wants to without UNESCO. It seems very happy to be working with UNESCO.
The certainly doesn't sound like they're doing more harm then good. If anything it sounds like they're helping preserve a cultural and historic heritage for future generations.
 
Top