HASSAN EL-SAGHIR, P.E
M.Eng. (Env.); BSc. (Agr.); Dip. Ing. (Agr.)
The Middle Eastern area as a whole, has been the scene of various civilizations since ancient times and remains a boiling zone on the world map.
This part of the world was being narrated by old books as the Holy Bible and Qu?uran or
Through the works of historians as Josephus, Philo, Al Massoudi, Al Razi or others.
In what follows, I am going to discuss about the systemic approach to politics in the Middle East.
This short essay results from my personal reflections and observations of the Middle Eastern socio-political situation since the year 1967 till present.
In what follows, I am going to expose a brief review of two important doctrines that shaped the Middle Eastern scene since the end of the nineteen century and the beginning of the twentieth century which are, Arab Nationalism and Zionism.
Last, this paper is the fusion of two preceding papers; both were circulated on my close circle of friends and published on The Morepists Press web site of Lebanon.
2. Arab Nationalism
The Arab Nationalism as a movement in the Middle Eastern countries and especially the Arabic ones represents till our days the principal motor motivating the behavior of mass populations, thinkers and politicians.
It is still the main geo political issue, especially for those countries neighboring the current state of Israel which used to be known as Palestine.
The Arab nationalism as an ideology was not born in the Middle East, but rather than in the western part of Europe, being a consequence of what was known as European nationalism in those countries as France and Germany as was exposed in the book on Arab Nationalism by Bassam Tibi.
European nationalism resulted from the export from France and the propagation in Western European countries of the symbol of the French revolution of ?Liberty, Equality and Fraternity? by Napoleon Bonaparte during his conquests to countries overlooking the Danube river such as Austria and Italy.
The Arab Nationalism appeared in the Middle East at the end of the 19th. century at a time when the Ottoman Empire was struggling for survival while the Western European countries were starting to become powerful because of the industrial revolution.
Since the Ottomans where ruling the Middle East countries with a hand of iron over four centuries since the collapse of the Arabic Caliphate (from the Arabic khalifah) in Baghdad, this idea of Arabic Nationalism found it?s way in those countries thanks to the efforts of Arabic elites, thinkers and because of the encouragement of some Western European countries and mainly Great Britain, Germany, Italy and France.
The reason for that is, the know how in advance about the fate of the Ottoman Empire and hence the search of the possible future successor.
At the same time, the fate of the Diaspora Jews in Europe and mainly following the Dreyfus affair enhanced the thinking of reshaping of the Middle East that had been governed by the Ottomans.
Therefore, this ideology of Arab Nationalism was profitable to all parties on the political scene at that time except of course, the Turks.
Arab Nationalism didn?t have a solid school of thinking to motivate its development in the Middle Eastern countries as compared to Islam Fundamentalism whose cause strives on rigorous dogmas of ancient Theologitians as Ibn Hanbal and his follower Ibn Taymennah, and Moslem Sahih Hadiths formulated by the two theologizing writers
AL Bukhari and Moslem. The four Imams as Ibn Hanbal, Abou Hanifah, Maleki or Shafieeh where the founders of Sunni Sects dogmas. The Musnad Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal was the most rigid and the brightest of all since this Imam was strict in his Majlis, requesting people to be serious i.e. ?Al Wekar? in Arabic. He was imprisoned for five years by the Abbasid Caliphate Al Maamoun because of a difference in thinking between the two. The Imam Ibn Hanbal was conceiving the Holy Qu?ran as being descended on to the Prophet or revealed to him whereas the Caliphate Al Maamoun sought the Qu?ran was created. The Imam Ibn Hanbal was refused to teach in schools or madrassah for five years then allowed latter following the death of the Caliphate Al Maamoun.
Those four Imams explained the Holy Qu?uran each on his way from the most rigid Ibn Hanbal, to the less rigorous Maleki.
Nevertheless, Arab nationalism has found its popularity among people masses because of the brilliant Arab heritage, thank?s to the works of philosophers as Ibn Khaldoun, Ibn Rushd or medical doctors as Ibn Sina.
Another important attribute that favored the development of this political movement was a psychological emotional feeling commonly known and elucidated by the Syrian thinker Sadek Jalal Al Azam as ?Al Asabiah Al Arabia? that tied the Arabic people from the extreme gulf region in the east, to the extreme Atlantic Ocean region in the west Arab world.
This common feeling arises mostly during war time and as a consequence to the attack by a major common enemy. Examples were following the declaration of the state of Israel and the subsequent expulsion of the Palestinians, the first six days Arab Israeli war of 1967, the second Arab Israeli war of 1973, the desert storm against Iraq in 1990 and now a days the Iraqi war, Palestinian up risings and at last, the Lebanese war or Israel Hezbollah conflict.
Religion however, didn?t play a fundamental role as Arabism i.e. being an Arab in those
Middle Eastern countries apart from minor clashes between Christianity and Islam.
Both communities contributed to the development of the Arab world and both were absorbed by the main Arab nationalistic current. Even, both furnished political Arab thinkers as Michel Aflak and Sati Housari.
As to the political leaders of the Arabic countries since World War II, and following the abolishment of some Royal Monarchies particularly in Egypt, Irak and Libya or following the independence of those countries as Syria and Algeria, then Moslem fundamentalism was not tolerated and some times oppressed using government force.
Zionism as an ideology started in Switzerland as a movement created by Theodore Herzel at the end of the 19th.century.
The first idea mentioning the need to establish an eternal state for the dispersed Jews all over the world appeared in a thin booklet entitled the Jewish State by Dr. Herzel.
This short manifesto was warmly acclaimed by all Jews in the Diaspora in 1898 in the city of Basel in Switzerland, but was not so much put in effect and, stayed as a document on the shelf.
It was not until the Jewish Holocaust during World War II, that the idea of founding a state for the Jews that became serious. Before that, and since the end of the 19th century till 1948, there have been some artisan methods to locate Jews in Palestine and in
Most cases all ended with a disaster.
Zionism that started in Germany and was declared in Switzerland was founded irrespective of the possible localization of the Jewish State whether in Palestine or elsewhere.
In addition, as a theory it is not related by no means to Arab formalism or thinking and in particular to Arab Nationalism, nor was Zionism based on social contract philosophy of Jean Jacques Rousseau or other European philosophers.
The rise and propagation of both currents i.e. Arab Nationalism and Zionism in Europe and the Middle East during the same time happened by mere chance, with some blessings from European governments.
Zionism as a theory and thinking elucidated by Theodore Herzel in the short pamphlet The Jewish State proposes the founding of a Jewish state to rest on three poles which are Jewish Religion, Jewish Culture and Entrepreneurship.
Those three foundation poles enable the Jewish state to be stable and last longer than the preceding Israel state founded by King David based on the commandments of the Torah received by Moses more than three thousand years ago.
It is not the object of this paper to detail the Jewish history in antiquity, nor the Arabic one since the coming of the prophet Mohammad.
Fundamentalism appears in all three religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In each one, he takes different form, from the Ulta-Orthodoxe and mystic Judaism to the moderate
Christianity, to end with moderate Moslem Fundamentalism to extreme Moslem integrism that finishes with either exclusion from society as the case of Takfir Wal Hijrah in Egypt in the late seventies, or the public appearance in the form of terror wether social, psychological or physical as is the case of, Hamas in Gaza from the beginning nineties till now, Taliban in Afghanistan from end of the eighties till 2002, Al Qaeda in Iraq from 2003 till present.
The Shi?ia sect also went through fundamentalism culminating with the Iranian revolution in 1979 to establish of the Islamic Republic of Iran, nourishing it?s partisans in Iraq as Jaishu Al Mahdi or in Lebanon as the Hezbollah.
Christian fundamentalism didn?t play an extensive role in the Arab countries, aside from few clashes in Egypt and, the long and bitter civil war in Lebanon from 1975 till 1990 that ended with the Taef agreement in Saudi Arabia.
The Lebanese war however, doesn?t represent the true clash of Moslem-Christian fundamentalism which is one of its multiple facets.
The others are being Lebanon-Palestinian war, Israeli-Palestinian war and the Syrian occupation of the whole country that ended in may 2005 following the assassination of Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.
5. Quantitative Analysis and Exposition of Zionism
Since the foundation of the Jewish state is on three poles as mentioned in the book
?The Jewish State? by Yoram Hazony, the area delineated by these three points in common Euclidian geometry is a triangle.
For the sake of simplicity, we shall assume it to be equilateral i.e. all sides equal with no distorted lengths.
If we rotate clockwise by 180 degrees around the centroid such a triangle and superpose the original triangle on the new one, we get the Star of David as a geometric figure.
I am sure that many people have seen this star on the Israeli flag or on Jewish Armories. Each apex shall bear one attribute i.e. Jewish religion, Jewish culture or Entrepreneurship (See Fig.1).
In consequence, the weight of the Jewish state will be equally divided to 33.33% on each apex by simple static?s assuming a 100% load on the centroid of the Jewish state triangle.
A scheme as such, will be in equilibrium against any event that tends to flip over the state of Israel whether from inside perturbations and to a lesser extent from the outside forces.
In the same manner, such a scheme can be subjected to boundary conditions as in mathematics.
For instance, the movement of the full 100% loads from the centroid towards one apex as
for example entrepreneurship, results in the weakening of the two other poles or one of them such as Jewish religion resulting in a state of Israel becoming materialistic and less spiritual or religious. This brings corruption, failure of family ties, and abandon of God and hence the Torah and the appearance of the Jewish state as a common and ordinary European or American country or even any Middle Eastern one. On the long run, this may result in the collapse of the whole Jewish State.
In the same way, if the full 100% load move from the centroid and towards the Jewish religion apex, this results in the weakening of the other two or one of them such as entrepreneurship, resulting in a situation similar to the state of Israel post King David and Solomon era, i.e. two kingdoms weakening and disappearing in time, since they rest only on religion similar to a one leg chair!
At last, if the full 100% load from the centroid move towards the Jewish culture apex and away from the other two, this will result in a Jewish state which is devoted entirely to artists, painters, thinkers, philosophers, historians, politicians?