US’ Arab and Muslim allies should rethink ties with Washington

US’ Arab and Muslim allies should rethink ties with Washington

US’ Arab and Muslim allies should rethink ties with Washington
Mahmoud Abbas during a swearing in ceremony of newly-appointed ministers, Ramallah, West Bank, Mar. 31, 2024. (AFP)
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced on Saturday that he was reevaluating his administration’s relationship with the US, given Washington’s veto of a UN Security Council resolution that would have recommended granting Palestine full membership of the UN.

Abbas is now finally recognizing that the US has never had the best interests of the Palestinian people in mind when considering its policies. Managing Palestine to strengthen Israel has, in fact, always been the American strategy.

Turning away from the US will have financial costs for the Palestinian Authority, but those costs can be replaced by other nations that have a genuine and honest approach to the Middle East — something America has clearly never had.

The US never intended to support the creation of a Palestinian state and it is probably about time that the world recognized that fact.

Israel is the greatest obstacle to Palestinian freedom and independence. Israel exists as a world power because America allows it to and because Washington refuses to apply its own principles of freedom and human rights to itself and its allies.

America is an international hypocrite that says one thing and does something else.

Abbas has picked the perfect time to potentially break from America — and other Middle East nations should follow suit.

America is today in trouble, in case not everyone has noticed. Breaking from the US would probably be the smartest thing any nation that truly believes in freedom and the international rule of law can do.

The US has lost its mandate as the so-called leader of the free world. It is facing internal dysfunction, as the divides in its political system widen into a chasm that cannot be crossed. The polarization is so great and driven by anger that it is difficult to see a scenario in which the two sides can come together.

Well, there is one vision of what could make the two sides come together. It is portrayed obliquely in the new Hollywood movie “Civil War,” which depicts an America torn apart by political violence. The actor who plays the president in the movie insists his character is not based on former President Donald Trump. But I do not believe that.

The president in “Civil War” is an authoritarian despot who violates the US Constitution by remaining in office for a third term. He despises the media and he lives in a delusional world where he insists his forces are winning, just as Trump insists the 2020 election was stolen from him by Joe Biden.

America’s problems have been slowly growing since the gap between Republicans and Democrats grew significantly under President Bill Clinton. It then got worse under George W. Bush, who used his war against Al-Qaeda to redefine the Middle East, attacking Iraq based on the false claim Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

But a new line was crossed when the US elected its first African American president, Barack Obama, expanding the national belligerency from politics to include racial contentions. Although the slavery of African Americans, who were forcibly brought to US shores from the 17th century, ended after the actual American Civil War in the 1860s, the country’s racial divide has remained. Racism is still a driving force in America and it defines the country’s politics in the two-party system of Republicans and Democrats.

The racial divide continues to violently play out every day on the streets of America’s major cities. In fact, there is growing racism against Muslims and Arabs. Islamophobia is rising, along with anti-Arab sentiment.

That racial divide was a factor that fueled the rise of Trump, a reality TV show celebrity, controversial businessman and political outsider.

Trump’s policies fueled a growing undeclared rebellion from within his own Republican Party and an unrelenting warlike political front among the Democrats.

Worse, rather than bringing the nation together in 2020, Biden’s election only fueled the polarization. It continues to grow and it is directly impacting America’s policies and influencing its international relations.

America has had only one genuine unwavering commitment and that is to the state of Israel, which it defends regardless of Israel’s actions. Any nation that criticizes Israel automatically becomes an enemy of America. That facade veils the underlying reality of growing turmoil that exists on American streets.

Palestine’s possible turn away from America comes in the face of the US’ domination of the UN, the organization that was supposed to help bring the world together. Instead, the UN forum is one of international disagreement, driven mainly by the US and its hypocritical differences with other countries.

Rather than waiting for America to either get its act together or, possibly, weaken rapidly, the rest of the world should prepare to realign its interests and separate them from the influence of Washington.

Domestic political divisions are directly impacting America’s policies and influencing its international relations.

Ray Hanania

That means the Palestinians should accept the reality that the US has never really intended to help Palestine become a state and that it has always been an ally of its chief threat, Israel.

It also means that the Arab and Muslim worlds should reevaluate their alliances with the US.

Shifting away from American political hegemony would not be easy, of course. The benefits that have come from US agreements would take time to replace with the likes of Russia and China, two nations that might better appreciate alliances with Palestine and the Arab and Muslim worlds.

Abbas is now beginning a process that others should have begun a long time ago. Even the UN should consider a dramatic shift away from America in order to give the world a fairer balance of power and influence.

It will not be easy to break away from the US-defined world order. But once done, other nations might be inspired to also pursue their own independence and freedoms without worrying about being punished by the US, which is not as “united” as one might believe.

  • Ray Hanania is an award-winning former Chicago City Hall political reporter and columnist. He can be reached on his personal website at X: @RayHanania
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