Robert Fisk: Why the Middle East will never be the same again! 1

Article by – Robert Fisk: Why the Middle East will never be the same again!

The Palestinians won’t achieve statehood, but they will consign the ‘peace process’ to history.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

 EPA

N.B. – Reproduced also by Times of Oman – Perspective – September 21st 2011.

After years of mistrust, the Palestinian move at UN indicates how far away a two-state solution is

The Palestinians won’t get a state this week. But they will prove – if they get enough votes in the General Assembly and if Mahmoud Abbas does not succumb to his characteristic grovelling in the face of US-Israeli power – that they are worthy of statehood. And they will establish for the Arabs what Israel likes to call – when it is enlarging its colonies on stolen land – “facts on the ground”: never again can the United States and Israel snap their fingers and expect the Arabs to click their heels. The US has lost its purchase on the Middle East. It’s over: the “peace process”, the “road map”, the “Oslo agreement”; the whole fandango is history.

Personally, I think “Palestine” is a fantasy state, impossible to create now that the Israelis have stolen so much of the Arabs’ land for their colonial projects. Go take a look at the West Bank, if you don’t believe me.

Israel’s massive Jewish  colonies, its pernicious building restrictions on Palestinian homes of more than one storey and its closure even of sewage systems as punishment, the “cordons sanitaires” beside the Jordanian frontier, the Israeli-only settlers’ roads have turned the map of the West Bank into the smashed windscreen of a crashed car. Sometimes, I suspect that the only thing that prevents the existence of “Greater Israel” is the obstinacy of those pesky Palestinians.

But we are now talking of much greater matters. This vote at the UN – General Assembly or Security Council, in one sense it hardly matters – is going to divide the West – Americans from Europeans and scores of other nations – and it is going to divide the Arabs from the Americans. It is going to crack open the divisions in the European Union; between eastern and western Europeans, between Germany and France (the former supporting Israel for all the usual historical reasons, the latter sickened by the suffering of the Palestinians) and, of course, between Israel and the EU.

A great anger has been created in the world by decades of Israeli power and military brutality and colonisation; millions of Europeans, while conscious of their own historical responsibility for the Jewish Holocaust and well aware of the violence of Muslim nations, are no longer cowed in their criticism for fear of being abused as anti-Semites. There is racism in the West – and always will be, I fear – against Muslims and Africans, as well as Jews.

But what are the Israeli  settlements on the West Bank, in which no Arab Muslim Palestinian can live, but an expression of racism?

Israel shares in this tragedy, of course. Its insane government has led its people on this road to perdition, adequately summed up by its sullen fear of democracy in Tunisia and Egypt – how typical that its principle ally in this nonsense should be the awful Saudi Arabia – and its cruel refusal to apologise for the killing of nine Turks in the Gaza flotilla last year and its equal refusal to apologise to Egypt for the killing of five of its policemen during a Palestinian incursion into Israel.

So goodbye to its only regional allies, Turkey and Egypt, in the space of scarcely 12 months. Israel’s cabinet is composed both of intelligent, potentially balanced people such as Ehud Barak, and fools such as Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, the Ahmadinejad of Israeli politics. Sarcasm aside, Israelis deserve better than this.

The State of Israel may have been created unjustly – the Palestinian Diaspora is proof of this – but it was created legally. And its founders were perfectly capable of doing a deal with King Abdullah of Jordan after the 1948-49 war to divide Palestine between Jews and Arabs. But it had been the UN, which met to decide the fate of Palestine on 29 November 1947, which gave Israel its legitimacy, the Americans being the first to vote for its creation. Now – by a supreme irony of history – it is Israel which wishes to prevent the UN from giving Palestinian Arabs their legitimacy – and it is America which will be the first to veto such a legitimacy.

Does Israel have a right to exist? The question is a tired trap, regularly and stupidly trotted out by Israel’s so-called supporters; to me, too, on regular though increasingly fewer occasions. States – not humans – give other states the right to exist. For individuals to do so, they have to see a map. For where exactly, geographically, is Israel? It is the only nation on earth which does not know and will not declare where its eastern frontier is. Is it the old UN armistice  line, the 1967 border so beloved of Abbas and so hated by Netanyahu, or the Palestinian West Bank minus settlements, or the whole of the West Bank?

Show me a map of the United Kingdom which includes England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and it has the right to exist. But show me a map of the UK which claims to include the 26 counties of independent Ireland in the UK and shows Dublin to be a British rather than an Irish city, and I will say no, this nation does not have the right to exist within these expanded frontiers. Which is why, in the case of Israel, almost every Western embassy, including the US and British embassies, are in Tel Aviv, not in Jerusalem.

In the new Middle East, amid the Arab Awakening and the revolt of free peoples for dignity and freedom, this UN vote – passed in the General Assembly, vetoed by America if it goes to the Security Council – constitutes a kind of hinge; not just a page turning, but the failure of empire. So locked into Israel has US foreign policy become, so fearful of Israel have almost all its Congressmen and Congresswomen become – to the extent of loving Israel more than America – that America will this week stand out not as the nation that produced Woodrow Wilson and his 14 principles of self-determination, not as the country which fought Nazism and Fascism and Japanese militarism, not as the beacon of freedom which, we are told, its Founding Fathers represented – but as a curmudgeonly, selfish, frightened state whose President, after promising a new affection for the Muslim world, is forced to support an occupying power against a people who only ask for statehood.

Should we say “poor old Obama”, as I have done in the past? I don’t think so. Big on rhetoric, vain, handing out false love in Istanbul and Cairo within months of his election, he will this week prove that his re-election is more important than the future of the Middle East, that his personal ambition to stay in power must take first place over the sufferings of an occupied people.

In this context alone, it is bizarre that a man of such supposed high principle should show himself so cowardly. In the new Middle East, in which Arabs are claiming the very same rights and freedoms that Israel and America say they champion, this is a profound tragedy.

US failures to stand up to Israel and to insist on a fair peace in “Palestine”, abetted by the hero of the Iraq war, Blair, are responsible. Arabs too, for allowing their dictators to last so long and thus to clog the sand with false frontiers and
old dogmas and oil (and let’s not believe that a “new” “Palestine” would be a paradise for its own people).

Israel, too,  when it should be welcoming the Palestinian demand for statehood at the UN with all its obligations of security and peace and recognition of other UN members. But no.

The game is lost. America’s political power in the Middle East will  this week be neutered on behalf of Israel. Quite a sacrifice in the name of liberty…

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My Comments – If The USA will use its Veto – it will lose its image, standing and reputation for ever in The Arab World – especially for its future relationships and history and in generations – including those voting against too – – and what has been happening so far will be just like only a tea-party so far …. God Help us all Amen Amin…..

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At My Workplace! Motivating Employees! Reply

MORE SUCH ARTICLES IN MY OTHER WEBSITE = www.majidall.com

Also my Book Website at www.majidbooks.com

 My Workplace!

Motivating Employees!

When the rate of change outside exceeds the rate of change inside – the end is in sight! – Jack Welch.

The way your employees feel about their job and their workplace determines how motivated they are.

Image – Happy Cheerful Staff!

If you go in the Internet, you will get lots of information and material on this subject – also you can go to any book in Human Resources and or Management to find many such topics in Staff Motivation, Change Management, Staff Retention, Staff Empowerment etc – please see also my website www.mas-trac.com

I will try to attempt to handle this from the Omani (Arab) angle and in sharing my experiences with you. You can also find much more information and details in my Arab Management books – please visit my books website at www.majidbooks.com

Image – When Management is accountable and transparent!

My Own Observations – to share with you!

Firstly – in the recent labour situations, we had big companies that staff went on demonstrations – whilst equally some big ones none did. Same case for the smaller companies! So what gives – or is the secret and trick here?

Image – Omani employees stage a demonstration outside their headquarters

A long time ago when I was still working for my Oil Company, I personally had initiated and conducted what is called as a Staff Morale Satisfaction Study (Climate) for my business unit. The unit consisted of approximately 1100 Staff and Employees – and the majority at approximately 70% were Omani Nationals.

The biggest shocker – if you want to call it that – is that it is a costly mistake to get lost in the false theory that more money equals more happy employees. This is particularly true to the Omani employees – of course nobody will ever say No to more money, incentives and added responsibilities and positions – but they were more concerned with the following – especially The Young Omani entrants and graduates intakes.

They were – generally speaking that is – just by points due to the limited column words:-

• Treating Staff correctly and with respect, ethics, professionalism, principles and dignity. Courtesy and Politeness were the key words.

• Good Communication skills and open transparencies without hidden agendas, innuendos and trap-sets – this one upset and irked them the most!

• They need to be told clearly what is expected of them and their deliverables – even for those in Middle and Higher Levels.

• It all comes from bad experiences and getting fingers burnt when dealing with especially expatriate bosses and ‘The-die- hard-old-guards’ locals – who behave more alien than expected. Covered in my books too!

• Give compliments and praises as the process continues for good works and results – people are so busy mini-managing they simply have no time for this!

• Always have a hidden fear and concern that ‘people are looking over their shoulders’ syndromes – and everyone is looking for them to make a mistake and error of judgment before ‘they are jumped upon’!

• As a result, people remain uninvolved and docile – and ‘no risk taking’ factor of any kind!

• As a parent, you know it is difficult to deal with teenager children of your own – so why should your employees – and especially the young set be any different?

• Avoid wrong and grossly stereotyping and analysis – the same young man forced to work in India, Pakistan, Philippines, UK, Europe and USA may well surprise and amaze you!

• Management being accessible to meet, greet and see the employees – from what may sound even small and silly to you – part of the culture and customs.

• Personally, I think that all the recent problems in some of the establishments was the ignorance of this factor mainly!

• Can explain why in some establishments there were simply no troubles of any kind!

• The younger generation is more vocal – and they know their rights and how to go after them – unalike the older generations – change has come in!

• That too spells about their priorities – which does not necessarily relate to the work. This in particular to working extra hours – or come in the days off – and especially declared holidays!

• More social gatherings, competitions and events to be encouraged.

• The fear element that the job is perhaps temporary and that they may lose their jobs in time is a guiding factor in how they behave and relate at work!

• They need constant training, mentoring, counseling and guidance – that is why so many Coach Companies run by fellow Omanis have sprung up and doing good business – or the call in for Local Consultants, Advisors and Experts!

Take Care!

By: Majid Al Suleimany

Feel Free To Contribute here for the worthy National Cause! God Bless – Amin!

Scanned Article as it had appeared in The Oman Daily Observer Observer Weekend Features of September 21st 2011 …

All The Best & Take Care!….