Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Harper's support for Israeli hardliners is stupid.

I have said before I will say it again. Conservatives support for Israeli hardliners is stupid.

Israel is an anachronism. It is a country based on the antiquated notion of "blood" and a democracy of 7 and half million who lords over a population of 4 million. For these reasons alone it is odd that Harper would place Israel at the center of Canadian foreign policy. However, the strangeness does not stop there. The US's strong support for Israel makes sense in the context of its larger regional policy viz., insuring the continued flow of oil out of Gulf. The US has helped build Israel into the dominate military power in the region so as to prevent an Arab country or Iran from threatening the flow of oil out of the Gulf. The US has forged alliances between Israel and its neighbours, most notably Jordan and Egypt least conflict between Israel and its neighbors hamper the flow of oil out of the region. Remember it was the Yom Kippur War that led to the creation of OPEC. Of course, the US also made sure that the oil producing countries are dependent on the US for protection from external threats and indeed from their own resistive populations least the flow of oil out of the Gulf be hampered. Saudi Arabia being the prime example.

The Harper government has no larger regional strategy. Indeed, Harper's spat with UAE speaks volumes about Canada's compete lack of back channels in the region.

Now what has happened in Egypt forms the backdrop to Obama's speech. The ability of the Israel to hem in Gaza was dependent on Egyptian cooperation and that is no longer forthcoming. Egypt will no longer close its borders with Gaza and with elections coming soon it will soon be politically impossible for the Egyptian government to remain on friendly terms with Israel so long as the Palestine issue goes unresolved. This threatens stability in the region and instability threatens the flow of oil out of the Gulf.

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