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March 9, 2018

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MARCH 9, 2018 PAGE 3.A. lS nOW BESA via Facebook Professor gfraim garsh, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. By Yaakov Lappin killed our family. The Alawi- tes of the Assad regime have (JNS)--After years of killed our Sunni identity of bloody warfare, Syria has be- Damascus." come a "Shi'a colony of Iran," Tibi, a secular Sunni schol- a Syrian professor who lives ar born in Damascus, said in Germany told an Israeli the Syrian conflict has been conference in recent days. transformed into a sectarian- Addressing the Begin- religiouswar, addingthatthis Sadat Center for Strategic core fact has been missed by StudiesatBar-IlanUniversity, many Western observers. BassamTibi, professor emeri- Since the U.S. invasion of tus of international relations Iraq in 2003, Iran has been at Georg-August University of filling thevacuum"createdby Gottingen, said: "They have the removal of [former Iraqi killed our clans. They have leader] SaddamHussein.Ever since, Iran has been expand- ing its power," explained Tibi. "Today, there are two blocs in the Middle East: the Sunni and Shi'a blocs. The strongest bloc, even though Shi'as are the minority, is the Shi'a bloc. The Saudis are unable to meet the Iranian challenge. Iran now controls Iraq, Lebanon and Syria," he warned. 'Sunni eyes are opening' Daniel S. Mariaschin, ex- ecutive vice president and CEO of the B'nai B'rith, who had recently metwith Persian Gulf leaders in the UnitedArab Emirates, said at the confer- ence that due to the Iranian threat, Sunni Arab leaders no longer fear Israel and are potential allies to stop Iran. "Sunni eyes are opening to the fact that Israel poses no threat, but that Shi'a Iran aspires to dominate far be- yond its borders," stated Mariaschjn. He added that significant potential exists for Sunni states to cooperate with Israel on shared concerns. Despite this positive devel- opment, Tibi forewarned that Saudi Arabia, which today is considered to be the leader of the Sunni Arab world, lacked a policy to effectively push back Iran. "SaudiArabia is not likely to win. But one should support them against the Iranians," he argued. Professor Hillel Frisch, a Middle East expert who is a member of BESA, said the term "Arab-Israeli conflict" is no longer relevant to describe the region. "It's basically an Israeli-Iranian conflict or an Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The only Arabs that are confronting Israel today are proxies of Iran." While non-Arab regional powers--lsrael, Iran and Tur- key-are on the rise, theArab states are in dramatic decline, he added. "Of course, this was aided by the Americans when they destroyed the Sunni state of Iraq, which was replaced by a Shi'a state," said Frisch. The Shi'a corridor: Teh- ran to Beirut According to Tibi, Iran workswith state and non-state actors to take over the region, saying the governments of Syria, Iraq and Lebanon were all under Tehran's control, while non-state armed groups such as Lebanon's Hezbollah, the Houthis in Yemen and the Shi'a militias of Iraq are also members of Tehran's radical alliance. "There is an axis of power coming from Iran to the Mediterranean, and from Iran to central Asia, and from Iran to the Red Sea," said Tibi. "All of the people who talk about the conflict in Syria do not acknowledge Iranian power. They do not acknowledge that the nature of the conflict is between Sunnis and Alawites [who are seen as an offshoot of Shi'a Islam]." Professor Benjamin Miller, an expert on international relations from the political- science school at the Uni- versity of Haifa, also told the conference that Tehran has gained significantly by constructing"a corridor from Iran to the Mediterranean." He added that introducing democracy to Iraq has "made Iran a key broker" in that country, which has a Shi'a majority of 60 percent. In Syria, the Al~wites, "who are kind of offshoots of Shi'as, are threatened by the 70 percent Sunni majority," he explained. "Iran is their natu- ral protector and ally. This led to the corridor's formation." The common threat posed by Iran to Israel and Sunni Arab states has "helped to transform relations" between them, maintained Miller. Meanwhile, the Russian- Iranian alliance--formed to assist the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad and rescue it from collapse--is narrowly built on shared interests, but with no shared identity. Miller believes it's most likely going to end. The failure of the West In his address to the confer- ence, Frisch also expressed concern over America's with- drawal from the region, call- ing it "the major threat that connects between Trump and Obama. From that point of view, they're equal in seeking to withdraw from the role as the world's policeman." Frisch described Iran as "truly a radical imperial state. The best proof of that is that it's the only state in the Middle East that projects power above 1,000 kilometers from its border," using it to attack Israel, which harbors no ill will towards Iran. Iran "keeps teaching us, together with Hezbollah, that they won't do business with us," he added. Tibi agreed with Frish's assessment, saying the West is failing to meet the Iranian challenge, while also leveling heavy criticism of the 2015 nuclear deal between the world powers andIran, under which "inspectors can't enter military sites This must be fixed." "Iran continues to be suc- cessful," he said. Looking ahead at the fu- ture, Tibi shared a bleak picture, saying, "Syria, my home country, is bleeding there is a term to describe this conflict, which cannot be solved. The diagnosis for the Syrian conflict is: intractable. In the next five years, there will be no solution. Sunnis and Alawites--and the protectors of the Alawites, the Iranians-- cannot live together." .5 ~iiiiiiiiiiiliiiii!iiiii!ili~i~i~i! : ~i)!iiiii: :iiiiiiii~ Michal Fattal/Flash90 Former Palestinian Fatah Party lawmaker Mohammed Dahlan, who is viewed as a potential successor to Palestin- ian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, speaks to the media in December 2006. By Yoni Ben Menachem from the Fatah movement, Jerusalem Center for and Egypt knows why. They Public Affairs via JNS were part of this process. It's not honorable for Egypt as a The battle for the succes- nation to support someone sionofMahmoudAbbasinthe who is against the Palestin- PalestinianAuthority is heat- ian problem and his own na- ingup.Thiswasapparentfrom tion. We are talking about a Fatah Secretary-General wrongful precedent and step Jibril Rajoub's recent attack for Egypt." on Egypt, which supports Jibril Rajoub has a terrible the candidacy of Palestinian relationship with Egypt. Last politicianMuhammadDahlan year, he was deported from for the position of next PA Egypt shortly after he ar- chairman, rived in Cairo to take part The Israeli security forces in a political conference as a are concerned about a possible representative of Fatah. Soon bloodbath in the West Bank after his plane touched down, as soon as Mahmoud Abbas Egyptian security officers leaves office, put him on another plane The "bombshell" that Jibril and ordered him to leave the Rajoub, secretary-general country because he had criti- of Fatah in the West Bank, cized the Egyptian president dropped during an interview in the media. on the BBC's Arabic service AccordingtoFatahsources, on February 17, 2018, is still Jibril Rajoub suspects that PA reverberatingthroughoutthe Chairman Mahmoud Abbas Arabworldandtheterritories. will soon retire from political During the interview, Jibril life. As Rajoub believes he is Rajoub attacked Egypt for themostsuitablecandidateto supporting his bitter political succeed Abbas as chairman, rival Muhammad Dahlan. He he launched an attack on his said: "It is not acceptable for rival Muhammad Dahlan. Egypt to support Muham- Dahlan has the backing of madDahlan. He was expelled the Arab Quartet (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates) for the position of the next chairman of the Palestinian Authority. Unsurprisingly, the Hamas leadership is supporting Muhammad Dahlan. Khalil al-Hayya, a member of the Hamas political bureau, stated on Feb. 20, that, "Mu- hammad Dahlan is a major Palestinian figure. His stance is clear regarding reconcilia- tion, and we thank him for his steadfastness for the Gaza Strip." Muhammad Dahlan's sup- porters reacted derisively to Jibril Rajoub's remarks and said that he is "a crazy man like President Trump." According to them, Rajoub is very concerned by the pos- sibility of Dahlan becoming the next chairman of the Palestinian Authority. In the event of his ascension, Rajoub will have to either leave the area or take the risk of being put on trial and facing a long sentence in a Palestinian jail. Dahlan's supporters claim that Rajoub is trying to mar- ket himself as the successor of Mahmoud Abbas and that he has allied himself with Qatar, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Israel against Egypt. The US government op- poses Dahlan Jibril Rajoub is not the only one working against Muham- mad Dahlan. In recent years, the United States has been working against him as his power continues to increase within the Arab world. Dahlan sees himself as Yasser Arafat's true succes- sor. Although he was expelled from the Fatah movement, he is patiently planning his comeback, straight into the position of chairman of the Palestinian Authority. For the past 11 years, the United States has refused to allow Muhammad Dahlan to enter its territory and considers him to be a destructive force against its policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In this regard, the Trump administration has adopted the standpoint of the previ- ous administration regarding Muhammad Dahlan. During a Quartet debate in Vienna in 2010, former U.S. (JNS)--The granddaughter of former longtime U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman has immi- grated to Israel. Nesya Lieberman, 20, made aliyah on Tuesday through the Nefesh B'Nefesh organization, in partnership with the Minis- try of Aliyah and Integration, the Jewish Agency of Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael and the Jewish National Fund- USA. Nesya, formerly of Atlanta, will join an ulpan, learning Hebrew at Kibbutz Sde Eli- yahu before beginning a year of national service work. "I've wanted to make aliyah ever since my eighth-grade school trip and am overjoyed to have finally accomplished that goal! Making aliyah alone is intimidating, but I truly believe that this is where I need to be," Nesya told Israel National News. "Jews have been praying for a return to Israel for millennia, and I'm Secretary of State John Kerry stated that Muhammad Dah- lan is no less dangerous than Hamas and that Washington refused to allow him entry into the United States.1 In discussions held by the Trump administration on "the day after Mahmoud Abbas," attended by envoy Jason Greenblatt and Ambas- sador David Friedman, Arab sources stated that Muham- mad Dahlan had saved the Hamas movement and he had persuaded the Egyptian gov- ernment to open a dialogue with it. Senior officials in the Trump administration have accused Dahlan of propagat- ing statements calling for the annulment of the Oslo accords and declaring the territories "a state under occupation," which contravenes U.S. policy. The American campaign against Muhammad Dahlan actually serves his purposes very well. For this reason, it is mentioned at length on any In- ternet site that supports him. Nefesh B'Nefesh Nesya Lieberman fortunate enough to live in senator, who was in Israel a time when such a return just two weeks ago for an is possible. Why would I live event titled "The First Israeli anywhere else? Israel is my Congress on Judaism and De- home, and I can't wait to mocracy," is an outspoken see what my future here will advocate for a strong rela- bring." tionship between the United The former Connecticut States and Israel.