Israel: “Unintended Consequences” is the best way to describe the Arab Spring’s impact on Israel.
Ten years after the protests affecting the pro-democracy Arab world, Israeli analysts believe that December 2020 is an unexpected result of December 2010.
They may differ in their interpretation of recent developments and assess their future impact – but all see the beginning of a process as the starting point of a process that has led to a growing list of Arab and Muslim countries with Israel Having normalized relationships.
All agree that the Arab Spring (a term coined by the West) is not Fitr; Undercurrents are still very high and may even change the future scenario.
Israel‘s political and public reaction confounded these historical rebels from the beginning.
Public opinion was divided among those who believed that Israel’s situation had deteriorated in the face of developments and saw the Arab Spring as a positive change for the country.
Even the term “Arab Spring” was up for debate, sometimes coined by “Arab Winter” or officially the Israeli Military Intelligence, a Hebrew word for “taltala”, “shake-up”. The “Egyptian Plague” was one of many words that signified intense confusion and derision.
If Harshallas appears publicly in Israeli discourse, then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s contradictory statements were reflections of a confused policy.
The Premier, who propagated in his books that the lack of democracy in the Arab states was the main obstacle to peace, openly avoided any reference to the democratic aspect of the Arab Spring.
“The Middle East is no place for naïve,” he said sarcastically to those in a speech in the Israeli parliament on 23 November 2011, who saw something positive in the unfolding events.
Nevertheless, in the international arena, he adopted a more liberal approach, making statements such as: “Israel is a democracy that promotes free and democratic values in the Middle East and peace will benefit from the promotion of such values.”
In January 2013, in a paper published by Mitravim – The Israel Institute for Regional Foreign Policies, analyst Lior Lehrs referred to “government sources in Jerusalem” stating that “Netanyahu felt he had to close the gap between him and the international community.” Have to reduce “.
Lehar wrote, “As the only democracy leader in the Middle East, the PM understood that he could not ignore the international criticism of [Egyptian President Hosni] Mubarak and so this time he addressed the issue of promoting democracy. ”
In the years following this statement, the country’s leader that incorrectly described itself and described itself as “the only democracy in the Middle East” gave rise to a long series of authoritarian regimes in the region.
Spring to normalization
The “relationship” between the Arab Spring and the normalization of relations between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, Morocco and possibly more countries was one of the main themes of a conference dedicated to the decade by BESA, the right-wing. Early Beginning-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University.
Israel’s political commentator and analyst, Eud Yari, told Middle East Eye, “The Arab Spring is the death certificate of Arab nationalism, as we knew in the Levant and the rise of more dictatorship-like regimes.”
“The collapse of central capitals like Cairo and Damascus prompted Arab peripheral countries to re-organize the arena. The capital moved to the United Arab Emirates, a more modern one, despite its modern size. It is a historical dimension that is not bound to change in the visible future. A new nation ball game in the Middle East. ”
At the early-autumn centre conference on 23 December, Yari briefed attendees that he believed there would be a “nightmare scenario” for Israel – the “inward” collapse of Egypt.
Yari later told MEE that Iran and Turkey compete with each other’s dominance in the Levantian Arab states. Still, peripheral countries conclude that the answer to their growing threat is to establish a new partnership backed by the US.
Yari said Netanyahu’s “bragging” gave Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed of Abu Dhabi an opportunity for normalization. The September deal was made to promise that the Israeli declaration of the occupied West Bank was turned down.
“They will not do this to supply F-35 aircraft; They aim for a kind of military-security covenant. Others will follow. Qatar will not lag for long after Saudi Arabia joins. Then Muslim states such as Niger, Mali and more will follow, ”he said.
“The Arab Spring was the cry of those who call my Arab friend ‘helpless, hopeless and unemployed’, not a vehicle for regime change. Yet many of the countries involved remained on only one map.”
According to its scenario, Israel has become an integral part of the region, with regional alliances such as the “Red Sea Forum”, a new Saudi initiative being discussed.
Menachem Klein, political scientist and advisor to Israeli negotiation teams in 2000 and 2003, believes that all normalization agreements come from the Arab Spring and the “dissolution” of the Arab League.
Once, the Arab League united the states against Israel. When governments started attacking their people in 2011, those countries began attacking each other.
In this new constellation, Israel has become another factor in the delicate fabric of alliances and rivalries in the Arab world.
“Israel integrated into the Arab fabric as an active player not only through those normalization agreements but also in the complex maze of conflicting interests of Middle East countries,” he told MEE.
“A long time ago, the late Simeon Perez dreamed of Israel as a member of the Arab League; What he did not dream of is a broken field with a practically non-existent league. ”
Klein is much more aware of the complexity of the new reality.
On the contrary, they believe that Israel is accepted as a fact, even though its establishment’s circumstances are still illegitimate to many. According to Klin, the downside is that in the eyes of many of the Arab societies, Israel is still regarded as a longstanding branch of the United States, one that can be used for security and weapons, as well as one for Washington. Pipeline also.
Israel, Palestine and Domestic Policy
Although both Yari and Klein agree that the Arab Spring and normalization deals have affected the Palestinian cause, they do not conclude how.
“I believe that normalization arising out of the Arab Spring would put more restraint on any Israeli government, it is also ultra-right wing. No more Israeli ties to the controversial E1 region, no more Israeli construction plans. Yari said that Israel has a lot to lose.
On the other hand, “Palestinians, finally they realize that they have no one to tilt, they are obliged to change direction.”
Since Palestinian nationalism was an all-Arab issue, and now Palestinians have been shunned by Arab countries and are subject to de-facto annexation, it has become an Israeli internal domestic issue.
Klein does not agree with that conclusion nor with that scenario. The most dangerous outcome of the decade changing the Middle East is, according to him, the Palestinian issue.
“Since Palestinian nationalism was an all-Arab issue, and now Palestinians have been shunned by Arab countries and are subject to de-facto annexation, it has become Israel’s internal domestic issue,” Klein said.
“It is more a question of domestic policy than of foreign policy. This diversion simply makes the situation more severe in the absence of external enforcement, leading to a solution. Any explosion in occupied areas can now easily lead to chaos. ”
Klein knows of an Israeli military plan to deal with such an explosion. According to this carefully crafted plan over a few years, Israel took the West Bank under its control and divided it into segments “more Nablus”, “more Genin”, and so on.
Each divided area would be under the control of a military governor. The Israeli military’s central command, Klein told MEE, has already practised the plan.
It is more about controlling riots: it is a plan to destroy a ruling authority – the Palestinian Authority – and thus break the political unit of Palestinian nationality.
Unlike Yari, Klein believes that a “shake-up” that left the territories occupied ten years ago is about to come.