Date: 03-30-20 Time: 11:40
Maria Polizoidou – Journalist
Pinhas Inbari is a veteran Arab affairs correspondent who formerly reported for Israel Radio and Al Hamishmar newspaper, and currently serves as an analyst for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
It was a great honor and privilege to interview an excellent professional and wonderful person, like Pinhas Inbari. The Flag Report is thanking him for his support.
– Can you describe in a few words to our readers President Trump’s peace plan?
“It’s an excellent plan in my opinion, because the problems of the Middle East are economical not political. Because the Arab Nations, including the Palestinians they had enough of political solutions and political slogans. What they need is money to live and work. A huge immigration of Arab youth even before the Arab Spring to Europe it was because they had no money because instead of offering them (their governments) economical prosper they offer them the solution of the Palestinian problem. And President Trump is the first to understand that we have to start with the economy. “Les us first have happy people and then talk about solutions”. And also better economy makes extremism weaker. Because the extremists want poverty. If people are not poor the extremists have nothing to tell them. God is not a solution”.
– How the Israeli political system is approaching the peace plan after the latest elections?
“There is consensus between Gantz and Netanyahu about Trump’s plan. They want to help President Trump to proceed with his plan and hopefully after the elections he will be re-elected”.
– Which is the official Palestinian position about the plan and which is the Hamas’s position?
“Hamas and the PLO share the same position. They are completely against Trump’s plan because of several reasons not only one reason. One is that historically they are very much against any economical solution. Why? Because the PLO and Hamas have totalitarian ideology.
The PLO is part of Panarabism, of Arab Empire. Everybody must be an Arab. You cannot be a Jew, you cannot be a Christian, you must be an Arab. So, this is the Panarab ideology. The PLO is part of it. This kind of totalitarian ideology doesn’t want happy people because they can’t mobilize them to fight for the regime.
So any economical approach to the society they kill it. They perceive the private sector as an enemy. They want to monopolize everything. So, this is the deeper reason why they are against Trump’s plan.
The second reason is very obvious because their total goal is not to compromise. So if Trump tells them you shall not have the borders that you demand but instead you will have a better economy they cannot compromise. Now Hamas has the same approach. Also Hamas is a Panislamist movement. Also it is a totalitarian movement, so they want everything, they cannot compromise.
Now if we compare it to what happened in Syria we can see the same thing. Why all the political solutions in Syria failed? Because, no one want to compromise. Everybody wants everything. They are totalitarian in their minds in everything. Nobody is compromising. When will the civil war in Syria end? When someone extinct – Genocide. So this is the same approach here. So, they cannot compromise in their total demands and they are very much and deeply against the economy”.
– Which were the Jordanian and the Iranian reaction to the plan?
“Iran is against about everything. They don’t need a reason to be against the US. They are the great Satan. End of story. Jordan is not completely on the same page with Trump but they are not against Trump. I shall explain. On that issue they are very much in favor of Trump because they need the money, and for the money they supposed to take from American they don’t have to return anything, the Palestinians must pay a price. The Jordanians get free money. So, from this prospect they are with Trump.
Where is the problem? The problem is Jerusalem. Why the problem is Jerusalem? Because for the Hashemite crown Jerusalem is everything. And why Jerusalem is everything? Because the Hashemites they came from Mecca. In Mecca they were the guardians, the protectors of the Holly Places, Mecca and Al Madinah. They came to Jordan after they were expelled by the Saudis and they got their legitimacy not because they are representing the Jordanians but because they are the protectors of the Holly Places. And what Holly Places left for them? Jerusalem!
Jordanians suspected the closeness of the Saudis with Trump with Jared Kushner because of a change in their tactic as the Muslim guardians of Jerusalem. And for good reason. They checked the possibility of giving another title to the Muslim World in Jerusalem in order to understand that Jordan is not the only protector of Jerusalem but Jordan is one member in the group of Muslim powers. This is very dangerous for Jordan. Israel told Americans to be careful – we don’t want to make any change in the status of Jordan in Jerusalem”.
– Is the coronavirus crisis, effecting the geopolitical balances and the relationships in the area?
“Of course. It is early to tell exactly what is going on but the changes are tremendous in my opinion. And I will be very careful because it is too early to tell. But it seems that the corona crisis came after the Arab Spring. The Arab Spring changed very much the mentality of the Arabs. They understood that neither Panarabism nor Panislamism can cure them. On the contrary. It is the source of the problem. It is the illness. I know it from my contacts with the Syrians, they are Baathists, they are Panarabists and now they say, we were wrong about it. It started to create an openness with Israel…
Now with the corona virus Arabs started to understand why a failed State like theirs, with the government that they have is risking their lives. A failed state can’t meet the challenge with the corona virus. So, the problem is for 2-3 weeks now and we don’t know yet how it will develop in the future. I think the Arab Spring has shaken the Panarabic and Panislamic ideology and now the corona virus crisis proved to everyone that they need strong countries and this can come to convince them more that Trump’s plan is necessary for them, so they must build strong states – states that care about the people not the ideologies. But we are still in the beginning”.
– What is going on with the relationships between Israel and Turkey?
“Very bad story”.
– Is the relationship dead?
“I think so. Erdogan is a pan-Islamist. And he is not ready to compromise about anything. You cannot talk to him about anything. Everybody is in despair with him. Now I understand Trump’s plan to keep a relationship with him because the American diplomacy still needs some gate to talk with the Muslim Brothers. They even kept the doors to the Talibans in Afganistan. I think that America keeps minimum relationships with Erdogan just to have somebody to talk to Muslim Brotherhood. Nobody regards Erdogan as an ally. It’s over. The same with Israel. End of story with him”.
– What would you like to say about the Greek – Israel relationships?
“I am happy to say that we have good relations not only because the current situation in the Middle East but because something very, very basic. We and you are the pillars of the Western society. You gave the Philosophy and we gave the Moral Code. And the moral code and Philosophy are the pillars of Western civilization. That’s why we must be together”.