This is an area in which I rarely venture and I’m well aware that there are those out there who are far more knowledgeable than I on the subject. A solution will need to be found so please lets avoid a who is right and wrong argument, just come up with something that might work.
We have a problem in the world that centers on the Middle East and the dominant religion of that area with particular focus on one small area currently controlled by the followers of another religion, it’s also pretty much the only bit without oil too. No this isn’t really a post about Israel, though any mention of the Middle East will inevitably focus on the problems there though it’s the world wide implications I’m really looking at. If it wasn’t for the oil that comes from the area, I doubt really that it would be much of an issue, though possibly Islamic expansion and population growth might be, again that isn’t what this post is really about. What we have is a border dispute that has taken on a life of its own and seems to bring howls of rage and anguish even from those who it doesn’t affect and who really ought to know better.
It grew out of a cold war dispute and was used in a sense as a proxy war between the two superpowers as a stick to beat and humiliate each other with and is mixed in with the rage and humiliation felt by Muslims from Morocco to Indonesia over the current situation of the Palestinians. Indeed a lot of people (not just Muslims) honestly believe that the Palestinian situation does represent something more than a squalid border dispute, and believe that the problem represents an almost diabolical aspect of Zionism, which explains why a lot of people have fallen into the trap of believing anti-Semitic fantasies about heinous Jewish crimes and world domination and can’t seem to get their minds to think about anything else. Israeli intransigence is often seen as part of Zionism, though to paraphrase a famous saying “the thought of hanging focuses the mind to an extreme.” Israel will always view its own security first and foremost, any nation would and when you’re surrounded by various hostile states that want to wipe you off the face of the Earth it’s always going to lead to difficult if nigh on impossible negotiations.
Also in the ME you have the problem of Arab nationalism, this is a unique blend of 1930’s Nazism anti-Semitism and Cold war Communist/leftist anti-Zionism combined with a desire by the various tyrannical leaders of the area to unite all Arabs into one huge power block to challenge western dominance. Nazism was brought into the mix by the British appointed Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, one Haj Amin al-Husseini, indeed he was visited by Adolf Eichman in Palestine and spent the war years in Berlin heading a Nazi government in exile and training Moslem troops in Bosnia in the art of genocide. Communism was directly responsible for the setting up of the PLO in the 1960’s and after the Baddawi conference (1973) headed by a KGB agent (Yevgeny Primakov) introduced terror as a means of destabilising the west.
This combination of Islam and Nazi/Communist Socialism is currently fueling much of the present dispute in the ME and still draws western interference in the area through well meaning but ultimately doomed attempts to bring some sort of control/stability to the area. Such is this toxic amalgam of beliefs that Arabs see any withdrawal from this area as a retreat and Israel sees it as a betrayal.
This is of course only one aspect of the whole problem, there are Kurds, Armenians, Assyrians, Maronnites, Copts from Egypt, native Sudanese all with an axe to grind against the various regimes that currently dominate the area.
My solution for what it’s worth is that the only way out of this whole quagmire is to simply develop alternatives to oil withdraw all civilised forces and let them sort it out themselves. Take a leaf out of the French, German, Russian and Chinese books and sell them all the arms that they can afford because they are going to fight anyway. We might as well profit from their idiocy.
When the dust is all settled and the map redrawn then we deal with the victors in whatever manner they desire.