By Ameer Ali –
Donald Trump’s relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, amidst deaths, injuries and bloodshed not only fulfils the President’s election promise to US citizens but goes far beyond that in marking the beginning of the end of Arab Palestine and the Al-Aqsa along with it. The President said earlier that the shift was to reflect reality on the ground. Very soon and one by one, other Western powers will do the same as that reality becomes irresistible. In course of time, as Israel embarks on infrastructural development of Jerusalem and changes the city’s skyline, Saudi Arabia, after the European powers, will become the first Muslim nation to open its embassy in an undivided Jewish Jerusalem soon to be followed by Egypt. The so-called two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, much touted about by the West will slowly be forgotten and evaporate in thin air. Israeli settlements in occupied Gaza and the West Bank will expand in spite of aimless remonstrations in the Arab world. Let not the world fooled anymore. In the not too distant future, the Arabs in Palestine, thanks to Saudi rulers and Egyptian military men, will become cutters of wood and drawers of water in a greater and apartheid Israel. How did the Arab world in particular and Muslim world at large come to this?
Imperialist America in its relentless march to control the Middle East, its markets and resources needed a few compradors to accomplish its goal. Israel, planted at the heart of the Arab world, was a deliberate ploy to achieve this objective and was equipped with the most advanced weaponry including nuclear to defend itself against any possible opposition from its Arab neighbours. In every war since 1948, the Arabs were defeated comprehensively. Even the Yom Kippur or Ramadhan War of 1973 was a tactical victory for Israel. The Israeli lobby is so powerful in the West and international arena including the UN, the Arab world and the fifty-seven member Organization of Islamic Congress (OIC) is powerless and thoroughly incompetent to dislodge Israel’s position. It does not matter which administration governs US, democratic or republican, the commitment to protect Israel remains unchallenged. A guilty conscious Europe for what it did to the Jews has no choice in this matter but to go along with US dictates.
Within the Arab world and since the discovery of oil in the Middle East the control of that resource and prevention of the former USSR and present Russia from entering the Mediterranean were the primary objectives of Western imperialists. In order to achieve that objective Britain and France, before handing over the imperialist baton to US, carved out the former Ottoman lands, installed puppets on the throne and protected them with money and weapons in return for their role as agents of imperialism. The few who refused, like Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt, Muammar Ghaddafi in Libya and Saddam Hussain in Iraq met their fatal end either naturally or through manufactured violence.
From the point of view of US’s strategic and economic interests in the Middle East the support of two Arab nations is paramount. One is Egypt and the other is Saudi Arabia. The first, because of its large Muslim population and longstanding reputation as an incomparable centre for Islamic scholarship and learning centred at the world famous Al-Azhar University. Even Napoleon entered the world of Islam by first capturing Egypt and winning the support of at least some of its theologians. An eruption in Egypt, as witnessed in 2011, is bound to spread throughout Islamic Middle East. To keep Egypt under US control is imperative to pursue the geostrategic interests of the US Empire. This is why US pours billions of dollars into the coffers of Egyptian security forces whose only task is to keep Egyptians under control. El-Sisi’s military regime is a willing partner in facilitating US’s policy towards Israel and Palestine. Is it any surprise that el-Sisi prevented Turkey’s aircrafts to fly over its air space to rescue the Palestinians trapped in Gaza?
The importance of Saudi Arabia to US’s Middle East policy, apart from the need for petroleum, arises from a different angle. Saudi Arabia possesses the keys to the two holiest of mosques in Mecca and Medina, which are the obligatory pilgrim centres for the entire world of Islam. By holding the sovereignty over these centres and with plenty of money at its disposal the rulers of that country has a stranglehold over the religious life of world Muslims. Millions gather in Mecca every year and listen to the sermon from its pulpit. This sermon can become a powerful weapon in the hands of radical imams if they want Muslim masses to act in a certain way. As long as the Saudi regime remains in the hands of the current ultra-conservative family that danger can be avoided. No wonder then that US and Israel are always ready to aid the Saudi regime in case of any danger to its survival. In return, the regime is happy to open economic ties with Israel and willing to remain quiet on the issue of Palestine. When Saudis want to wash their hands off Palestine why should the other Gulf potentates meddle with Palestine? The Saudi regime and Egypt are jointly accountable for much of the tragedies experienced by Palestinians.
All in all, led by the US-Saudi-Egypt-Israel quadrumvirate the world of Islam appears to have given up its fight for an independent Palestine. The Arabs will carry this guilt until eternity just as Europeans are carrying the guilt over Holocaust. Poor Palestinians are dying in vain while spineless Muslim leaders shed crocodile tears. Good bye Palestine! Good bye Al-Aqsa!
Dr. Ameer Ali, School of Business and Governance, Murdoch University, Western Australia