It’s January 6 In The Middle East–Always

It’s January 6 In The Middle East—Always

By

Leonard Zwelling

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/16/opinion/israel-netanyahu-hamas.html

As Tom Friedman points out in The New York Times on May 19, Bibi Netanyahu and Hamas are cooperating with each other to keep each other in power through mutually assured destruction. The Israelis are forced to stick with Bibi in wartime and the Palestinians have to defer to Hamas given the leadership vacuum on the West Bank.

Just as it seemed that it was possible for the Israeli center-left, center-right and Israeli Arabs to coalesce into a unity government under Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett, with help from the Arab leader Mansour Abbas, Hamas and Bibi make sure that they cooperate in having a January 6 moment trying to reverse the will of the Israeli people to end this chaos and the desire of the Arabs outside of Israel to have peace. Both outcomes would depose Netanyahu and emasculate Hamas. Thus, like Trump goading his demonstrators to storm the Capitol on January 6, these forces unleash violence that undermines any chance for progress.

It is becoming clearer to most people every day that a two-state solution to the Middle East crisis in what used to be Palestine is fading as an alternative. The Arabs of the region cannot gather behind one leadership—the Palestinian Authority or Hamas. Hamas is beholden to Iran so as never to be a partner with Israel for peace. Netanyahu is too compromised with his legal problems to embody true leadership in Israel and consistently retains power through extreme right wing politics and the use of the ultra-Orthodox parties to keep his hold on the prime ministry. It is the secular Israeli Jews, the Israeli Arabs and the right thinking Palestinian Arabs that can find a way out and that way is one country with everyone having equal rights.

Just as the Trump-led mob turned to violence to try to reverse the will of the American people on January 6, Bibi and Hamas work together to blunt any chance of finding a new way. Furthermore, the Americans can make all the noise they want on both sides of the argument—the pro Palestinian liberal Democrats and the hawkish neocons that back Bibi, America will not solve this problem as has been clearly obvious for years. It’s not for lack of trying.

If it takes one more Israeli election and a real election in the West Bank to get to the point where the Arabs of Palestine who do not live in Israel speak with one voice that is not a terrorist voice and the Israelis listen to and try to accommodate the needs of their neighbors that we will finally have one country that serves as both a Jewish homeland and safe haven for Arabs. It really is the only thing left.

Of course, the Republican leadership in Congress does not want to investigate the causes of January 6. We know them. It’s reactionary Trumpism and bitterness over a lost election that led to violence and an insurrection.

Examine the causes of the latest Middle East conflict and you will find they are Bibi’s need to remain in power, Hamas’ desire to be the sole Arab force in the region, and Iran’s quest for Israel’s eradication that leads to this mess. There’s a way out. One country that seeks alliances with the Sunni Arab states of the region led by both Jews and Arabs. When they tire of doing everything else, perhaps this will occur.

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