Blame Israel; it's the cool thing to do. What a mess. The world needs someone to blame. Hey, why not the Jews?
After all, it’s all Israel’s fault. Everyone else knows that all the problems in the region would be solved if only the Middle East had just one more Muslim country. What could possibly go wrong?
A quick review. After the passing of Muhammed in 632 A.D., his adherents, having left no sons, broke into a family feud over who were the real heirs apparent, the true followers.
The ensuing Shia-vs.-Sunni split rages on today and erupts throughout much of the 1.6 billion Muslim world, with seemingly more violence every day.
The rage is about piety, purity, politics, power, personality, territory, legitimacy and, of course, religion.
Take just a partial tour of the recent region. Saddam Hussein, with his Sunni-minority Baathist party, brutally ruled over Iraq’s majority Shia country, until we toppled him. He was replaced by Nouri al Maliki, whose Shia government (backed by Shia Iran) got even by encouraging extreme violence against the country’s Sunnis and excluding them from any meaningful role in governance or life.
Iran meddles everywhere, sponsoring terrorist Hamas in Gaza, arming terrorist Hezbollah in Lebanon by way of Damascus, having backed the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and now supporting the Houthies who are progressing in the overthrow of Yemen (If only Iran became a nuclear state, I’m sure their behavior would improve!).
Al Qaeda and its allies are Sunni extremists who hate and want to destroy moderate Sunni governments for being, well, moderate. They despise the West as well.
ISIS, ISIL, IS Everywhere is an Islamic group so nasty they were thrown out of Al Qaeda for bad manners. They want to violently overthrow existing governments and establish an extreme religious Sharia Law Caliphate that recognizes no national boundaries. Among other things, they make rather violent home videos.
Then there’s the terrorist Nusra Front trying to dislodge the Alawite minority rulers in Syria (as are IS, and separately, scores of independent liberation groups as well as additional terrorist types. On the terror roster, these groups are metastasizing and taking the field so fast you need a new score card every day). They are so brutal they almost create sympathy for the Assad dynasty of assassins who murdered hundreds of thousands of their own citizens with poison gas. (Interesting how one minute Assad is elected with 98% of the popular vote, and the next minute more people are trying to kill him than voted against him.)
In Turkey, there has been a reluctance to stem the genocidal slaughter of Kurds by ISIS on the Syrian side of their mutual border. This, out of fear those Syrian Kurds would like to join the Kurds on the Turkish side of their border and declare their own separate state.
Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia each understandably despise Shia Iran (whose operatives tried to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador in D.C.), but are each other’s rivals for influence in the region.
Lebanon, whose prime minister was blown up, allegedly of course, by the Syrians, is wracked by Sunni-Shia-Christian strife and seems to struggle in finding a formula to govern. Libya, never a bed of roses, has devolved into an ungovernable failed state since the killing of its hated tyrant, Moammar Khaddafy.
And Palestinian Fatah and Hamas seem to hate each other without a state.
The region is on fire. Violence, murder and mayhem prevail. Things must settle down.
Of the 22 Arab states, almost all are simmering, if not at full boil.
The world knows where the problem lies, and upon whose doorstep to lay the blame: The UN is focused like a laser on the Jewish nation.
Things would be wonderful if only Israel would get out of the way, and allow for a 23-State Solution.
Ackerman represented parts of Queens and Nassau County in Congress from 1983 to 2013. This originally appeared in the Oct. 30 issue of the Queens Tribune.