Dysfunction at the Arab League

Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor.


arab-league-543The Arab League, a group composed of 22 Muslim and Arab states, was founded in 1945 with the aim of fostering Arab unity and establishing a coherent, uniform Arab policy. In reality, however, the Arab League is a farcical cacophony of deeply xenophobic, autocratic Arab-Muslim nations whose hatred for each other is matched only by their hatred of Israel and distrust of Western values.

This year’s Arab league summit, which convened in Kuwait – a country that not too long ago was gobbled up by fellow League member Iraq – highlights the absurdity of the Arab League and its façade of unity. The following represents the dizzying labyrinth of mistrust and political back-stabbing in the Arab world and its risible and often contradictory manifestations.

The Shiite-led Iraqi government, which governs a dysfunctional entity that has essentially split into three rival parts, has accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar of waging war on Iraq. Saudi Arabia has in turn withdrawn its ambassador from Qatar (yes, the same Qatar that has ostensibly allied itself with Saudi Arabia to wage war on Iraq) over its support for the Muslim Brotherhood. The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have also withdrawn their ambassadors. This despite the fact that all four – Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Qatar — are all part of the Gulf Cooperation Council; so much for “cooperation.”

Syria – where at least six disunited Sunni rebel groups are battling the Shiite-backed Alawites – has for all intents and purposes ceased to exist as a nation. Syria’s Kurds, taking a cue from their Kurdish kinsmen in Iraq, want nothing to do with either side and have carved out an autonomous salient in the northeast. Bashar Assad’s crackdown prompted Syria’s suspension from the League. Last year, the League invited rebel representatives to appear on behalf of Syria, but inexplicably this year no such invitation was forthcoming and the Syrian seat remains vacant.

Egypt, a country wracked by internecine conflict waged between a stew of militarists, Islamists, secularists and Salafists, has virtually declared war on Hamas over the latter’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas has also had a falling out with its former ally, the Islamic Republic of Iran over Hamas’s perceived support for anti-Assad rebel factions.

Meanwhile Hamas and their Palestinian rival, the so-called Fatah group, led by Palestinian strongman Mahmoud Abbas, have been unable to reconcile their bitter differences. No one is really certain of what those differences are since both groups espouse misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia, judeophobia and general hatred of all other beliefs that don’t conform to Sharia law.

Somalia, another exemplary member of the League, is run by warlords and pirates and it appears that a post-Kaddafi Libya has adopted the Somali model for governance.  Lebanon, a failed state since its creation in 1943, has turned into an Iranian proxy. The Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah, an arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, dominates the country, but Beirut is swiftly reverting to its civil war years as a result of spillover from the Syrian conflict. The rest of the League’s members similarly remain a hair’s breadth away from imploding as ideological and theological rifts widen.

Disunity and dysfunction are common themes within the League.  Countless intra-Arab wars, endless infighting and internecine conflict bear testament to this fact. That is why Arab League summits generally lead to nothing but fluff and a collection of empty, banal pronouncements proclaiming unity and solidarity and boring repetition of the usual platitudes.  This year’s summit did not disappoint and emerged predictable as ever.

The Arab League declared its “absolute and categorical refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.” The Arab world may be disunited and in a perpetual state of flux but when it comes to Israel – or the Zionist entity – they are anything but inconsistent. Nothing has changed since the Khartoum summit of 1967 when the League declared its intention never to recognize Israel. Refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state underscores the Arab inability to reconcile the presence of non-Muslims – Jews no less – living and thriving in their ancestral homeland.

In the Arab view, it is permissible to have twenty-two Arab nations bereft of their indigenous Jewish populations – some of which predated Arab settlement – but impermissible to have one Jewish state.  Beyond the League’s overt racism and manifest hypocrisy lies the sad truth that the xenophobic Arab world cannot bring itself to accept a Jewish connection to any part of historic Israel and that remains the one true impediment to peace. The sooner Secretary Kerry & Company become cognizant of this fact, the closer we get to resolving the problem.

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  • Hass

    These useless charlatans are now turning the UN into the same dysfunctional League, not that the UN was any much useful.

    • Nabukuduriuzhur

      The UN’s last effective act was the eradication of smallpox. In the early 1970s. 40 years is a long time to not do anything positive.

      • Shue Arie

        True that.

    • Shue Arie

      I thought the UN was pathetic before those goat bangers took over.

  • Nonie Darwish

    Excellent analysis of the Arab League and the dysfunctional relationships and lack of trust between Arabs!

  • Donald J DaCosta
  • Walter Sieruk

    The a sense is matters very little that the Arab league refuses to recognize because the league is greatly overruled. That is the Arab league is wrong because the God of the Bible. For God has declared in His Word that this area of land in the Middle East that is the State of Israel belongs to the Jewish people. In other words, this land belongs to the Jews by Divine Right. As seen, for example, in Genesis 28:13-15. 35:10-12. Deuteronomy 32:48,49. Psalms 105:7-11. 135:4. Furthermore land land also belongs to the Jewish people by historic rights. As shown in First Kings 4:20,21,24,25. 8:55,56. Nevertheless, in all fairness to the Arab league there is one way the members of this league can convince God to change His Mind and then turn His Back on Israel and thus have that nation be no more. That way is for the members of the Arab league chance the laws of astrophysics, including that of the sun, the moon and the stars. For God had said in the Hie Word [the Bible] in Jeremiah 31:35,36. “Thus saith the Lord, which gives the sun for a light by day and the ordinances of the moon and stars for a light by night…The Lord of host is His name. If those ordinances depart from before Me saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before Me forever.”

  • wileyvet

    Wow, distrust amongst A-rabs. Who’d a thunk it? Their entire history follows the same line. That is why the myth of the Golden Age of Islam, is just that. Three out four of the first Caliphs were assassinated, resulting in the schism within Islam today. The heyday of Arab influence in Islam was during the Umayyad Caliphate, A.D 650-750, which then gave way to the Abbassid, heavily Persian, followed by the Fatimid, Mamaluke and ultimately Turkish hegemony over Islam. Ummayad Spain was a separate entity with a mix of Arab and Berber components. Islam was purely Arab in origin, as the Koran and all important Islamic texts are in Arabic, but as a people, their influence began to wane about 150 years after all the expansion. Without the conquests of Islam their would be an Arab league of one today. The Arabs never regained the importance as a people after they reached their zenith and it sticks in their craw to this day. With the discovery of oil in Arabia, however it once again propelled them to a state of importance in the world, to reclaim their birthright and regain lost honour and prestige. Arab oil money can buy anything it wants, but it cannot buy what it so desperately needs. Enlightenment.

  • Johnnnyboy

    Distrust is not a flaw if the people who distrust each other are not individually trust-able. Rather is is a defining characteristic.