Our region is currently in a mess because of its own erroneous politics, and of those from beyond.
Both major and minor players in our region contributed to the current level of unprecedented violence, displacement of populations and forced migration.
It all started with the Israeli colonisation of Palestine and usurpation of Palestinians’ and other Arabs’ territories.
Even before the creation of the state of Israel on Palestinian territories in 1947, the Palestinians had been subjected to systematic aggression and violence that resulted in the displacement and forced migration of hundreds of thousands of them.
The systematic Israeli aggression and violence continue unabated.
Since its creation, Israel has been destablising the entire region with wanton wars waged against its neighbours and with blatant intervention in the internal affairs of many neighbouring countries.
For decades, Israel’s policy has been to use brutal force and violence, on the one hand, and to divide and conquer the region beyond its borders, on the other.
Since the late 1970s, another major actor has been playing an equally subversive and destructive role, though it may not have been so obvious at the start. And that is Iran.
At present, Iran is wreaking havoc on many parts of the Arab region due to its misguided intervention in the affairs of several Arab countries. By creating and manipulating Hizbollah in Lebanon, it has effectively destroyed Lebanon’s sovereignty and turned it into, essentially, a failed state.
It has done even worse in Iraq, contributing to the oppression and marginalisation of the Sunni population and to the birth and rise of Daesh.
If Iraq is failing as a state today, it is largely due to the negative intervention of Iran and to Iranian hegemony.
Its equally negative and destructive roles in Syria and Yemen are also obvious.
If at present Israel is dividing and fragmenting the region covertly and indirectly, Iran is doing it overtly, in broad daylight.
Turkey, unfortunately, is the third key player that contributes negatively.
For decades, Turkey had little or no influence in the region. Its attention was focused elsewhere: joining the European Union.
The minute, however, it became obvious that such goal was not possible, it started to turn its attention to the region.
Initially, it adopted a positive philosophy: zero enemies and open borders. Soon after, and puzzlingly, it shifted gears radically to direct intervention in the affairs of its neighbours (Syria, Egypt and even Libya) and started espousing regime change and abetting violence.
Its reluctance to fight Daesh, not to mention its direct and indirect facilitation of the group’s existence and rise to power, is testimony to its unwelcome politics in the neighbourhood.
The Arabs are essentially the victims. Most of them, directly and indirectly, and in varying degrees, are at the receiving end of the subversive policies of the three key players in the region.
Those who suffer from violence, death, destruction, displacement and forced migration at this point in time are the Arabs — and not the Israelis, the Iranians or the Turks.
Collectively, the Arabs are passive and seen as easy targets by the aforementioned players. But they are also victimisers of themselves.
Whenever they act, they largely act against each other.
In addition to what was stated above, much of what has happened in the region to date happened because of negative and subversive Arab intervention in the affairs of other Arab countries.
And there are, of course, the classic key players from outside the region: the US, Europe and Russia. They also, due to their selfish and ill-intentioned policies, have had their share in destablising and fragmenting the region.
Unless the key players from the region and from outside realise that the destabilisation and fragmentation are not in their interest, and unless the Arabs realise that they have to be more proactive and unified in their stance against threats from within and outside the region, the Middle East will continue to be in a mess. This realisation could be the first step towards change.
The destabilisation of the Arab region is not in the interest of any party, be it in the region or beyond. It may be seen by some evil and shortsighted politicians as serving their interests in the short term, but in the long run, it is bad news for all.
If Israel has seen relative security and stability in recent years, it is because of the stable — and not the unstable — Arab countries neighbouring it.
If Iran sees itself as immune from the negative impact of its subversive acts in the region, it should reconsider. The current violence and destabilisation could easily spill over. And Iran, because of its repressive internal politics and tensions could be more vulnerable than it thinks.
As for Turkey, the conflict is already spilling over; it is already witnessing acts of violence and terror.
The US, Europe and Russia are not immune either. Terrorists have infiltrated these countries and are causing visible damage. The more they grow in this region, the more their threat will grow within the Western countries as well.
Europe, in particular, is already beginning to bear the brunt of hundreds of thousands of displaced people and forced migrants, a reminder that it is closer to the region and more directly affected by the conflict than many of its politicians probably thought.
For the sake of the millions of innocent Arabs who are suffering, and for the sake of the stability and peace of all, there needs to be an urgent political initiative to address the violence and instability in the region.
All those who are directly and indirectly contributing to the instability need to come together and addresses matters seriously and in good faith. The causes of the problem are political, and the solution, therefore, can only be political.
The current mess in the region will end only when erroneous politics end.