Plans to disintegrate Mideast
The Israeli-Turkish relationship has been restored. In fact, the bilateral relationship between the two countries was never cut off. On the contrary, it witnessed a high degree of coordination when the breakdown in ties was claimed, according to some American think tanks. The question, therefore, is what caused this quick resumption of relations and why did the defiant Israel cave in and apologize?
Obviously, the resumption of the Israeli-Turkish relations is some kind of propaganda to bolster Turkey’s image inside Turkey as well as in the Arab world. It also came about in wake of an increasing American pressure on Israel. While Israel offered Turkey some compensation for its nine citizens who were killed by the Israeli forces onboard Gaza aid flotilla on June 31, 2010, it is very important to take notice of the strategic scheme being carried out in the region, particularly Syria and Iran. There are obviously some political and strategic arrangements that prompted the Israeli apology and compensation.
There are a number of issues that predated US President Barack Obama’s visit to the region. The Turkish-Kurdish reconciliation took place at a time when both Damascus and Tehran considered the PKK as an effective tool at their disposal to hurt Ankara. It also took place at a time when the Sunnis rose up in some Iraqi provinces against Al-Maliki’s government and Baghdad accused Ankara of supporting the Sunni uprising. The Turkish-Israeli reconciliation was also preceded by the deployment of Patriot missiles to shield Israel and Syria.
In the near future, there will be a series of meetings between some key officials of the Obama administration and leaders from Turkey, Israel, Jordan and Qatar. It is expected that these meetings would discuss the Syrian crisis, their position vis a vis Iran and establishment of a security regime among these countries. Moreover, the American president will be receiving Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss the framework of the strategic partnership in the region and globally.
Later, Erdogan will pay a visit to Gaza and perhaps to the Palestinian Authority. During the visit, Erdogan is expected to re-launch the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. This time, Khaled Meshaal may be with Erdogan in the meetings in order to assure the world that Hamas agrees on the concept of a two-state solution. On the sidelines of the G8 meeting, which is scheduled to be held in Ireland in June, Obama would hold a meeting with the Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss Middle East peace.
Head of Israeli military intelligence, Gen. Afif Kokhafi recently claimed that he had heard from Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon that the planned meeting with Turkey is going to be a strategic one that was the reason behind Israeli concessions to Turkey. He revealed that the strategic agreement would include an understanding on how to manage the region. Put differently, the United States will outsource some of its role to Turkey and Israel in such a way that will emasculate the position of active Arab states and will push Iran away from the equation of the Middle East.
During this period, Gen. Kokhafi thinks that the Israeli-Turkish coordination in military and security matters will be stronger. However, the Israeli military intelligence is not sure about the role of the Egyptian Army. Shalom Cohen, the former Israeli ambassador to Cairo, claims that the present crisis will lead to the deconstruction of Egypt. This ambassador worked to pave the way for sectarian war in Egypt. In Syria, the Israeli military intelligence expects that there will be disintegration of the state resulting from a civil war. On the other hand, Iraqis are already bearing the brunt of sectarian divisions and this is the result of Paul Premer’s project that aimed at dividing Iraq.
Undoubtedly, there will be a change in the geopolitical rules in the region in the wake of the Arab Spring. This may lead to a huge change in Iran as we notice a flurry of activities of Iranian opposition in the Diaspora. Three important conferences were recently held for non-Persian ethnicities. Also Iran — that is competing with Turkey — realizes that the policy of interference in Arab countries will be ineffective. For this reason, some argues that Iran may change the rules of game in dealing with some Arab states by removing some security misgivings and forging interim understanding. This is meant to counter the American-Turkish- Israeli orientation in the region. It is not a secret anymore that Tehran offered to aid Egypt with some $ 30 billion recently. Also this may explain the security coordination between the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
Seen in this way, one can argue that the region is in a state of fluid. Therefore, there may be a new change in the region even if this entails some countries to put aside their differences for a strategic objective. The goal here is to preempt the scheme to disintegrate the region. Some political forces have started revisiting their stand on the Arab Spring.
The projects of disintegration are many. In the past, we have seen a number of gambles and adventures falling apart in this part of the world. The region overcame all plans and schemes from crusaders to Henry Campbell’s document to Bernard Lewis’ scheme. Here, I recall Yosef Maki in his response to a Jew in one of the American think tanks when he said, “It is true that we have lost a number of confrontations with Israel, but trust me the future will witness a day when we achieve a final victory.”