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Rethinking Western Policies: The Complex Dynamics of Global Power and the Role of Israel in Shifting Alliances

History does not progress in a linear (straightforward) manner. As major powers collapse, new ones rise according to the conjuncture, and political, military, and economic balances change. The activity on global fault lines has become distinctly apparent in the 21st century.

The West had declared its absolute victory with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Francis Fukuyama’s article, “The End of History and the Last Man,” was hyped, and it was claimed that the power and effectiveness of the Western bloc would continue indefinitely. In 1996, Western media used Samuel Huntington’s published thesis, “The Clash of Civilizations,” to fill the enemy void left by the USSR, targeting Islam and Muslims.

While efforts to convince the public that “Muslims posed a threat to their civilization” continued, the 9/11 incident occurred. This event, much like how Hamas’s attack provided Israel with an opportunity for massacre, and how the 15th of July was a “blessing from God” for Erdogan to build an authoritarian ‘One Man’ regime, provided the US-led West an opportunity to invade countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Libya based on spurious evidence.

This social and political engineering effort, known as the Greater Middle East Project, was aimed at keeping the Israeli project afloat and involved designs over Muslim geographies. Indeed, this was executed in Iraq and Syria. However, less than 30 years later, the West’s global leadership is wavering. For the last 10 years, the US has struggled to dominate the world.

The threat to the West comes not from Muslims, whom they have marginalized and labeled for years, but from their own creation, China. The world is on the eve of new changes. The shift in power balances is leading to new coalitions, collaborations, and pacts. Europe is no longer in a position to draw maps and arbitrarily divide states like in the 1900s, nor in a position to invade countries based on artificial reasons. The political, military, and moral cost of recent invasions has been significant for the West.

The humanitarian disasters, hunger, misery, insecurity, and migration resulting from the invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Libya accelerated the questioning of the West. The subjective security reasons they used are now also being employed by rivals like Russia and China. Russia, using the fight against ISIS as a pretext, settled in Syria and established a military base in the Mediterranean.

The global power balances are shifting. It is common knowledge that power is shifting from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Not only the economic but also the military and political rise of authoritarian China, its expansionist policies, acting as a global actor, and forming pacts despite the West, is alarming the US. Therefore, the US and its allies are using all their energy, strategic intelligence, and power to stop and encircle China.

To effectively combat the rising China, the West needs to win over the Muslims. They cannot form this alliance with superior approaches and dictations. If the aim is to stop the powerful China, which is authoritarian, far from the law, and easily infringes on fundamental rights and freedoms, the West needs to win over the Muslim population, which makes up a quarter of the world.

In pursuing a strategy to encircle China, the US and its allies are compelled to act together with countries like Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Central Asian states due to their geopolitical positions. The West cannot achieve this by demeaning Muslims, exacerbating Islamophobia, and providing unconditional support to Israel. Even if they subjugate the governments of countries using different tools, the people react to the West’s hypocritical, unprincipled policies. Indeed, the Muslim trust in the West has further eroded due to their stance on the Gaza massacres.

Muslims are vitally important in terms of underground wealth, geopolitical significance, and population in the strategy to encircle China. Additionally, a significant number of Muslims live in the Western world. Despite its imperial and dirty past, the democratic West, which has the people of the book, certain values, human rights, law, and freedoms, is preferable to China for Muslims. Even though the authoritarian regimes of Muslim countries may lean towards China and Russia, Muslims do not favor authoritarian, oppressive, and expansionist China. Even if the governments ignore it, the people see what China is doing to the Muslims in East Turkistan.

While its global role is questioned, and in the face of rising China and expansionist Russia, the West needs the support of Muslims. However, the unconditional support of Western capitals for the Zionist policies of the Netanyahu administration, which is even questioned by its own people, is irrational and contrary to realpolitik. While millions in Western metropolises voice the human drama in Gaza and protest the bombing of civilians, the failure of governments to even call for a ceasefire is a moral collapse and a double standard.

Western states are destroying the values and principles they have defended for centuries. In recent events, it was expected that the West would at least maintain a neutral stance and play a role as a referee. However, by ignoring the massacre, they have wounded the conscience of humanity. Muslims would prefer to side with democratic, Christian West in the China-West competition. However, due to the unprincipledness and double standards displayed in recent events, average Muslims are starting to think that China’s global leadership might be the lesser evil.

Even Jews with a conscience are distressed by the West’s defense of its Israeli policies. The Western capitals’ Israeli policies do not align with political wisdom, diplomacy, or logic. At a time when it needs global credit and trust, the West is committing harakiri for Israel.

On the other hand, absolute support for Israel is also fraught with problems within Europe itself. The Western public does not find it right or logical to take so much risk and violate principles for Israel. Moreover, this double standard is likely to complicate the integration of Muslims living in Europe and increase the likelihood of feeding radical tendencies.

Even sensible Jews see that Israel’s expansionist, dirty, bloody policies will harm Jews in the long term and accumulate hatred. Netanyahu’s continued killing against reason, conscience, and world public opinion, and the Western states’ backing of the massacre, suggests how influential Zionist circles are in Europe.

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Mahmut Akpinar
Mahmut Akpinar
Dr. Mahmut Akpinar is a political scientist focusing on international relations and Turkish politics.
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