Can Obama bring peace or is he just a regional tourist?
US President Barack Obama tours the Treasury Building at the ancient city of Petra, in Jordan, on March 23, 2013. Obama arrived in Jordan on March 22, on the last leg of a Middle East tour after challenging Israelis to embrace peace with Palestinians. (AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB)
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Will the visit of the US President Barack Obama to the region, like his predecessors, herald the beginning of a new political stage? On the agenda of Mr Obama there are no plans or ideas to salvage the peace process from the wobbling impasse, while the Israelis continue to build settlements in Jerusalem and other occupied Palestinians lands. During his first term in office, many people were clinging to the hopes and promises made by Mr Obama to find a solution between the Israelis and the Palestinians, but as it appears, this alleged solution seems to have vanished in thin air to the ‘bloody spring’ which was devised by some US and European civil society organizations, in conjunction with Israel, under the glamorous title ‘democratic spring’ and the new Middle East. It looks like some slogans were devised to increase the despair of the people in the Arab world and push them deeper into the realm of extremism, portray them as barbarian and unable to manage their affairs. This is what the Israelis have been striving for over the years in the belief they can exercise control over scattered areas and act as regional policeman.
There is no doubt the State of Israel is as we see it. This is a reality irrespective whether we accept it or not. It does not matter if Israel is strong or the Arabs are weak — something which has allowed Tel Aviv to impose its will on us — what matters is Israel has never given away anything to encourage peace in the region.
In spite of the efforts exerted by the Arab world towards peace on several occasions in the past — the Arab countries have given it recognition and established diplomatic relations in addition to initiatives presented by the Arabs in the name of peace — Israel is still holding on to its position and basking in the glory of victories in the wars against the Arabs. The ink on the reconciliation agreements signed between Israel and the Arab countries has dried up but Tel Aviv continues to play arrogant. The question is: Until when will Israel live in isolation from its neighbors? Do Israelis think their defiance will help them realize the dreams of their founder leader to establish an empire extending from the River Nile to the Euphrates? The only explanation that can be derived from Israel’s position is that Tel Aviv is encouraging terrorism to ensure the Arabs are scattered. It indirectly propagates the development of Iran’s threat due to conflict of interest with Tehran in terms of extending its influence in the Middle East.
However, Tel Aviv must come to terms with the reality of the situation. Israel cannot devour hundreds of millions of Arabs and Tehran too, which has invested all its energy in promoting sectarian sedition.
It is up to President Obama who can influence and convince its ally to change its attitude because the road chosen by Tel Aviv will only bring more bloodshed and destruction... and extremism. If there is peace between Arabs and Israelis following the implementation of all agreements with Arabs, Israel will not only save itself but us too. We can then boast of a very important joint Middle East market in terms of economy - the type of market which one would dare compete with us.
All Arabs are not (Osama) bin Ladens or Hassan Nasrallahs or those terrorists who go on air to issue threats. The Arabs are economically, intellectually and politically elite.
Mr Obama, the President of the nation that calls itself the mother of democracy and pioneer of peace and liberty, tell us who promoted the concept of ‘creative anarchy’? Who made it a realistic issue? Does blood and destruction produce creative work or it leads to total ruin and waste of fortunes? Is this the new Middle East that some US officials boasted of - the new Middle East where booby-trapped cars and sectarian violence have become the order of the day in countries such as Iraq and wars between armed clans in Yemen and Libya? By Ahmed Al-Jarallah Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times Experience has proven that the new Middle East brings only more animosity for America and Israel. It cannot generate calmness or stability for Israel especially because of the creative anarchy that will never safeguard its survival. The only way that can help Israel to survive is through peace with the Arabs. In a way this will help Tel Aviv get rid of all threats directed at it by Tehran under the slogan ‘Liberation of Quds’ while the real intention is to take advantage of the despair of the Arab world and not opening a window of peace with Israel. Will Obama look upon this trip as a historic opportunity and to tear apart doors of isolation and make them doors of peace between the Arabs and the Israelis or will his visit end in futile protocols? Will Obama leave his impression on the history of the region like his predecessors or is he just a tourist?
Is Obama just a tourist in the region? Or has he taken steps to improve the situation? Tell us what you think below.