Monday, August 29, 2016
The Raw Material Podcasts # 2: Palestinian Emirates
The Raw Material
Heya guys, this is Michael Lumish coming atcha from the beautiful Oakland hills just across the bay from San Francisco the land of pokeymon go.
I don’t know if you guys know what this is, or not, but it’s essentially a game in which you use the optics on your cell phone to augment natural reality as you search for little pokeymon monsters.
What it really means is that you have idiots wandering around the bay area tripping over curbs, walking into passing bicycles, knocking people down in the street, and occasionally getting smashed by a MUNI bus.
But what I want to talk to you guys about today is an alternative to the two-state solution being promoted by professor Mordechai Kedar – who is a very well known figure among those of us follow Israel – and who is well-respected scholar of Arabic literature at Bar Ilan University in that country.
Kedar, and others, have been working through this idea of quote unquote Palestinian emirates.
In fact, you can read more about the proposal at Palestinianemirates.com
Kedar’s idea is that the nation-state, as it was imposed upon the Middle East by such little matters of the Sykes Pico treat of 1916 in which Britain and France, with some mutual cooperation with Russia, divided up the Middle East into spheres of influence and then into the various mandates, including the mandate for Palestine, and then into artificial states which, for the most part, have since failed.
Kedar reminds us that the major points of identity and realms of loyalty within the Middle East traditionally revolved around family, clan, and tribe with power exerted by a strong man who we call a sheik, and of course, with the entire system under the umbrella of Islam.
This is more or less the way things operated for 13 centuries before the Christian Europeans finally beat back the Muslims and won that contest, at least temporarily.
We’ll see what the future holds.
But as Kedar also reminds us, following the misnamed Arab Spring – which, btw, Barack Obama compared to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s.
I love this quote. Obama said on May 19, 2011
"There are times in the course of history when the actions of ordinary citizens spark movements for change because they speak to a longing for freedom that has been building up for years. In America, think of the defiance of those patriots in Boston who refused to pay taxes to a King, or the dignity of Rosa Parks as she sat courageously in her seat."
Rosa Parks, really? Because what the Arab Spring really brought the world was the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and the disintegration of any number of Middle Eastern countries the following of which may be entirely unsalvageable.
These include Afghanistan and Iraq, Libya and Yemen and Syria, which, from what I can tell, is the worst of them all.
It’s difficult to know if these countries are reverting back to pre-European state model, but given the strength of 1,400 years of Sharia, it seems quite likely.
Furthermore, even if Middle Eastern states based on the European model were thriving, why would the tiny Jewish minority in the Middle East allow a Palestinian-Arab army, vowed for its destruction – and thus essentially the genocide of the Jews – on its border?
Some would argue that any such state would be demilitarized via international law.
But as Louis Renee Beres argues over at the Gatestone Institute, there will be no demilitarized Palestinian-Arab state under international law, because such law are swiss cheese.
In short order, the Palestinian-Arabs would circumvent such laws either legally, via loopholes, or illegally via deception.
This being the case perhaps Israel should go with the “Palestinian Emirate” model.
Thus Israel, and perhaps western countries, would approach a number of the local sheiks - where there are significant Palestinian-Arab populations – and offer them sovereignty in a model not entirely dissimilar from the United Arab Emirates.
If it’s good enough for them and if they can make a go of it there is no reason why the Palestinian Arabs can’t.
It sure beats endlessly banging our head against the two state solution for murder in return.