Muslim masses are now less preoccupied with Jews and more focused on addressing the serious socio-economic problems in the Arab world.
By: Daniel Krygier, Political Analyst, World Israel News
The Muslim world has a long tradition of rejecting unpleasant realities and blaming Jews and the West for their own self-inflicted problems. It is therefore unsurprising that the Muslim world formally opposes President Donald Trump’s recognition of reality: Jerusalem is the historic and modern capital of Israel and the Jewish people.
The Muslim summit in Istanbul on Jerusalem was supposed to be a power projection against Israel and the United States. Instead, it revealed the division, dysfunctionality and weakness of the Muslim and Arab world. In the past, opposition to Israel was one of very few issues that temporarily united a deeply divided Muslim Arab world. While paying lip service, key Arab states like Saudi Arabia and Egypt are getting increasingly tired of the Ramallah regime led by Mahmoud Abbas. PLO has lost its momentum and the Middle East is struggling with much bigger challenges than Hamas and Fatah. Sunni Arab states tacitly see Israel as a valuable ally in confronting the threat from the Iranian-led Shia alliance. There are indications that the Saudis will support Trump’s position that Israel is not the problem in the Middle East.
Ironically, the PLO’s strongest backer is not an Arab regime, but the Turkish Islamist leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who exploits the Arab-Israeli conflict to boost his own standing in the Islamic world.
Behind the façade of rage against the US and Israel, the Muslim summit in Turkey offered yet another welcome distraction from the Muslim Arab world’s real problems, which are severe poverty, illiteracy, freedom and knowledge deficit. Needless to say, Israel is not popular in the Arab world. However, unlike in the past, the Muslim masses are less preoccupied with Jews and more focused on addressing the serious socio-economic problems in the Arab world. Young Middle Easterners are increasingly demanding accountability and reforms. While Jew-hatred in the Middle East is not disappearing anytime soon, the average Arab is more concerned with improving his or her socioeconomic situation.
Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital is good news for the Jewish state. It also infuses badly needed reality that may improve the chances of solving the conflict between Arabs and Jews. Moving beyond Israel, Trump’s embrace of reality may prove to be a blessing in disguise for the Muslim Arab world. Part of growing up is taking responsibility and learning to live with things that you don’t like. Unlike the Europeans who condescendingly treat Muslims and Arabs like children, Trump appears to demand accountability from everyone, including the Arab world.
Only by being forced to face reality can the Muslim world start focusing on solving its own self-inflicted societal problems and violent pathologies that are unrelated to Israel and Jews.