Iran’s cynical project of creating chaos
    An analysis by Project Syndicate

    WORLD  08 December 2023 - 21:58

    With the Israel-Hamas war entering its third month, the Project Syndicate has reviewed the ongoing situation in Gaza, emphasizing the potential dangers of Israel expelling Palestinians from the enclave. The article examines calls forwarded to the United States, along with its Arab partners, to intervene and press Israel to stop the war, restart negotiations for a viable Palestinian state, and achieve peace with major Arab countries. It further examines the situation from the Iran spectrum, analyzing the benefits it yields to Tehran. Caliber.Az reprints this article.

    "The latest Gaza war presents the United States and governments across the Middle East with an opportunity to end Hamas and Iran’s cynical project of creating chaos. But first, Israel must be stopped from expelling the Palestinians from Gaza, as that would radicalize and destabilize the entire region.

    Following the end of the recent weeklong ceasefire, Israel has resumed its war in Gaza, and dropped leaflets urging Palestinians to head toward the Rafah border crossing with Egypt. That has raised concerns that Israel is taking preliminary steps toward expelling Palestinians fully from the enclave, despite a stern American warning not to do so.

    Whether it is intended or not, expulsion would have catastrophic consequences for regional security and stability. The United States and its Arab partners urgently need to step in to compel the Israeli leadership to halt the war and think more strategically. Perhaps the trauma of Hamas’s attack on October 7 has blinded Israeli leaders to the effects of their decisions. They should be reminded that Israel – along with the US and its other allies – have much to lose if the region descends into chaos and radicalization.

    After all, an expulsion of Palestinians from Gaza would likely unravel the longstanding peace agreements between Israel and Egypt, and between Israel and Jordan. Those neighboring governments would

    be unable to withstand the public outcry and accusations of collusion with Israel. It would be the end of the US-led effort, launched by the late Henry Kissinger just after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, to create a Middle East security architecture and work toward regional peace.

    Saudi Arabia and other Arab allies could also be destabilized, eliminating the possibility of any future peace agreements like the one that was taking shape between Israel and Saudi Arabia until October 7. Given that the US was earnestly facilitating that process, events on the ground in Gaza now threaten its standing in the region.

    If Israel has a well-considered strategic goal for the war, it has yet to articulate it. Even if a decisive military victory over Hamas were possible, that would not deliver peace or a more stable security environment for Israel. In fact, Hamas’s popularity among Palestinians has increased since October 7, as has its presence in the West Bank and in Palestinian refugee camps throughout the region. In Lebanon, for example, Hezbollah has been helping Hamas take control of Palestinian refugee camps.

    Far from putting an end to Hamas and the threat it poses, a Palestinian exodus from Gaza would generate an even more radical Palestinian movement in the West Bank and elsewhere. The biggest winner would be Iran, which thrives on chaos, and the biggest losers would be those who long for a peaceful and prosperous Middle East.

    That is why the US, in close coordination with Saudi Arabia and other Arab allies, must urgently press Israel to stop the war, and to restart negotiations toward creating a viable Palestinian state and achieving peace with the major Arab countries. War and deeper mutual hatred are what Hamas and Iran want. When Hamas led suicide-bombing campaigns in the 1990s and the 2000s, its goal was to derail any Israeli-Palestinian rapprochement. Likewise, one of the suspected reasons for its October 7 attack was to preempt peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

    Israel must avoid blindly abetting Hamas’s agenda, part of which is to radicalize Palestinians and the broader Arab and Muslim worlds. It is telling – and deeply troubling – that al-Qaeda and other global jihadist movements have come out of relative hibernation to praise Hamas and call for jihadist violence everywhere. We are already seeing the fruit of their efforts in the recent stabbing attack in Paris.

    With Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu politically weakened, perhaps fatally, by the October 7 security failure, only the war is keeping him in power. But that means the US has an opportunity to end the bloodshed and sideline the extremists at the same time. Just as the Yom Kippur War created an opening for peace, the current Gaza war could allow the conflict to be reframed. For years, polls in Israel and the Palestinian territories have indicated that significant percentages of both populations would support resolving the conflict, should the chance arise. By the same token, Hamas has never enjoyed majority support, and it tends to gain in popularity only during periods of violence.

    Of course, reaching a peace settlement will be painful, requiring huge sacrifices by both Israelis and Palestinians. It would certainly involve dismantling Jewish settlements in the West Bank, as well as giving up on the dream of a Palestinian state 'from the river to the sea'. But as agonizing as such concessions may be to some parties, they are ultimately details in the larger picture. Those on both sides who want peace have long known what needs to be done.

    President Joe Biden’s administration stands to gain immensely by making it clear to Israel what its strategic goal ought to be, what it stands to gain from peace, and what America’s own overriding strategic imperatives in the region are. Domestically and internationally, Biden will benefit from reasserting America’s standing as the only country that can help resolve this conflict.

    Saudi Arabia’s support in the effort also will be crucial, given its clout in the Arab and Muslim worlds, and its own repeated attempts to draft a roadmap for full regional peace. The recent Islamic-Arab Summit in Riyadh showcased the Kingdom’s convening power, and the final communiqué illustrated that none of Iran’s radical demands – such as its call for an oil embargo – were taken seriously. Instead, signatories reiterated the importance of the two-state solution for the umpteenth time.

    The Gaza war presents the US and governments across the Middle East with an opportunity to end Hamas and Iran’s cynical project of perpetual conflict and chaos. But it can be seized only by stopping Israel from expelling the Palestinians from Gaza, and by providing both sides with hope for a peaceful resolution to a conflict that has gone on for too long and at too great a cost for too many people".



    Subscribe to our Telegram channel

Read also

Egypt studies plan to expand Suez Canal

04 March 2024 - 20:57

President Biden sure of victory in coming US presidential election

04 March 2024 - 20:37

Shahbaz Sharif takes oath as 24th prime minister of Pakistan

04 March 2024 - 20:20

More than 6 in 10 US adults doubt Biden’s mental capability

04 March 2024 - 20:53

Bitcoin smashes through $65,000

04 March 2024 - 20:46

Reuters: EU wants fossil fuel sector to help pay to combat climate change

04 March 2024 - 19:05
Latest news

    Israel-Gaza war: Israel demands names of hostages still alive for deal on new ceasefire

    05 March 2024 - 02:05

    World needs better blueprint for structural reform

    Opinion by Financial Times

    05 March 2024 - 00:01

    Would limiting US fossil fuel production actually help climate change?

    04 March 2024 - 23:00

    How trade can help US beat China?

    04 March 2024 - 22:00

    Azerbaijan signs up to Global Methane Pledge

    04 March 2024 - 21:10

    Austrian MPs updated on prospects for Azerbaijan-Armenia peace process

    04 March 2024 - 21:05

    Egypt studies plan to expand Suez Canal

    04 March 2024 - 20:57

    More than 6 in 10 US adults doubt Biden’s mental capability

    04 March 2024 - 20:53

    Bitcoin smashes through $65,000

    04 March 2024 - 20:46

    Azerbaijan establishes Ski Journalists Club


    04 March 2024 - 20:41

    President Biden sure of victory in coming US presidential election

    04 March 2024 - 20:37

    In search of mutual trust: What can be done?

    Contemplations with Orkhan Amashov

    04 March 2024 - 20:29

    Shahbaz Sharif takes oath as 24th prime minister of Pakistan

    04 March 2024 - 20:20

    16 candidates go to run off in Tehran parl. elections

    04 March 2024 - 20:17

    Cambodian People’s Party: Azerbaijan to play even greater role in regional, global affairs

    04 March 2024 - 20:05

    Azerbaijan, Pakistan intensify military cooperation


    04 March 2024 - 20:05

    Azerbaijan, Bulgaria hail successful energy cooperation


    04 March 2024 - 19:53

    Azerbaijan to host first meeting of BSEC tourism educational institutions

    04 March 2024 - 19:41

    Lowest voter turnout in Iran's parliamentary polls stuns ruling regime

    Azerbaijanis opposing Kurds' land claims in Iran

    04 March 2024 - 19:35

    Khankendi-Baku Ultramarathon wraps up in Azerbaijan


    04 March 2024 - 19:29

    Türkiye unveils AZAT FPV kamikaze drone


    04 March 2024 - 19:21

    Turkmenistan could join Organisation of Turkic States in 2024

    04 March 2024 - 19:13

    Reuters: EU wants fossil fuel sector to help pay to combat climate change

    04 March 2024 - 19:05

    Azerbaijan, Bulgaria eying development of interstate, interparliamentary cooperation


    04 March 2024 - 18:57

    Azerbaijan, Qatar discuss current financial situation

    04 March 2024 - 18:45

    Turkish COBRA-II armoured tactical vehicles spotted in Kazakhstan


    04 March 2024 - 18:37

    Palestinian president set to visit Türkiye

    Meeting with Erdoğan scheduled

    04 March 2024 - 18:25

    Algerian president's security officers block Iranian leader's guards


    04 March 2024 - 18:13

    Turkish trainer aircraft “HÜRJET” accomplishes another test


    04 March 2024 - 18:01

    Pundit warns against overestimating Armenia's importance in regional dynamics

    04 March 2024 - 17:54

    Baku's former train station makes way for "hybrid green corridor"

    From rails to trails/VIDEO

    04 March 2024 - 17:46

    Italian warship forced to shoot down Houthi missile in Red Sea

    04 March 2024 - 17:37

    Hungarian PM: West misses opportunity to conclude peace agreement on Ukraine

    04 March 2024 - 17:29

    Expert: Europeans unwilling to die for Armenia

    04 March 2024 - 17:20

    Iran to hold second round of elections as results of first round announced

    04 March 2024 - 17:12

    Death toll in Israel’s war on Gaza rises to 30,534

    04 March 2024 - 17:03

    Azerbaijan, Iran discuss Aghband-Julfa road construction

    04 March 2024 - 16:56

    Armenia, Greece bolstering military-technical cooperation

    04 March 2024 - 16:47

    Azerbaijani Mine Action Agency defuses over 580 munitions in liberated lands

    04 March 2024 - 16:38

    Türkiye's annual inflation climbs to over 67% in February

    04 March 2024 - 16:30

All news