The Middle East is a Palestinian-Israeli powder-keg, and the fuse is burning. Much of the rest of the world seems ignorant or apathetic of the sizzling. They focus, instead, on Islamic terrorism as if such behavior had suddenly appeared like a magician’s rabbit out of a hat.
A prominent example is the current civil war in Syria. The protagonist in this battle is the Islamic State, also known as ISIS. After the U.S. left the scene in Iraq, in 2011, ISIS came into existence. The survivors of Al-Queda in Iraq then came together and formed the terror group. Since then, the Middle East has grown much more perilous.
ISIS came to worldwide prominence after stunning, virtually, everyone with a successful offensive in Iraq during 2014. They rapidly captured large areas of territory in Iraq and Syria. Suddenly, those President Obama called “the J.V. team” became the most feared terror group on the planet. The Middle East terror problem is a global nightmare.
Yet, ISIS would never have existed if not for Al Queda. The latter would never have existed except for the progenitor of modern Islamic terror groups, the Palestinian Liberation Organization, or PLO. The Middle East is a Palestinian-Israeli powder-keg and has been one for a long time.
The PLO became notorious for the killing of Israeli athletes during the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany. The extremist wing of the PLO known as “Black September” held 11 athletes and coaches hostage for over 20 hours in the Olympic Village.
The terrorists killed them in brutal fashion after German police bungled a rescue attempt. The “Munich Massacre,” as it is called, “thrust the Israeli-Palestinian crisis into the world spotlight, set the tone for decades of conflict in the Middle East, and launched the new era of international terrorism.”
The PLO has faded from the limelight in recent years due to the Oslo Accords agreement, signed in 1993. Israel and the PLO met in Oslo, Norway. One of the results of the accords was the Palestinian Authority (PA). A candle of hope was briefly lit, promising peace in the Middle East.
The PA was designated as the government monitoring the administration of the disputed West Bank and Gaza areas. Israel was to withdraw its military from those areas. Mahmoud Abbas was chosen as the president of the PA. He also remained the head of the PLO.
The PA replaced the PLO as the legitimate, public face of the Palestinian cause in the Middle East. The PA was recognized by the U.S., who had brokered the accords during the Clinton administration. In addition, the U.S. began providing monetary assistance to the PA.
The agreement was meant to be a template for peaceful negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Sadly, the accords have not done the job. In fact, they may have, actually, raised the tensions in the Middle East.
Oslo was intended to be a temporary solution to the Palestinian-Isreali conflict until a permanent peace could be agreed upon by both sides. Unfortunately, that has not happened. This volatile area of the Middle East affects the entire region, and a permanent solution to the conflict remains out of sight.
This temporary agreement has remained largely the same for almost a quarter of a century. The original intent was that the accords would be replaced within five years. An impermanent solution to a long-standing serious problem is almost guaranteed to create even larger problems down the line. The problems in the Middle East, today, are larger than in 1993, because of temporary solutions like the Oslo Accords.
The U.S. continues its aid to the PA to the present day. It is also a major contributor of financial and military aid to Israel, its chief ally in the Middle East. This foreign aid provision to both sides continued through the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations. The Trump administration is also continuing this policy.
It remains to be seen whether or not continuing U.S. aid will produce progress toward peace anytime soon. The outlook is doubtful. There must be some change in policy and negotiations which would be acceptable to both sides. The Middle East will remain in uncertain and dangerous waters unless more than temporary accords and cease-fire agreements are in place.
Another significant hindrance to Middle East peace stems from the position of the Palestinians toward the legitimacy of the state of Israel. The PLO does not recognize Israel as a nation. In fact, they refuse to even recognize that Israel has a right to exist.
Moreover, every major Islamic terror group in the Middle East adheres to this same tenant, that Israel does not have a right to exist, period. The PLO may have been the first to articulate this stance, however, ISIS, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah all hold the same stance. The rest of the Middle East suffers as a result.
A further fact, which often goes unnoticed, is the jihadist’s militant interpretation of Islam. Noted author, Joel C. Rosenberg supplies some insight about this interpretative stance which threatens the Middle East and the world.
Rosenberg writes that the leader of ISIS,
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his senior leaders truly believed that the End of Days had come…[This means for ISIS] that by establishing the caliphate and fomenting chaos and carnage in the Levant they could hasten the coming of their so-called messiah known as the Mahdi…to establish a global Islamic kingdom.
Thus, in the mind of ISIS, this is a call to transform, by force, the Middle East and then the world for the coming Mahdi. They are now the avowed enemies of anyone in the Middle East who disagrees. Israel is at the top of that enemies list.
The Palestinians share the same view of Israel. A violent dispatch of the Jewish nation would upset the balance of power in the Middle East in their favor. The terror group, Hamas has close ties with the Palestinian Authority. The most recent violence against Israel in the Middle East has come from Hamas. The terrorist group is ready to launch more violence soon.
A permanent solution to this Palestinian-Israeli powder-keg remains elusive. Both sides are adamant in their core positions and beliefs. The Middle East is still primed for another violent explosion in the near future.
By Daniel Osborn
Edited by Cathy Milne
Commentary: The Department of Pay-for-Slay
FOX NEWS: Joel C. Rosenberg: Are we winning or losing the war with ISIS?
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HAARETZ: Hamas Obtains Heavy Rockets to Wreak Havoc on Israeli Gaza Border Towns
TheINDEPENDENT: Olympics Massacre: Munich – The real story
The JERUSALEM POST: ‘US PAYING SALARIES FOR JAILED PALESTINIAN TERRORISTS’
The JERUSALEM POST: Jerusalem Yawns at Palestinian Authority threat to tear up Oslo Accords
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Yan Boechat’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Stefano’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License