Sunday, December 6, 2015

Bonobos: The Apes Who Make Love, Not War.

Bonobos: What We Can Learn From Our Primate Cousin. Video. 60 Minutes. CBS News, December 6, 2015.

Transcript Excerpt:

AC Narrator: Bonobos are unique among great apes because they are not dominated by males. And according to Brian Hare, a Duke University evolutionary anthropologist who studies them at Lola, it’s the females who run the show.

Brian Hare: Here if you try to be in – an alpha male, you will be, as the Congolese say, “corrected” by the females.

Anderson Cooper: Not just by one female, but by a sort of alliance of females?

Brian Hare: That’s right. That’s right. And one of the – they – they – bonobos really violate a rule of nature where usually if you’re bigger, you're going to be dominant. But here, females are actually smaller. But they’re still not dominated by males because they work together.

AC Narrator: What’s more, bonobos have never been observed to kill each other. The same can’t be said of chimpanzees, or of humans for that matter.

Brian Hare: Bonobos, on the other hand, they don’t really have that darker side. So that’s where they could really help us is how could it be that a species that has a brain a third of the size of ours can do something that with all our technological prowess we can’t accomplish? Which is to not kill each other.

AC Narrator: The answer might be found in bonobos’ favorite pastime. These apes have more sex, more often, in more ways than any other primate on the planet. Their sexual contact is so frequent, Brian Hare refers to it as the “Bonobo Handshake”...

Anderson Cooper: It’s not that they want to procreate or have kids, it’s not that they even find each other attractive?

Brian Hare: No.

Anderson Cooper: It’s – it’s just –

Brian Hare: No, it’s a negotiation.

AC Narrator: And it’s hardly surprising that many of these negotiations take place over food.

Anderson Cooper: Chimpanzees will fight each other over food.

Brian Hare: That’s right. They—

Anderson Cooper: Bonobos won’t necessarily fight each other—

Brian Hare: That’s right. So they – so, basically, chimpanzees get primed for competition, testosterone increases. Bonobos, they get really stressed out. And if they feel like they’re not going to be able to share, they get really anxious, and then that drives them to want to be reassured. And they then happen to have a bonobo handshake to feel better.

Anderson Cooper: And males do that with females, males will do that with males, females will do that with females, doesn’t matter, even the ages?

Brian Hare: Any combination. Any age.

Jihadists Using Refugee Flows and Clueless Elites. By Walter Russell Mead.

Jihadists Using Refugee Flows? By Walter Russell Mead. The American Interest, December 6, 2015.


Evidence accumulating that jihadi groups, including the one that planned the Paris attacks, are using the migration of hundreds of thousands of refugees to cover their own movements. The New York Times reports:
The investigation into the Paris terrorist attacks, previously focused on jihadist networks in France and Belgium, has widened to Eastern Europe, with a Belgian federal prosecutor announcing Friday that one of the people suspected of terrorism traveled in September by car to Hungary, where he picked up two men now believed to have links to the carnage of Nov. 13. 
The disclosure of a Hungarian connection has not only dramatically expanded the scope of the investigation but has also put a spotlight on the question of whether jihadist militants have concealed themselves in a huge flow of asylum seekers passing through Eastern Europe. 
A statement issued by the Belgian federal prosecutor on Friday said that Salah Abdeslam, a former Brussels resident who is the only known survivor from three terrorist squads that killed 130 people in Paris, had made two trips to the Hungarian capital, Budapest, in a rented Mercedes-Benz a few weeks before the Paris attacks. 
On a drive back to Western Europe on Sept. 9, he was stopped during a routine check at Hungary’s border with Austria and found to be transporting two men using what have since turned out to be “fake Belgian identity cards.”
Europe, which just a few years ago thought that it inhabited a post-historical universe in which nothing could ever go seriously wrong, is painfully waking up from the dream. It’s now crystal clear that one can’t combine a passive foreign policy with a legalistic adherence to absolutist ideals—that, for example, one can turn a blind eye to a disintegrating Middle East and North Africa while opening the gates to every refugee and migrant that the meltdown creates.

Not far behind this lurks the realization that a cosmopolitan and tolerant society can’t thrive if it admits millions of migrants who hate and despise cosmopolitan values. Still obscure to most European elites (and to their American counterparts) is the understanding that neither the values nor the liberties of liberal civilization can long flourish if the religious and spiritual foundations of that civilization are allowed to decay, and are treated with scorn and neglect by society’s leaders.

Today’s Western elites, in the U.S. as much as in Europe, have never been so self-confident. Products of meritocratic selection who hold key positions in the social machine, the bien-pensant custodians of post-historical ideology—editorial writers at the NY Times, staffers in cultural and educational bureaucracies, Eurocratic functionaries, much of the professoriat, the human rights priesthood and so on—are utterly convinced that they see farther and deeper than the less credentialed, less educated, less tolerant and less sophisticated knuckle-dragging also-rans outside the magic circle of post historical groupthink.

And while the meritocratic priesthood isn’t wrong about everything—and the knuckle-draggers aren’t right about everything—there are a few big issues on which the priests are dead wrong and the knuckle-draggers know it. Worse, as the mass of the people become more aware that the elites are too blind and too wrapped up in the coils of elite ideology to deal effectively with society’s most urgent problems, an age of demagogues is opening up around us. People need leaders; when the meritocratic priesthood seems incapable of providing leadership, people start looking elsewhere.

Anti-Muslim Rhetoric Isn’t Brave. By Fareed Zakaria.

Anti-Muslim rhetoric isn’t brave. By Fareed Zakaria. Washington Post, December 3, 2015.


The most recent act of horrific violence in the United States — in San Bernardino, Calif. — was reportedly perpetrated by a Muslim man and woman. There are about 3 million Muslims in the United States, almost all of whom are law-abiding citizens. How should they react to the actions of the couple who killed 14 people on Wednesday?

The most commonly heard response is that Muslims must immediately and loudly condemn these acts of barbarity. But Dalia Mogahed, a Muslim American leader, argues eloquently that this is unfair. She made her case to NBC’s Chuck Todd.

“According to the FBI, the majority of domestic terrorist attacks are actually committed by white, male Christians. ... When those things occur, we dont suspect other people who share their faith and ethnicity of condoning them. We assume that these things outrage them just as much as they do anyone else. And we have to afford that same assumption of innocence to Muslims.”

Muslims face a double standard, but I understand why. Muslim terrorists don’t just happen to be Muslim. They claim to be motivated by religion, cite religious justifications for their actions and tell their fellow Muslims to follow in their bloody path. There are groups around the world spreading this religiously infused ideology and trying to seduce Muslims to become terrorists. In these circumstances, it is important for the majority of Muslims who profoundly disagree with jihad to speak up.

But it is also important to remember that there are 1.6 billion Muslims on the planet. If you took the total number of deaths from terrorism last year — about 30,000 — and assumed that 50 people were involved in planning each one (a vastly exaggerated estimate), it would still add up to less than 0.1 percent of the world’s Muslims.

The writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a tough critic of Islam. She divides the Muslim world into two groups: Mecca Muslims and Medina Muslims. (The Koranic revelations to Muhammad made in Mecca are mostly about brotherhood and love; the ones in Medina have the fire and brimstone.) She estimates that 3 percent of the worldwide community are radical Medina Muslims, the other 97percent being mainstream Mecca Muslims. Now, 3 percent works out to a large number, 48 million, and thats why we spend lots of time, money and effort dealing with the threats that might emanate from them. But that still leaves the other 97 percent — the more than 1.55 billion — who are not jihadists. They may be reactionary and backward in many ways. But that is not the same as being terrorists.

While I believe that Muslims do bear a responsibility to speak up, non-Muslims also have a responsibility not to make assumptions about them based on such a small minority. Individuals should be judged as individuals and not placed under suspicion for some “group characteristic.” It is dehumanizing and un-American to do otherwise.

It also misunderstands how religion works in people’s lives. Imagine a Bangladeshi taxi driver in New York. He has not, in any meaningful sense, chosen to be Muslim. He was born into a religion, grew up with it, and like hundreds of millions of people around the world in every religion, follows it out of a mixture of faith, respect for his parents and family, camaraderie with his community and inertia. His knowledge of the sacred texts is limited. He is trying to make a living and provide for his family. For him, Islam provides identity and psychological support in a hard life. This is what religion looks like for the vast majority of Muslims.

But increasingly, Americans seem to view Muslims as actively propagating a dangerous ideology, like communist activists. It’s not just Donald Trump. Republican candidates are vying with each other to make insinuations and declarations about Islam and all Muslims. And it’s not just on the right. The television personality and outspoken liberal Bill Maher made the expansive generalization recently that “If you are in this religion, you probably do have values that are at odds [with American values].”

What is most bizarre is to hear this anti-Muslim rhetoric described as brave truth-telling. Trump insists that he will not be silenced on this issue. Chris Christie says that he will not follow a “politically correct” national security policy. They are simply feeding a prejudice. The reality is that Muslims are today the most despised minority in America. Their faith is constantly criticized, and they face insults, discrimination and a dramatic rise in acts of violence against them, as Max Fisher of Vox has detailed superbly. And the leading Republican candidate has flirted with the idea of registering Muslims, a form of collective punishment that has not been seen since the internment of Japanese Americans in the 1940s.

This is the first time that I can recall watching politicians pander to mobs — and then congratulate themselves for their political courage.

Blinded By ISIS. By Shlomo Ben-Ami.

Blinded By ISIS. By Shlomo Ben-Ami. Project Syndicate, December 4, 2015.


MADRID – The general consensus emerging since last month’s carnage in Paris seems to be that the Islamic State (ISIS) can be defeated only by a ground invasion of its “state.” This is a delusion. Even if the West and its local allies (the Kurds, the Syrian opposition, Jordan, and other Sunni Arab countries) could agree about who would provide the bulk of ground troops, ISIS has already reshaped its strategy. It is now a global organization with local franchised groups capable of wreaking havoc in Western capitals.

In fact, ISIS has always been a symptom of a deeper malady. Disintegration in the Arab Middle East reflects the region’s failure to find a path between the bankrupt, secular nationalism that has dominated its state system since independence and a radical brand of Islam at war with modernity. The fundamental problem consists in an existential struggle between utterly dysfunctional states and an obscenely savage brand of theocratic fanaticism.

With that struggle, in which most of the region’s regimes have exhausted their already-limited stores of legitimacy, a century-old regional order is collapsing. Indeed, Israel, Iran, and Turkey – all non-Arab-majority countries – are probably the region’s only genuinely cohesive nation-states.

For years, key states in the region – some of them, like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, darlings of the West – have essentially paid protection money to jihadists. Yes, America’s wars in the region – as destructive as they were stupid – bear a substantial part of the blame for the mayhem now engulfing the Fertile Crescent. But that does not exculpate the Arab fundamentalist monarchies for their role in reviving the seventh-century vision that ISIS (and others) seek to realize.

ISIS’s army of psychopaths and adventurers was launched as a “startup” by Sunni magnates in the Gulf who envied Iran’s success with its Lebanese Shia proxy, Hezbollah. It was the combination of an idea and the money to propagate it that created this monster and nurtured its ambition to forge a totalitarian caliphate.

For years, the Wahhabis of Arabia have been the fountainhead of Islamist radicalism and the primary backer and facilitator of extremist groups throughout the region. As former US Senator Bob Graham, the lead author of the classified Senate report on the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, put it earlier this year, “ISIS is a product of Saudi ideals” and “Saudi money.” Indeed, Wikileaks quotes former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accusing Qatar and Saudi Arabia of collusion “with Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and other terrorist groups.”

That raises an obvious question: When regimes in the region collaborate with terrorist groups, how can intelligence cooperation with them, let alone a coalition to fight Islamic extremism, be credible? The so-called pro-Western regimes in the Arab Middle East simply do not see eye to eye with the West about the meaning and implications of the war on terror, or even about what violent radicalism is.

That is just one reason why an invasion of the caliphate, with local armies supported by Western airstrikes, could have devastating unintended consequences – think of George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq. Indeed, even if such a division of labor could be agreed, a ground invasion that denies ISIS its territorial base in Iraq and Syria would merely push it to redeploy in a region that is collapsing into various no man’s lands.

At that point, “Caliph” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, or some future would-be caliph, would invariably fuse the region’s mounting governance chaos with a global jihadi campaign – a process that, as we have seen in Paris and elsewhere, has already started. The ideological and strategic rift between ISIS and Al Qaeda notwithstanding, an alliance against the common enemy – the incumbent Arab regimes and the West – cannot be entirely discounted. Osama Bin Laden himself never ruled out the idea of establishing a caliphate. Indeed, his terrorism was perceived as a prelude to it.

At the same time, Syria and Iran might exploit the inevitable chaos to expand their presence in Iraq, and all parties, including Turkey, would oppose a central role for the Kurds. The latter have proven themselves to be tremendously reliable and capable fighters, as the battles to liberate the cities of Kobani and Sinjar from ISIS control have shown. But no one should think that they can be the West’s tool for subduing the Sunni heartland of Iraq and Syria.

Nor is it clear that the West is capable of compensating the Kurds with full-fledged statehood. The geostrategic constraints that have prevented Kurdish independence for centuries are even more acute today.

Some of the consequences of a Western-backed Arab invasion of the caliphate are no less predictable for being “unintended.” It would eventually stir up mass sympathy for the caliphate throughout the region, thus providing ISIS with a propaganda victory and further inspiration for alienated young Muslims in Europe and elsewhere to fight the "Crusaders" and the Muslim "traitors" aligned with them.

The only realistic alternative is more – much more – of the same. That means a constant and resolute effort to stop the caliphate’s expansion, cut off its sources of finance, deepen and expand intelligence cooperation among credible allies, end the oil-rich monarchies’ collusion with terrorist groups, and encourage reform (without engaging in grand state-building projects).

The Arab Middle East is not susceptible to quick fixes. It requires profound indigenous change that might take the better part of this century to produce. For now, turning the caliphate into yet another failed state in the region seems to be the best possible outcome.

Mordechai Kedar: Americans (Still) Don’t Understand the Middle East.

Dr. Mordechai Kedar

Americans (still) don’t understand the Middle East. This man wants to help. Mordechai Kedar interviewed by Michael Frank. Chicago Policy Review, July 28, 2015.

There is a partner. By Mordechai Kedar. Arutz Sheva 7, December 5, 2015.

Frank and Kedar:

CPR sits down with Dr. Mordechai Kedar, an Israeli academic and veteran of IDF intelligence, to discuss the causes of conflict in the Middle East and what might resolve them.

Mordechai Kedar is an Israeli scholar of Arabic culture and a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University. He holds a Ph.D. from Bar-Ilan University. Kedar is an academic expert on the Israeli Arab population. He served for 25 years in IDF Military Intelligence, where he specialized in Islamic groups, the political discourse of Arab countries, the Arabic press and mass media, and the Syrian domestic arena. The Los Angeles Times’ Edmund Sanders described him as “one of the few Arabic-speaking, Israeli pundits seen on Arabic satellite channels defending Israel.”

What is the biggest misperception that Western policymakers have about the Middle East?

There are two basic problems. The first is that they think that peace between Israel and the Palestinians will make all the other problems easier to solve. The Sunni will cooperate with the Shia, the Arabs will cooperate with the Persians, and the tribes of Libya will sit around the fire and sing “Kumbaya” together. This theory is totally baseless. If there is peace between Israel and the Palestinians, not a single struggle in the Middle East will become easier to solve because all those struggles have absolutely nothing to do with the Israeli-Palestinian problem. The second is that solutions that were tailored for the culture of the West cannot work in the Middle East because the culture of this region is totally different.

What are the fundamental causes of conflict in the Middle East?

When Americans think about the Middle East, they think from an American mindset: that every person in the world can find a way to live with any other person. This is what America is. America is a state, or a society, that was made by immigrants who came from all over the world. All of them share the American Dream together, they get together, they send their children to public school, and the second generation or third generation of children marry each other.

This scenario could not be farther from the reality of the Middle East. In the Middle East, people are fighting each other to death because of differences in ethnic groups, tribalism, religious issues, and sectarian issues. They are not trying to live in peace with each other. The “Other” is always the enemy and has to be exterminated because I don’t like him, he is not one of me, and we, as a group, are not going to accept anyone who is different from us. This is the mindset of the Middle East. And what you see today in Syria, in Iraq, in Libya, in Yemen, in Sudan, is actually the result of this mindset: The Other is my enemy, and there is no way for me to live in peace with the Other.

This is why, in the Middle East, instead of living with each other, the solution is to divide those dysfunctional states into emirates which will be homogenous. And every group should live by itself and leave the others alone.

How do you see that process playing out? Are some of these present struggles a move toward a peaceful Middle East, or are the conflicts we see now not a sign of progress in the region?

You can already see the beginning of the light at the end of the tunnel. You have, first of all, two Kurdish districts, which emerged from the conflicts in Syria and Iraq. The Kurdish district in northern Iraq, with its capital in Irbil, is very stable and successful. It is the fastest growing economy in the Middle East. Irbil has already, for 25 years, been marching on its way to independence. The other Kurdish district, which emerged from the ruins of Syria, in the Northwest part of Syria, is a calm, stable regime, which will never return to any Syrian framework.

The Druze in the South are also talking about their independence, which they enjoyed under the Ottoman Empire. They may manage a stable, successful, and independent state once more. This is the hope: that small, homogenous states will rise up from under the ruins of these conglomerates, which never succeeded as legitimate functioning states-neither in Iraq, nor in Syria, nor in any other countries in the Middle East.

Is there a role for federalism within these states?

You have to convince the ruling elites to loosen the grip that they have on the neck of other parts of the society. This is not easy. It's like asking the administration in Washington, D.C., to give more independence to the states; not everybody will agree to this. This is the problem, but people forget that the best model for a good life in the Middle East is the emirates model. I’m talking about Kuwait, Qatar, and the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). These states are stable because each one is actually a state of one single tribe that leads the country. All the other people are foreign expatriates and have no political aspirations or expectations. The society is homogenous-the ruling elite belongs to the society of the tribe. The tribal system doesn’t have elections. They don’t need elections, as they have real leadership—not politicians; they have real leaders from the tribe itself. This is the only system that works in the Middle East, and this is why I promote the establishment of eight Palestinian emirates.

How do these factors play into a potential resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? What would a practical solution look like?

The idea of a Palestinian state is based on another idea that there is a Palestinian nation for the Palestinian people. A Palestinian people exist just like the Syrian, Iraqi, Sudanese, or Libyan peoples, which everybody today understands do not actually exist. People in these countries are not loyal to the state; they are loyal to the traditional frameworks of the tribe, ethnic group, religion, and sect. The West invented these identities because this is how the West works. They are imagined peoples who exist only in the discourse of a very small and shallow elite that never retained the loyalties of the people in the streets.

There is no Palestinian people. There are clans, who are in the cities, who do not get married to each other, people who do not move to live in other cities because they are different in their mindset, dialect, culture. We see what can happen in such a state that will follow, no doubt, in the footsteps of Syria, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, and Yemen. This is why the two-state solution is a good wish but not a realistic outcome on the ground. And don’t forget that, because of the failures of [Syria and Iraq] to become nations, we have the Islamic State today. People are more loyal to their religion than they are to the state. Nobody in the world can prevent Hamas from taking over the West Bank just as they did in Gaza, even by elections, which they won in January 2006, or by a violent takeover as they already did in Gaza in June 2007. Hamas could take over the Palestinian state only to be a preamble to another Islamic State, just like ISIS. We would be doomed to live with such a state. This is why the only solution that would give the Palestinians freedom and security from Israel is a Palestinian Emirates solution.

With that in mind, what role should the US play in the region in the near future, and what does an ideal long-term engagement strategy look like?

The United States, first of all, has to learn about the Middle East, about the culture of the Middle East, about tribalism—the loyalties of people to their religion and sect, before it intervenes in this region. Consider how a doctor has to learn medicine first before treating a patient. For this, you have to spend seven years in medical school, and who knows how many more years to be specialized in whatever you want to do. First of all, people have to learn and study. It takes time and effort. Nobody should come to this region to dictate solutions without first knowing what are the problems that shake the region and what are realistic solutions that are tailored to the culture of this region, which is totally different from the culture of America and Europe.

I read an article you wrote, in which you said, “Israel and the world must understand that, in the Middle East, one only achieves peace through victory.” What does victory look like for Israel?

Victory is achieved when one party successfully convinces the other party to leave me alone, because the price of messing with me is too high. This is when peace is achieved. I’m not talking about kissing and hugging and sitting around the fire and singing “Kumbaya” together. In the Middle East, peace is achieved only when one party succeeds to convince the other to leave it alone. Peace is something which only the invincible can expect.


There is an alternative to establishing another failed state in the Middle East.

Last weeks Israeli government cabinet meeting included a discussion of possible scenarios for when the Palestinian Authority collapses. This would bring the Jewish and Arab population of Judea and Samaria to where they were before the Oslo Accords were signed, and leave Israel responsible for finding a way to deal with the Arab population of the region. This is, of course, taking into account that Gaza now has a stable and legitimate government, a Hamas government, a fact Israel is willing to live with indefinitely.

The important question is what Israel will do with Judea and Samaria, when the world demands a two state solution. Does Israel have a partner to deal with?

The first time Israel agreed to establish an official Palestinian Arab body was at the Camp David Accords, the agreement reached between Israel and Egypt in 1978. In these agreements, then Prime Minister Menachem Begin agreed to establish an autonomous authority for the Palestinian Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza with “a strong police force.” This agreement was rejected by the PLO which saw it as “granting Arab legitimacy to the Zionist entity and Egyptian abrogation of the right to independent decision making by the Palestinian people.”

The PLO did not agree to autonomy and demanded a Palestinian state on the ruins of the state of Israel. It saw no way to recognize Israel as a legitimate state, even if it took up just one square millimeter of “Palestine.” The Camp David Accords led to peace between Egypt and Israel, but to no breakthrough on the Palestinian issue. Since the 1980s, Israel has been searching for a recognized, accepted Palestinian body that will take the responsibility for enforcing law and order in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. In the early 1980s, Ariel Sharon gathered a few people on the margins of Arab society, gave them Uzis and authority, named them “The Association of Villages” and hoped they would enforce law and order in their surroundings. The experiment failed, in large part because Sharon did not depend on the heads of local clans, the large extended families called hamoulot who form the traditional leadership in Judea and Samaria’s cities, but whom he felt wielded too much power. People who knew the situation well warned him not to give weapons to these marginal people, but Sharon, who did not make a habit of taking advice, did not listen to them.

Another attempt to seek out Palestinian Arab leadership was towards the end of the first Intifada, the uprising started in late 1987 and brought Hamas onto center stage, to be followed soon after by Islamic Jihad. In 1992, then Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin tried to deal with the terror sown by these organizations by exiling their leaders to southern Lebanon. However, Israel's Supreme Court forced him to allow them to return, and this failure pushed the government to search for another organization that would accept the responsibility for dealing with Hamas and Islamic Jihad “without the [interference of Israeli] courts and the Betselem [human rights]’ organization,” to quote the late prime minister.

Several months earlier, as a result of the October 1991 Madrid Conference, secret contacts were initiated between several Israelis and PLO representatives in Oslo, Norway. Those contacts led to the signing of the Oslo Agreements on the White House lawn in September 1993. The agreements were based on the illusion that the PLO had put down its arms, turned into a peace movement, given up its plans to eliminate Israel, would change the PLO Covenant, recognize Israel and accept the responsibility of creating something that is less than a state on the territory Israel would hand over to PLO control. Everyone knows how that story ended, but the signs were there from the beginning. It is simply a case of there are “none so blind as those who will not see.”

The Oslo Agreements created the Palestinian Authority, an entity which quickly abrogated its first mission, that of fighting terror. Instead, it continued its anti-Israel incitement in the media, the public sphere and the educational system (whose budget was made up of overseas donations). Since then, the PLO continues the battle against Israel on the international stage and pushes for BDS.

The establishment of the Palestinian Authority allowed terrorists wielding kalashnikov rifles to take over its Legislative Council  in the January 2006 elections and go on to take over  Gaza in June 2007. All the polls taken so far point to a clear victory for Hamas in the next Palestinian Authority elections – if there ever are any – and that includes capturing the position of chairman, so that the act of exercising democracy will turn Judea and Samaria into a terrorist state.

This leads to the generally accepted remark that “there is no Palestinian partner,” since it has become clear to all that the PLO has no desire for a peaceful state alongside Israel. In fact, it hopes to establish a terror state on Israel’s ruins and the last twenty years have sufficed to convince most Israelis of the futility of trying to change that. Much of the left has realized that the Oslo Accords were a fatal mistake, but has not come up with an alternative to the two-state solution, continuing to see the Palestinian Arabs as a “nation” with the right to self-rule.

The real truth about the Arab world has become obvious over the last few years. The modern Arab state is a dismal failure that did not succeed in convincing its own citizens that it is a better choice than clinging to traditional tribal loyalties and ethnic groups (Arabs, Kurds, etc.), religious groups (Muslim, Christian, Alawite, Druze, etc.) and warring groups within the same religion (Shiite, Sunni, etc.). The nationalism offered by the modern state has failed to create a Syrian, Iraqi, Libyan, or Sudanese basis for a national consciousness and the proof of that is playing out in front of our eyes as we witness the terrible civil wars that show where the real loyalties of each population sector lie.

There is no “Palestinian nation” either. The Arab residents of the land of Israel west of the Jordan are really made up of tribes and clans with accepted tribal leadership and binding social traditions. They live in demarcated areas and enjoy active lives in their communities. The PA, a creation of the PLO, just like Syria, Iraq, Libya and Sudan, has failed to find its way into Palestinian Arab hearts. The only thing united them all is hatred of Israel, so that if a state does get established in PA territory, it will, in all probability, turn into another Gaza at best or into another Libya and Syria in the worst case scenario.

Israel and the rest of the world must not support the establishment of another failed Arab state based on the illusory concept of a non-existent people which will soon bring untold suffering on its citizens and their neighbors.

What is that elusive alternative people keep on looking for? The alternative solution exists. In the Middle East the right thing to do is to establish states on the basis of tribal loyalties. That is the basis of the Gulf States: Kuwait, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharqa, and Umm al-Quwain. These are tranquil, stable emirates, each with a majority of citizens who are members of a single tribe.

A homogenous society creates stability, a legitimate legal framework and a legitimate government. The citizens of an emirate do not fight each other because they belong to the same tribe, and can turn their oil into prosperity. Saudi Arabia and Oman are also countries that have tribal cultures that keep them stable. Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Sudan are oil producing, but life in those countries is short and bitter because of the endless fighting between rival groups. These are fragile and illegitimate countries created by British, French and Italian colonialist powers, all based on the Western model of a nation.

This is also the way we must address the Palestinian Arab problem, and instead of creating another failed Western-model state that has no chance of succeeding in the Middle East, create seven emirates in the Arab cities of Judea and Samaria, based on the powerful extended families in each of those cities. Hevron can be the emirate of the Jabri, Abu Sneineh, Qawasmi, Natsheh and Tamimi tribes, Jericho of the Erekat tribe, Ramallah of the Barghouti tribe, Nablus of the al Masri, Tukan and Shakah tribes and so on in Tulkarm, Kalkilya and Jenin.

Anyone who has not yet noticed, is asked to look at Gaza where since June 2007 (eight years!) there is a functioning state.

In addition, Israel has to remain in control in the villages and surrounding areas of Judea and Samaria in order to prevent the formation of a terrorist contiguity uniting the discrete city-emirates, but.Israel can then offer citizenship to the residents of these villages who make up only about 10% of the Arabs in Judea and Samaria. The other 90% can stay in their independently run city-states.

These are the broad parameters of a program based on the “partner” to be found in each city-emirate, the natural, traditional leadership of the large clans in each city. Israel must negotiate with each emirate and reach an agreement with each one on the issues of electricity, water, waste, roads, industry, agriculture, traffic, security, the use of ports and airspace, and the boundary lines of each. If the emirates wish to form a federation, so be it. That doesn’t pose a problem as long as their territories are not allowed to be contiguous.

The PLO, the organization that runs the Palestinian Authority, never agreed to the existence of the state of Israel as a Jewish state, and is therefore not a partner for peace. Israel, however, has a partner in each Judea and Samaria city. Israel must bring about  the collapse of the PLO and PA, the two entities preventing a lasting peace agreement with the residents of Judea and Samaria, who will then be able to establish thriving emirates on the lines of Dubai, if not even better.

The PLO, Hamas and Islamic Jihad want only wars, death and destruction, while peace between Israel and the Emirates will lead to growth and prosperity.

Do Women Have a New Role In Radical Islam? By Raheel Raza.

Do women have a new role in radical Islam? Video. Raheel Raza interviewed on Fox and Friends. Fox News, December 6, 2015. Also at Yahoo! News.

MUSLIM REFORM MOVEMENT – for a better future for humanity – Dec 4. 2015. Raheel Raza’s Blog, December 5, 2015.