26.11.2023 Author: Viktor Mikhin

The future of Arab-American relations in light of the Gaza massacre

The future of Arab-American relations

Few know how Israel’s horrific and murderous assault in Gaza, which has lasted nearly two months, will conclude or how many ordinary Palestinians will die. However, the Middle East and the rest of the globe will come to understand a new reality when the guns finally stop firing and the carpet bombing stops. The human cost already incurred—more than 11,000 dead, over half of whom were women and children—and the more than 25,000 wounded—will be far greater than any outcome regarding Hamas. This is as of this writing. The extent of the devastation is indescribable; nothing compares to it since the US atomic bombing of residential areas in Japan’s Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II, when entire cities like Coventry and Dresden were destroyed.

Nobody knows whether the people of Gaza will ever be permitted to return to their homes, which have been completely destroyed by intense and brutal bombardment, to resume what is left of their dreadful and tragic existence. Gaza is now a desert covered in the rubble of the houses that once stood there. Beyond the long-term humanitarian effects, however, there are a number of political issues that must be settled as soon as possible. The future of US-Arab relations and where the tenuous alliance with the weakening West will go next will be at the center of the storm.

The war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas poses a major challenge to the entire US Middle East policy. This is a challenging test for the network of relationships and agreements Washington has worked to build over the last several decades to balance American interests between the Arab world and Israel. But it has become abundantly clear that the US is incapable of achieving this strategic balance between Arabs and Israelis. The majority of the world, particularly Arab and Muslim states, frequently accuses Washington of endorsing Israel’s attacks on Gaza residents. They claim that the US provides Israel with advanced weaponry that are used to slaughter Palestinians in Gaza. They more thoroughly accuse the US of giving Israel $14 billion to keep the war going and claim that deploying two aircraft carriers to the eastern Mediterranean protects Israel from any armed strike by any nation. There are also clear facts to this: the US army entered the fight immediately by destroying Houthi missiles that were headed for Israel from Yemen. Therefore, it can be stated objectively and frankly that the US and Israeli troops are using extra-cruelty in their destruction of Palestinian citizens in Gaza.

The Arab media blames the US for the Palestinian attack on October 7, in which desperate Gazans fought back with dignity. They also blame the US for the current military inferno that is occurring in the Middle East. Arab media outlets don’t think the United States is sincere about ending the conflict between Israel and Hamas; instead, they claim that the US is merely stoking tensions by arming Tel Aviv with cutting-edge weapons and providing financial support. Accordingly, Washington is not an honest broker of peace in the Middle East. Unfortunately, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s shuttle diplomacy, who is Jewish, in the region did not overcome the objections of the Israeli government to a cease-fire that would have allowed more than 2.3 million Gazans to receive badly needed humanitarian relief.

Attacks on US military installations in Iraq and Syria have increased as a result of the obvious and shameless US involvement in the massacre of Gazans. Given Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s bellicose words, it is quite possible that both countries will see further strikes on their U.S. military installations should the Gaza war continue—and that it will continue for a very long time. All of the Arab nations are also worried that the conflict in Gaza may worsen and turn into a regional crisis involving other states. Politicians in Washington make frequent remarks to Arabs suggesting that the war (US+Israel) against Hamas is really a war against Iran. The Arab countries’ strategic justification is that escalating the conflict by attacking Iran—the US and Israel have been practicing joint maneuvers this time, and everything is prepared for it—could destabilize the entire Middle East and lead to further instability. Millions of people worldwide will start to refer to the US as the actual enemy of Muslims and Arabs as a result of this.

The foreign ministers of five major Arab nations and a Palestinian Authority official recently met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Amman. They all demanded that the US acknowledge the urgent need for a ceasefire and for the unhindered flow of desperately needed humanitarian goods to the beleaguered Gaza Strip, which is currently a disaster area. Instead, Blinken scornfully dismissed their entreaties, restating the by now-familiar assertion that only “Israel has the right to self-defense” and that any ceasefire would serve Hamas’ interests. Like a cheap variety theater performer, he awkwardly claimed to be sympathetic to Palestinian civilian losses, urged Israel to follow military regulations, and offered the Arab world a carrot: a commitment to the two-state solution. However, he didn’t ask Prime Minister Netanyahu first, who has openly and angrily opposed a Palestinian state on several occasions.
In light of the fact that Blinken is going to step down following the elections in 2024, who will establish a new Palestinian state? In other words, the United States disregarded the cries of its Arab allies and fully aligned itself with Israel.

A turning point in U.S.-Arab relations was this total disregard for the Arab perspective, which was centered on protecting civilians and delivering humanitarian relief rather than defending Hamas. Millions of Arabs and people all around the world have sentiments that Washington openly disregards. Despite the fact that the war goes against every definition of self-defense as well as every set of international norms and treaties, he has blatantly sided with Israel. For now, the so-called “golden billion” are exempt from all rules, regulations, and penalties.

Furthermore, all Blinken could do was “ask” Israel to indicate that he was “confident” that Israel would take action in response to Arab diplomats pointing out the worsening situation in the West Bank, where radicalized settlers and Israeli soldiers are terrorizing and shooting Palestinians. A visiting American who is a Jew by nationality exhibits extreme linguistic equivocation and arrogance, raising major questions about who controls Washington and stands up for American sovereignty.

It is impossible to overlook the degree of popular resentment towards the American stance on war in the Arab world, which surely exerts pressure on Arab governments. It disrupts the increasingly fragile alliance between the United States and its Arab allies. It disrupts the increasingly fragile alliance between the United States and its Arab allies.
Millions of Palestinians being forcibly relocated to Egypt will strain ties between Cairo and Amman and place them in a challenging and dangerous situation. Such forced relocation would be regarded as a declaration of war, according to Jordan. Nobody knows how far Israel will carry out its current military campaign—not even the United States. It’s becoming evident that the Biden administration lacks the power to prevent Israel from carrying out its threat to exterminate hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the Sinai desert.

The conclusion of the Gaza conflict may strain ties with Washington to the breaking point. No Arab nation can bear the chance of turning its back on the Palestinian cause. The events that transpired after October 7 demonstrated to Israel, the Arab world, and the rest of the world that giving in to Palestinian national aspirations and their desire for their own state will, in fact, prolong tensions in the region and bring Israel neither peace nor security, either now or in the future, raising serious doubts about the State of Israel’s very existence.

President Joe Biden and Blinken have failed to say the most critical thing that Arab leaders need to hear: that the US will resolve the Palestinian issue and put an end to this horrible wave of bloodshed. The problem is that even if they make such promises, few people will believe them. For more than 30 years, the United States led the so-called peace process, which sought a two-state solution. But Washington has failed to play the role of an honest broker. They stood by as hardliners. Israel confiscated more Palestinian land, razed Palestinian houses, empowered Jewish settlers, ignored the Palestinian Authority, and placed an unlawful siege on Gaza’s 2.3 million people. Arab friends have warned the US that the region is reaching a boiling point. Anarchy will break out if the Palestinian issue is not settled equitably, but the US has disregarded their warnings.  And that’s exactly what’s happening right now.

No more assurances from the US are strong enough. There must be an end to America’s stranglehold on the so-called peace process. Along with its illicit nuclear weapons and delivery systems, Israel’s impunity must cease. International attention is required and cannot be avoided due to Israel’s irrational and terroristic war on Gaza and its collective punishment of Palestinians in preparation for potential ethnic cleansing. The reality that Israel perpetrated several war crimes in Gaza cannot be overlooked. Because of the complicity and double standards of a withering and decrepit West, the entire rules-based world order is on the verge of collapsing.

An international peace conference involving Russia, China, the Arab area, and the rest of the Global South is required shortly following the conflict. The United States cannot be trusted to conduct another round of peace talks on its own, which will ultimately buy Israel time to finish its annexation of what remains of Palestinian territory. The two-state solution was declared dead long ago as a result of Israel’s agenda of colonizing the West Bank and dragging millions of Palestinians in Gaza into a second Nakba (uprising) in order to compel Palestinians into the ill-adapted Sinai.

The right of Israel to exist has been established in peace accords and the Arab Peace Initiative. Furthermore, millions of Palestinians have the right to self-determination and their own state (the UN Partition Plan for Palestine was enacted on November 29, 1947 by United Nations General Assembly Resolution No. 181). This is not a blank check to be written off at the expense of these rights. The world has reached a turning point as a result of the Gaza War: Israel wishes to end the Palestinian issue once and for all, allowing the region to pay its bills at the expense of the Arabs.

But that cannot be allowed to happen, and the United States must do all in its power to prevent it. They are not, however, an honest broker, and the Arab world can’t afford to let them continue buying time for Israel as it embarks on a poisonous strategy to normalize the occupation and exterminate millions of Palestinians. The Arab world as a whole must send a clear message to the US that backing Israel is no longer acceptable. A conflict in Gaza will provide the United States with no political or strategic advantage. They may even suffer economic losses if the conflict continues for an extended period of time and oil prices reach a record high.


Victor Mikhin, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

Related articles: