The Gulf-Israeli Vision For The Future Of The So-Called ‘Middle East’
By: Mousa Al-Sada Published: 29/09/2021
Editor: This article is a translation of the Original writtten by Mousa Al-Sada & published by al-khbar.com and has been translated into English & republished with the author’s permission. The views expressed are of the author/original publisher.
“Israel is an integral part of 2030 Vision”
– Khalid Bin Salman (Ninth son and tenth child of King Salman of Saudi Arabia)
“We are looking to create over $1 trillion worth of economic activity with Israel over the next decade.”
– UAE minister of economy
The “Middle East” as a term
The issue with this term is not limited to being a manifestation of Euro-centrism, as it is not only a geographical reference to the region of West Asia, but is also considered an umbrella term for the conceptualised forms of political and economic relations, which are historically based on the arrangement/organisation of our societies and resources by western powers, that aim to shape the peoples of our region in a way that serves the mechanism of capital accumulation in Europe. Such is the organisation that gave birth to the current map of the Arab countries and their borders, while also establishing a western colony under the name “Israel”.
That being said, the term comes close to becoming an expression of cultural content that includes the sum of these contradictory relations, in a way that includes the zionist entity. Accordingly, Western capital attempts to weave their own concept of what this region of the world ought to be, including, for instance, “Middle Eastern cuisine”, and Hebrew being a “Middle Eastern” language. It is therefore apparent that “The Middle East”, is closer to being an ideology rather than a sociological term.
Hence its importance, as it is the core of our understanding towards the question of sovereignty and independence, and an expression of our relationship as a people to our land, as in; Do we see ourselves included within the bundle of “Middle Eastern” colonial relations, or are we independent and free to forge the shape of our region and destiny?
From this point of view, we can see the reason behind the Iranian leaders use of the term “West Asia”, as Iran and the eastern bank of the Gulf were the centre of Middle Eastern colonial interests and networks, be it through the region’s ports or headquarters of those in charge in conducting British interests, or even the oil interests represented by the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, of which British Petroleum (BP) today is considered its extension.
That being said, from a historical perspective, and after the Arab experiments in this context failed to do so, especially “Naserite Egypt”, the Khomeiniist revolution was the first movement to completely dispose of the shackles of those interests and disengage from them in a way that contradicts the nature of the “Middle East” colonial phenomena.
From here, too, it is understood how the nationalist movements succeeded in planting the shape of the map of the Arab region in the consciousness of generations, including it in various forms of literature such as school curricula, music and speeches. This matter represents one of the most important manifestations of anti-colonial liberation, and seizing the mechanism of shaping our future in a way that server our own interests and destiny, and not that of the West.
On the other hand, it is from this angle that we can understand the naming of a Gulf (Arab peninsula) newspaper, based in London, as one of the most prominent Middle Eastern media outlets. The matter is not merely coincidence as much as it is an expression of perceived networks of interests on which the region ought to be formed accordingly. From the ruling tribal elites in the Arab peninsula being a product of the process of shaping the “Middle East” by the British Empire, who’s survival and the continuity of its system of governance is related to the survival of this very Middle East, be it the new or greater Middle East (in reference to the American “New Middle East” project expressed famously by Condoleeza Rice) that the United States aims to create, to the modern form that these interest networks take shape today with the so-called American withdrawal from the region, which cannot be considered a withdrawal as much as it is a reorganisation of Western and American interest networks as they see fit with the current historical conditions, from the decline in the importance of oil to the rise of the Peoples’ Republic of China.
“the reorganisation of the network of Middle Eastern relations today necessitates, more than ever, the enabling of material ties between the entities that make up its map ”
The New Middle East MK.2
The role of the Gulf states in the future is governed by two political-economic determinants; the first being geopolitical, which is the continuity of the flow of energy, despite the decline in the importance of oil, as the demand will continue in eastern markets, in a way that Western powers are attentive to, due to its relationship with the working mechanism of the global capitalist market, which is subject to American hegemony. As for the second, more important determinant, it relates to the form of economic relations that capital from the “Arab Gulf” will weave throughout the region and the world, in a way that ensures the continuity of Petrodollar circulation (whilst ensuring it does not turn into a Petro-Yuan) as well as the returns/profits from Gulf investments in Western stock exchanges and banks. In other words, the neoliberal market/economy that will shape the new Middle East, must and will express the same centuries-old foundations of colonial interests. This leads us to the importance of economically linking the client states of the Arab peninsula with the Zionist entity in an unprecedented enabling of material links that establish what Palestinian scholar Rosemary calls the “twin pillars” of American interests in the Arab world: Saudi Arabia and Israel.
No “Israel” without a Middle East
In one of its future projects that fall under the framework of the Zionist entity attempting to adapt to the new historical conditions of the Middle East and its new colonial role in it, the Jerusalem Municipality launched the “Jerusalem Vision 2050” project. A friend of mine brought my attention to one of the promotional advertisements for this project, which depicts a future Jerusalem according to the Israeli vision, in a way that the city will be a home for white settlers with the presence of Arab peninsula tourists wearing the traditional Thobe. Perhaps the depiction is random and merely a reflection of the cooperation between the Gulf and Israeli public relations companies, but it remains a cooperation that in itself indicates the form of the capitalist bonds that are to be woven between the colonial entities. The aforementioned Ad is a part of a series of advertisements that present Israeli enthusiasm for “peace” and a “prosperous future”, with the streets of occupied Palestine covered in UAE flags. The new role of the Zionist entity (indeed, the old one in the Zionist imagination/point of view but today’s circumstances necessitate its emergence) is related to transforming technological and investment hubs into a tool that links and forges a network of interests and relations that legitimise and strengthen the entity’s existence. Perhaps it is important to note here that one of the pioneers of such a project is Shimon Peres, who considered that “the strength of the nation depends more on the creativity of its people and companies rather than the strength of its army,” bearing in mind his role in engineering the Zionist nuclear weapons project decades prior. The enemy entity interacts with the existing form of relations in the Middle East, under the umbrella of the American formation of it, with the entity’s existence and role are linked to the American formulated colonial interests in the Middle East.
A common vision… a common destiny
The reorganisation of the network of Middle Eastern relations today necessitates, more than ever, the enabling of material ties between the entities that make up its map. This falls under the question of class security for the ruling classes in the Arab peninsula and the class privilege of settlers. With the American reorganisation of this network of relations, the capital of peninsula client states and their sovereign funds will play a major role in shaping their economic structures in a way that links them to their common interests with the “Israelis”, whether according to the Emirati, Bahraini, or Qatari model, or the Saudi “optimum” model represented by cyber cooperation, as the future vision of the new Middle East for them is bets on the linking between the security and fate of the settlements with that of the royal palaces, forging an interdependent relationship, with the news of importing “Iron Dome” weapon systems to the peninsula being an example of such. However, from a historical lens, this interdependence is considered to be in our favour, as our bitter struggle in West Asia and the Arab nation since Napoleon set foot in Egypt at the end of the eighteenth century, has been but over the ownership of our networks of material relations and popular interests, be it economic or concerning our identities, and this will only be achieved through putting an end to the “Middle East” with its current colonial base, and forging our destiny with our blood and weapons.