The old Arab proverb seems to encapsulate applied politics in the Middle East: "He who marries my mother shall be called my uncle."
This realpolitik approach accepts inconvenient truths like the one mentioned in the proverb -- a stranger having intimate relations with your mother.
Western politicians cannot come to terms with the fact that the Middle East is governed by such rules. Because they are misinformed, they make fatal mistakes, resulting in embarrassing missteps in the face of regional crises and conflicts.
To compensate for their shortcomings, European and American politicians often resort to limitless hypocrisy and flattery as they try, with only partial success, to portray themselves as Orientalists like Lawrence of Arabia. When the West overdoes this gesture, such amateurish behavior elicits ridicule from the Arabs. They realize that the West simply wants to appease them and that this blatant hypocrisy is just to curry favor with them. This hurts the West, making it look weak and all to obvious in the eyes of savvy politicians in the plot-laden Middle East, both Arabs and Jews.
This hypocritical shallowness was also evident in the way the European Union has come around to designating Hezbollah as a terrorist group recently. But, since it was mainly concerned with how its Islamic terrorists would react at home, the EU tried to offset this decision by imposing a boycott on products manufactured in Judea and Samaria.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's manipulative attitude toward Israel of late, including his threatening hyperbolic rhetoric threat that Israel might face a delegitimization campaign "on steroids," is another example of the West's two-faced hypocrisy and the double standard toward the Middle East. His warning that Israel must comply with his demands and follow his initiative lest it face such a scenario was issued just as the EU made its settlement decision. This is very suspicious.
The U.S. -- the superpower that whisked its ambassadors out of the area upon hearing of the mass al-Qaida prison break in Iraq and the impending terrorist threat coming out of the organization's affiliate in Yemen (a behavior that only emboldened Islamic terrorism) -- insists that Israel must make concessions and withdraw from territories even if that compromises the security of Israeli men, women and children, who have to contend with a much greater terrorist threat on a daily basis.
The U.S. has adopted a double standard by demanding that Israel release deadly terrorists for the sake of the mirage called peace talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who barely represents himself, while at the same time it holds on to the detainees at Guantanamo Bay, not to mention Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, a Jewish inmate who has not killed anyone and who made no threat against any American.
Although the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the least pressing issue in the war-torn Middle East, the U.S. has for some reason decided to train its sights on solving it. It has effectively decided to search for the missing coin under the Israeli lamp post, the only place that is actually lit in the Middle East.
That the U.S. and Europe have refused to lift a finger in the face of the mass slaughter taking place around the world, and particularly in the Middle East, is just absurd. The West has come across as helpless in the face of Iran's nuclearization, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's nuclear audacity and the Russian Federation's Cold War mentality that has it increasing its footprint in Syria and other places. Not one finger is being lifted, by anyone.
Western powers were quick to impose sanctions on the Egyptian military following the coup it staged (yes, it was a coup). This clearly underscores the fact that there is more than just hypocrisy in play. It's one thing to have hypocrisy or adopt a double standard toward Islam, out of cowardice and naivete. But the West's kowtowing and the fallacies behind the pointless sanctions are alarming. Maybe this all boils down to a lack of understanding.
When all is said and done, Col. Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has been crushing the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Sinai, where the organization has served as a hotbed for global terrorism. Sissi's actions are the best thing the West could have hoped for.
"He who is wet fears not the rain," says another Arab proverb. Sissi has no choice but to win, with or without Western assistance. The West should throw in its lot with Sissi and end this ridiculous democratic charade that no one seems to be taking seriously.