Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Saturday 21 May 2011

Arab Spring into Bleak Midwinter

Multifaceted Ben Stein, Yale law graduate, economist, author, Republican presidential speechwriter, and actor - you may remember him as the soporific, monotoned economics teacher in the 1980s teen hit movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off or perhaps as the rabbi reciting kaddish at the end of Torch Song Trilogy - is a hard-headed realist and a stalwart supporter of Israel.

In his droll fashion, Stein draws attention to a key fact that should not be overlooked, namely that the ultimate beneficiary of the so-called "Arab Spring" is likely to be Ahmadinejad's Iran.

"Egypt," Stein points out,
'is now rapidly becoming anti-Israel, pro-Iran, pro the Iranian-sponsored terrorist group Hamas, and very far from being pro-human rights. They are arresting businessmen right and left....
The most potent of the political forces in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood, hates the United States, loathes Israel, condemns the killing of bin Laden (whom they praised as a martyr), and have been wedded to terror for their entire existence.
Oh, P.S, they are closely connected with Adolph Hitler.
They will probably take over Egypt completely sooner or later.
As the terrorist government of Syria cracks down on its own people, the U.N. Security Council does exactly nothing about it.'
He continues:
'Has anyone noticed that the common denominator of all the successful Arab street movements is that they are sympathetic to Iran? When the dust settles, Iran is going to own the Middle East - except for maybe Saudi Arabia, if we have the guts to help them (which I very much doubt).
We are going to lose our pals in Bahrain - not nice guys, but pals of the U.S.A. anyway - and we are going to lose our pals in Yemen, and it will possibly have an actual al Qaeda government.
There is a gigantic regional coup by Iran taking place. We are doing very little, if anything, to stop it.
We are going to regret helping the Egyptians kick out Mubarak as much as we regret helping Khomeini force out the Shah.
You can call it "Arab Spring" if you want. But with Iran now the regional superpower, it is a lot more like an extremely bleak Mideast winter.'
(hat tip: Yisrael Medad)

Back in 1979, in an article entitled "Iran & Islam," Chaim Herzog wrote, regarding the events of 1979 that saw the fall of the Shah and the advent to power of the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini:
"We are witness today to a very strange and interesting phenomenon which bodes ill for Western society.  It is the return to an extreme fanatic form of orthodoxy in Islam .... This extreme religious fanatical movement, covering vast and important areas of the world, couple as it is with a radical form of xenophobia ... bodes ill for the world.
The current developments in the Middle East must also be seen in the context of the Arab attitudes to the minorities living in the Arab world...
The outside world dare not ignore the .developments in the Middle East caused by the rise of extreme fanatical orthodoxy, especially when this is linked to the acquisition of nuclear capabilities....
This sombre picture, with the very dangerous possibilities emerging therefrom, must bring into sharper focus for those concerned with the defence of the West in the Middle East.  It's the only stable regime, where the government rules the generals, and not vice versa, where the orderly transfer of powers in a democratically elected parliament is the order of the day, and where a military force of proven quality and ability exists and is prepared to fight for what it believes.  It will be essential for many of the Arabists in the U.S. Department of State and the Chancelleries of Western Europe to break away from their prejudices and make a realistic evaluation of the new situation in the Middle East.
The main hinge of Western defence until now was Iran, but it no longer occupies that position.... Political stability ... [is] concentrated today in only one country in the Middle East, namely, Israel....
[A peace treaty] cannot ... be established at the expense of Israel, because on no account should such a process weaken Israel in any way within the global strategy of the area.  Israel's importance to the West ... has grown immeasurably as a result of events in Iran....'
(Source: Australia-Israel Review, February 4-28, 1979, pp. 10-12.)

Thirty-two years later, the late President Herzog's words echo with a special resonance ...

I think it was Mark Steyn who, more recently, warned that the impact of the 1979 Iranian Revolution on other countries will eclipse those of the French Revolution in their day.

We'd better start believing it.

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