For more than 75 years, western diplomats have been coming up with peace initiatives to solve the Arab Israeli conflict. Yet they always fail. Why? What keeps the Middle East conflict going?
In order to devise a solution, we must first view the situation from the top down, rather than from the bottom up. This is completely opposite to the way most Jews and Arabs have been conditioned to look at the situation. Both sides focus on the damage the other side causes, and believe that damage to be the cause of the conflict, when it is really only a result of it.
To understand what really causes the Middle East conflict to continue, one must get a more accurate picture of what lies behind its continued existence. Lets acknowledge these five factors, which serve to perpetuate the problem:
1) The vested interests of the Foreign Elite (FE): There is a third entity in the conflict, in addition to the Israelis and the Arabs: the foreigners (in order of importance: the US, Britain, Russia, China, France and Germany). Without them, there would be no Middle East conflict, as the foreign influence keeps the situation unresolved. Unfortunately, both Arabs and Israelis believe they are each other's worst enemy, without considering the foreigners that the thing they have most in common is this common enemy. Yet the leaders on both sides (who are neither legitimate nor independent) tell their people that the other side is their number one enemy. Hence the conflict continues
2) Control of Middle East oil: The foreigners interfere in the Arab-Israeli conflict in order to exploit and control the vast petroleum resources in the region. If there were no oil, there would be no petrodollars to recycle; the foreigners would have no reason to dominate the region.
3) Weapons sales: If there was a worldwide ban on arms sales to the Middle East, there would be no radical Arab dictators with modern arms. If the foreigners stopped selling advanced weaponry to nations of the Middle East, the conflict would end.
4) The mainstream media: If the mainstream media in the West stopped reporting on the "Middle East Peace Process", peace would prevail. By keeping up the region's unstable image, the media, as the sole source of information by which people can formulate their perceptions, provide an excuse for the foreigners to interfere, and at the same time convince everyone that these western nations want peace. The media never question the intentions of the FE, thus providing the glue which keeps the conflict going. Without the mainstream media constantly reporting on the conflict, there would be peace, as everyone would forget that the Middle East is unstable and thus in need of stabilizing via new peace initiatives
5) Corrupt national leadership of Middle East nations: The FE achives its interest in continuing the Middle East conflict by corrupting and controlling the national leaders of both sides. Legitimate, popular leaders are not at the helms of the Middle East countries because the FE will topple any leader who doesn't cater to their desires before the needs of their own people. If Middle East leaders are deemed popular by their own people, the foreigners will demonize them as radicals, extremists, terrorist leaders or enemies of peace, and thus de-legitimize them in the world arena. How can genuine co-existence take hold if the leaders of both sides are more interested in pleasing their foreign masters than their own peoples?
Unless these five factors that extend the conflict are understood, each side will go on blaming the other, seeking to convince both internal and external public opinion that only one side is right. This will lead only to more death and destruction. A favorite of the foreigners for decades, the technique is called divide and rule.
Whether the foreigners intend to keep the Middle East in constant turmoil - or that is merely the result of their actions - the outcome is the same. If the foreigners stopped selling weapons to Middle East nations, and detach themselves from the Middle East's oil industry, and if foreign media stopped reporting about the "unstable Middle East", the local players would be able to work out an agreement between them, based on mutual interest.
Joel Bainerman, 22/January/2004
Joel Bainerman (email@example.com) has been a writer on Middle East political and economic issues since 1980. This essay is a summary of a 35 page research report which can be downloaded from: www.joelbainerman.com.