Reuters broke with Big Media’s muddled mantra that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the region’s “core conflict.”
More than 100,000 people have died in the Syrian conflict and violence has flared again in Iraq, with over 1,000 killed there in July alone, many at the hands of al Qaeda. Tensions over Iran’s disputed nuclear program have also risen, while a struggle for power between Islamists and the military is playing out on the streets of predominantly Sunni Egypt.
Arguably, none of these crises will come any closer to being settled should, by some miracle, Israel and the Palestinians finally agree to divide the land where they live . . .
In public, Muslim leaders have traditionally railed against Israel, happy to fan ordinary Arabs’ sincere anger about the plight of the Palestinians – and perhaps deflect criticism of their own failure to make badly needed reforms.
Arab leaders can no longer get away with this.
This “core conflict” idea also gave rise to the Mideast “domino theory” (also known as “linkage”). According to the logic of linkage, if Israel and the Palestinians would make peace, the rest of the region’s conflicts would quickly fall into place as well. Never mind that the region’s seething cauldron of ethnic enmities pre-dated the modern state of Israel by, uh, centuries.
Thanks to the domino theory, Israel could be blamed for problems well beyond its borders. One hysterical example appeared in Christian Science Monitor a few years ago. This was the subhead:
Global stability can no longer be held hostage to the claims of Israeli settlers.
(Image via Accuhear)