Debate Magazine

Opportunity in Israel's Neighborhood

Posted on the 11 January 2014 by Mikelumish @IsraelThrives
by oldschooltwentysix
(originally posted at oldschooltwentysix)
Is the Arab-Israel conflict changing? A column by Caroline Glick in the Jerusalem Post suggests so, and it's worth thinking about.
Is Israel's strategic challenge of contending with pan-Arabism, which was invented at the same time that the nations of the world embraced modern Zionism, no longer central in a  new era where people from North Africa to the Arabian Peninsula have gone back to identifying themselves by tribe, religion, ethnicity, and non-Arab national identity?
Intra-Arab fighting these days has nothing much to do with Israel, except if a scapegoat is necessary to incite hate and create diversion. Arabic speaking minorities in Israel, even Muslims, cannot be blind to the opportunities inside Israel to live a good life, particularly compared to record the rest of the neighborhood.
In her column, Glick refers to Gabriel Nadaf, a Greek Orthodox priest from Nazareth who calls for Israeli Christian youth to serve in the IDF, as a symbol of what is taking place, a movement where some Christians identify more as Israelis than members of the Palestinian Arab nation.
It is because they see what is happening to their co-religionists in the post-pan-Arab Middle East that more and more Israeli Christians realize they will lead safer, more prosperous and more fulfilling lives as Christian citizens in the Middle East’s only democracy than as pan-Arabs battling the Zionist menace.
Much of the argument made by Glick is based on an article by Ofir Haivry, vice president of the Herzl Institute, in Mosaic online magazine, entitled, Israel in the Eye of the Hurricane, and should be read in its entirety by anyone interested in a more in depth analysis.
If Glick is correct,
The post-pan-Arab Middle East exposes the truth that has been obscured for a century. The Jews and their Jewish state are a natural component of our diverse neighborhood, just like the Kurds, the Christians, the Druse, the various Muslim sects, and the Arabs. The demise of pan-Arabism is our great opportunity, at home and regionally, to build the alliances we need to survive and prosper.
Perhaps the Arab-Israeli conflict as we know it is ready for a paradigm shift. Glick is surely advocating the Israeli government should change its orientation toward the Arab world away from powers based on Pan-Arab structures in favor of natural alliances based on mutual interests, the kind that most often stand the test of time.

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