Uncertain Beautiful Future

Ukraine is lost. What is Israel’s destiny?

People living today will tell their grandchildren and great-grandchildren about those times. Never before have events in world politics and life moved at such a dizzying pace. Tectonic  shifts in geopolitical discourse are evident. The unipolar Western world is collapsing only to make a lane for a multipolar world set to replace it. More importantly, other points of attraction emerge with the resources of the opposing forces gravitating towards them. Until recently, Ukraine was one of them—an arena of confrontation between NATO and Russia.

But nothing is set in stone. Ukraine has fallen short of the expectations of its sponsors. Zelensky failed as well. Now his Western sponsors turn back to him one by one, and his fellow party members criticize him for lying, betrayal, rampant corruption in the country, giving up positions in the war with Russia, lack of strategic thinking, and poor governance. But what did they expect pushing a professional comedian to be elected as president of the country? Running a  country is no laughing matter. Yet, that has been another success for Zelensky.

And here comes the sea change. The United States openly admitted that one of the goals of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is to empty military depots in Europe and the United States at the expense of Ukrainian taxpayers—to update the arms stock of Western countries and modernize the US defense industry to the tune of $40 billion. This rather cynical statement by US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin can only be compared to Colin Powell’s infamous ‘test tube’ presented at the UN Security Council. This does not in any way elevate the United States in the eyes of its allies. However, there is one country speech that like this cannot apply to—Israel.

US President Joe Biden is on the outs with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This leaves a mark on relations between the two nation-states. Leaders adhere to protocol and strict formalities. Moreover, Biden has his actions constrained by the situation in the United States. The country is divided between those who demand an immediate cease-fire and those who support the carpet-bombing of Israelis by the US Air Force.

Zelensky failedThe bottom line is that the Administration is jammed up, and there is no solution. Even the US President is helpless. Just think about it! The president of the most powerful country is helpless! All he can do in this situation is to subtly suggest that it is undemocratic and inhumane to bomb the poor people of Gaza. And the United States cannot support a regime that behaves undemocratically in full view of the world. Of course, you have to read between the lines: “Do what you want, but not in front of the cameras.”

And so the president of a country engaged in a de facto proxy war with Europe and the United States flies to the Arabian Peninsula to visit countries that have traditionally been considered the “gas pump” of the United States for several decades. The delegation is impressive. So is the agenda for the meetings. The fate of Palestine was paid great attention. Russia, as you may know, believes that the solution to this problem is to separate the two countries along the 1949 Green Line.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE hold similar positions with minor reservations. This would not only solve the practical problem but give political weight to the United Nations, which has long been discredited and perceived by the world as the United States’ backyard or as a debating club. Kill two birds with one stone. Why not? But still no. Too many players have an interest in this.

As the old world hegemon is set to fall, the power players are not trying to create a new hegemon. They try to solve problems on their own. Countries have learned from the lessons of the past. Now, the bet is on the big regional players—Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The latter are extremely interested in stability in the region for several reasons. Further escalation of the conflict could jeopardize the traditional Arab energy supply routes—with a consequence of an increase in delivery time and a surge in oil prices.

What’s so bad for Arabs here, you ask? That’s because it’s unpredictable. The most crucial thing for the oil market is predictability and the awareness of its major players about what will happen within a certain period. Therefore, stability in this extremely complicated region is important for these countries. Russia is one of the few international actors capable of using its influence on neighboring countries to stop the conflict in this territory and prevent it from spreading. The Russian armed forces—having one of their bases in Syria—are no small part of this puzzle.

It is unlikely that anyone will intervene directly in the conflict between Hamas and Israel. The stakes are too high. There is a high probability that the situation will remain a stalemate. Nothing can be done. Nor can the UN force Israel to follow its will…

And so it turns out that hostilities are going on, but Hamas is not well armed, Israel is violating international law left and right, and the West is quietly turning a blind eye. So why is there a need for international law at all? Can Hamas find sponsors capable of negotiating the supply of at least relatively modern weapons? Or have they already made a deal in Ukraine? Have they bought back half of the equipment the West sent to Zelensky and his clique? The questions outnumber the answers in today’s world. And the answers to these questions have yet to be found. If we fail to find them, humankind will be mired in conflicts that could escalate into World War III at the snap of a finger.

Reposts are welcomed with the reference to ORIENTAL REVIEW.
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