Okay, I don’t have much time here, it’s recycling night — and the New York Times seems to revel in recycling really tired Israeli PR lines.Today, it’s Ephraim Karshtrotting out a mish-mash of misrepresentations and tar-balls of wishful thinking to make the case that the Arab world has abandoned the Palestinians, and now that they’re on their own, they’re more likely to surrender to Israel’s terms at the peace table.
Israel and the United States are hand in glove with Arab efforts to deny the Palestinians the right to determine their own fate which Karsh so cynically touts, most visibly in their refusal to accept the verdict of the Palestinian electorate in 2006 that chose Hamas as its government (in Gaza and the West Bank), and instead set about suppressing Palestinian democratic institution, turning President Mahmoud Abbas into just another Arab autocrat with no democratic mandate and more dependent on the U.S. than on his own people. Indeed, the morbid truth, now, is that Abbas was forced to go to the Arab League for a mandate to join Obama’s peace process; he couldn’t be sure of getting the go-ahead even from his own Fatah Party, never mind from any Palestinian elected body.
There is, indeed, a regional shift underway, though: The Arab regimes on which the U.S. and Israel have relied to maintain regional stability and legitimize their endless peace process are not just tiring of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; they’re tiring, period. Spent. Their lack of legitimacy in the eyes of their own populations, exacerbated every time they’re shown to be either complicit or powerless as Israel pounds or throttles the Palestinians or its other Arab neighbors, has finally caught up with them. Soon Mubarak, longtime guarantor of the peace process, will expire, and Egypt will be in turmoil. The Saudis face succession dramas of their own. And the Arab populations, in whose hearts the cause of Palestine — rather than that of a bankrupt “peace process” — burns brightly are beginning to assert their own independence, from a regional order that has favored the U.S. and Israel for the past four decades.Frankly, Karsh, the events of the past year over Gaza alone should have been enough to demonstrate that it’s not the Palestinians who’re on their own in the Middle East.