ETHIOPIA AND ISRAEL: ENHANCEMENT OF CLOSE RELATIONSHIP By Tecola W. Hagos
PART I: FOREIGN POLICY: ETHIOPIA, ISRAEL, AND ARABS:
Even though I was very hopeful that PM Hailemariam Desalegn would be a starting point for an Ethiopian governmental transformation away from the antiquated despotic style of governance of Meles Zenawi, the current Ethiopian leaders seem to be confused and irresolute. However, I find also this same Ethiopian Government making visionary long term strategic policy decision like the decision to expand the rail system from Djibouti (I suggest to use Berbera) to the highlands of North Ethiopia, which ought to include expansion to the South and South-West of Ethiopia all the way to Juba. Hailemariam Desalegn is a different personality than Meles Zenawi and any of the leaders of the TPLF. However, this does not mean that he is not susceptible to all the ills of despotism of past Ethiopian leaders. In fact, he must guard against such temptations. His recent press conference of February 13, 2014 (where he made uncalled for reference to Meles Zenawi as “our great leader” while Ethiopia is struggling to come out of the quagmire of corruption, being landlocked, ethnic fracturing et cetera caused by Meles) confirmed to me my nagging suspicion that he would be just a follower of the conspiratorial despotic system of TPLF’s Party politics than a leader of change and democratic governance. In general, the “new” Ethiopian Government leaders seem frozen in a time loop clearly tittered to the ghost of Meles Zenawi. Ethiopian leaders better learn the fact that if they do not respect Ethiopians wherever, no one else would respect them as leaders and/or as individual human beings anywhere.
I read often endless repetitive single theme articles that Meles Zenawi was not a good leader without offering worthwhile creative solutions to the many such problems created by Meles now facing Ethiopia. I am tired of reading/listening to such nauseating repeat statements with no offer of viable solutions. We all know Meles Zenawi was a narcissistic, disloyal, ruthless, and violent leader with no emotional connection to our historic Ethiopia. He harmed Ethiopia more than any leader in Ethiopia’s long history by landlocking us. Such is our monumental problem. And what solutions do we have now? Here, I am offering one very important solution to our national security crises. My theses points in this article are the following: Ethiopia must choose Israel as its close partner in economic alliance; Ethiopia must form with Israel close military partnership; Ethiopia must promote the Agew historic (Zagwe dynasty) leadership role in Ethiopia’s golden age to counter any and all divisive “ethnic federalism” based on linguistic ethnicism or religion. It is obvious that Ethiopia at this very moment is incubating parasitic mini-states in the structure of federalism of “linguistic” States implementing the divisive and ersatz ideas of Meles Zenawi and still supported by his anti-Ethiopia political organization.
Recent statements by Prof Mesfine Woldemariam critical of Ethiopian citizens, wherein using unflattering words, and another drastic recommendation by Abraha Belay (Ethiomedia) treating the TPLF as he would treat the Apartheid system of South Africa are indicators of the degree of frustration that Ethiopians are experiencing rather than being expressions of hate or disrespect. These dissenters are not expressing localized hate against any particular ethnic group but expressing deeply felt patriotic nationalism. Such views emanating from deeply felt patriotism is quite different than the types of vicious statements recently made at some regional conference by Alemneh Mekonnen, the vice president of the Amhara Killil and the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), which degrades and dehumanizes a particular community in order to gain some personal political millage by pleasing his puppet-masters.
II. Terrorism: Saudi Arabia
There is this myth that Saudi Arabia is untouchable for it is the custodian of the most important shrines of Islam. There is also the fact that it is the birth place of the Prophet Mohammed. This does not mean the current leaders and citizens of Saudi Arabia are also endowed with some degree of holiness or infallible morality in the sense of the Quranic admonishment of compassion and virtue. In fact, Saudi Arabia is the most repressive and corrupt state in the world, where the Saud Family members are running the whole country and the wealth of a nation as their private holdings with no accountability to the Citizens of “Saudi Arabia” or anyone else. The individual Saudis are no less corrupt and degenerate than their rulers. Let us not forget the monumental fact that the twenty two terrorist attackers of the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and elsewhere were all Saudi citizens except one or two of them. Al-Qaida itself was established and financed by Saudis. Here is a perfect example where the leaders of a country and the people of a county are perfect matches. Because of the oil, Saudi Arabia is holding the world as hostage. It is a “state” beyond the reach of common decency, international law, and accountability. We must reevaluate our relationship with the Saudi Government and Saudis, and all Arab Governments and Arabs in general.
The recent atrocities of the Saudi Government and that of Saudi nationals on Ethiopian immigrants show the fragility of race and religious relationships in the Middle East. The Saudi savage crackdown on illegal immigrants, mostly aimed at Ethiopians, is the most deplorable genocidal attack on a particular group of individuals in recent memory. Saudi Arabia violated every human norm, international custom, and civilized behavior; they completely violated the many human rights Covenants, Conventions, Resolutions, and Declarations of the United Nations. Such crimes of repression are still going on even against properly documented legal immigrant Ethiopian workers in Saudi Arabia. Over a month ago, a Saudi Sharia-court condemned to death an abused/repeatedly raped Ethiopian woman for murder who neither had proper defense nor proper mental examination as to her sanity. Soon after, PM Hailemariam Desalegn while he was in Dubai (for an economic conference) made a statement that was a great disappointment to me and very many Ethiopians, for he seems to be blaming the victims (Ethiopians) of the atrocities of Arabs against them without ever mentioning the degree of abuse and violence against Ethiopians in Arab countries. No human being should be treated abusively for any alleged crime, least of all for illegal immigration.
To a number of people, the real puzzle of the brutality and savagery of most Arabs is their utter lack of empathy and compassion leaving us with the question as to what happened to them that they become degenerates and violent people. I believe it has to do with a frozen culture and arrested moral development. From the time Abū Ḥāmid Muḥammad al-Ghazālī (c. AD 1058–1111) wrote his Incoherence of the Philosophers, aiming his populist, corrosive, and degenerative writings against the greatest Islamic philosopher Abu Ali al-Husain ibn Abdallah ibn Sina (AD 980-1037), whom St Thomas Aquinas quoted in his Sumas more than his own teacher Albert the Great, Islamic moral philosophy and the pursuit of knowledge was frozen and Arabs were trapped in a time warp unable to free themselves from narrow dogmatism for almost a thousand years since. We must not forget the historic fact that no less than ten million Africans, mostly women, were victims of the Arabs’ Sahara slave trade. Half of those victims, over four million, died in route to the Middle East. By contrast, the Jews in their long journey of suffering throughout history accumulated the greatest reservoir of knowledge and wisdom in their Talmudic compilation by generations of thousands of Rabbis teachings interpreting and/or contextualizing the Torah minimizing the harshness of the code of social life by adopting and creating a world far more humane and tolerant than any the World had seen so far, except for Buddhism and Christianity. [Ethiopian Jews who were not part of such Rabbinical Talmudic reforms remained isolated by their own choice living in their own communities separating themselves from the rest of their fellow Ethiopians till the days of their migration to Israel in late 20th Century.]
III. Historic Errors of Ethiopia: Dumping Israel for Arabs
On 29 November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly voted 33 to 13, with 10 abstentions and 1 absent, in favor of the modified Partition Plan to allow/recognize Israel as an independent nation and as member of the United Nations. The first error in foreign policy by the Ethiopian Government was that Ethiopia did not vote for the independence of Israel in 1947; Ethiopia did abstain through its representative on the floor of the General Assembly. It must have been a very difficult decision for Emperor Haile Selassie in instructing his representative at the United Nations to “abstain” on that crucial vote for the creation of Israel. Haile Selassie’s claim to the “Ethiopian Throne” was based on his own legitimacy as the “Conquering Lion of Judea” and his claim of direct decent from King Solomon of Israel. For Haile Selassie, it was a period when his Government was trying to recover lost territories, soon after the end of the Second World War.
At the United Nations there was a strong campaign against Ethiopia’s claim of its old territories that were under Italian colonial rule for about fifty years since 1890 after the death of Emperor Yohannes IV in 1889. At the United Nations, the Islamic sentiment was championed and lead by Pakistan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia to include Eritrea in the league of Islamic States as an independent State (away from Ethiopia). Some short sighted South American countries such as Guatemala, whose representative was part of the Fact Finding Commission sent by the United Nations to Ethiopia/Eritrea, was promoting the interest of Italy as its old colonial territory, Eritrea. The great irony in case of Guatemala was the fact that it too was in dispute with the British Government at that time on the part of its territory carved out as a colony/plantation by the British called British Honduras (the present day Belize). At that gestation period of the United Nations, any concerted effort by any group against any one national interest was no little matter, but a monumental task of wits and statesmanship. Haile Selassie correctly confronted and engaged such a formidable task and successfully isolated Pakistan from Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and other Islamic States. The Ethiopian Government at the time secured, if not the full support, at least non-interference from Egypt and Saudi Arabia in its bid to incorporate its former province of the Red Sea Coastal territory (Eritrea).
The relationship of Ethiopia with Israel was timid at first, but later was built into full diplomatic relationship at an ambassadorial level. Ethiopia recognized Israel de jure on 24 October 1961; however, prior to de jure recognition, Ethiopia had maintained consular relations with Israel since 1956. Such warm relation was broken in October 1973, and was resumed in November 1989. What led to the break in diplomatic relationship was the pressure by Arab States through the OAU on the Ethiopian Government to isolate Israel after its great victories against Egypt, Jordan et cetera during the 1967 and the 1973 wars. Israel was portrayed as a racist and imperialist State by the majority of the Member States of the United Nations. Nothing is further from the truth in labeling Zionism/Israel racist, and that vote in the United Nations General Assembly (GA Res 3379 of 1975) included the votes of slave-holding states in the Middle East and the votes of some despotic leaders from underdeveloped nations who were voting with their emotion and fear of oil power of Arabs and Islamic fervor. Ethiopia abstained along with eleven other African States.
IV. Israel is Ethiopia’s great friend.
Israel is Ethiopia’s great friend, may be even her only friend. This statement is not just wishful thinking or mythical inspiration, but a conclusion I reached after careful consideration of our tumultuous history, the violent destructive history of the Arab world, and the heart wrenching and yet triumphant history of the Jewish people. Israel is a very small country with limited population. Despite its many problems and challenges facing its very survival, it has accepted and entitled over two hundred thousand Ethiopians to be citizens with all the rights and duties of citizenship of a sovereign nation. I am quite aware of the plight of Palestinians, but the fact is Jordan is the homeland of Palestinians, and the present rulers and population of Jordan are Arab occupiers from Mecca and the Negev. Hussein bin Ali (1854-1931) was the Sharif/Emir of Mecca under the Ottoman Turks. He conducted an Arab revolt working with the British and ended up as “king” starting the present Jordanian Dynasty and State. At any rate, more Palestinians were killed by Arabs than by Israelis. Given the high standard of moral and ethical principles followed in the course of the life of individual Jewish societies both in Israel and elsewhere in the World, it is my duty to point out to my fellow Ethiopians about the people and nations truly friendly to us, and there is no other country and people who will stand with us in times of our great fight for survival against Arabs than Israel and the Jewish people.
Ethiopia missed a great opportunity in 1969 to form a partnership with Israel to check Gamal Abdul Nasser’s ambition of transforming the fledgling Arab political power into a structured and focused force. Such ambition was stopped by the death of Nasser in 1970. Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia and Egypt continued their destructive campaign to destabilize and destroy Ethiopia to this day. For example, the psychopathic former Defense Deputy Minister Prince Khalid bin Sultan declared war on Ethiopia condemning the building of the Great Renaissance Dam on our Blue Nile by making a vitriolic declaration that Ethiopia is aiming to destroy Arabs even though the Dam was meant to produce hydropower to benefit not only Ethiopia but the region as a whole. At any rate the historic evidence is to the contrary that Arabs were the ones that attempted on several occasions military attacks on Ethiopia. Even Egyptian officials and well known Newspaper like the Al-Ahram had editorials, under the penmanship of the father of former Secretary General of the United Nations Boutros Boutros Gahli, supporting the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1935. This hate for Ethiopia has tied all Arab States together even though such Arab countries were far apart in political ideology and fight continuously among themselves.
It is a logical and also a necessary strategic alliance for the survival of both Israel and Ethiopia to form a military mutual defense pact. Between Ethiopian and Israel there must be extensive and very much focused alliance (stronger than that exists between the United States and Israel, for example) to counter any attack by Egypt and/or Saudi Arabia.
Pakistan is the “Joker” that is often overlooked by Ethiopian politicians and in recent years by Israel and the United States. However, Pakistan is the most dangerous rogue country in the world that is often overlooked by the Western powers as well as China and Russia. This means that Ethiopia must strengthen its relationship with India as a strategic counter weight to Pakistan’s role in the relationship between Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia. In this regard, Ethiopia’s relationship with China is a tricky one, for years when India supported Ethiopia, China was supportive of Pakistan. The political game now is a lot more complicated at this stage with the main hunger of China for oil and other vital natural resources and the expansion of market for its relatively cheap manufactured goods.
The Government of Israel with its far perceptive approach to regional hegemonic power evolution and its clear understanding of the ever shifting role of the military in very many Arab states, such as Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Syria, Yemen, et cetera, attempted to create a counterbalance to the hegemonic Arabaization of North Africa, East Africa and the Middle East. I believe had the United States, Turkey, Iran, and Ethiopia paid proper attention to Israel’s world view, most of the terrorism and political upheavals and the danger of nuclear proliferation would have been averted with little pain to everyone involved.
“In 1969 the Israeli government had proposed the formation of an anti- pan-Arab alliance consisting of the United States, Israel, Ethiopia, Iran and Turkey. Ethiopia rejected the proposal. In 1971, the Israeli Chief of Staff Bar Lev made a visit to Ethiopia, during which he presented proposals for deepening of Israeli-Ethiopian cooperation. The Ethiopians turned down the Israeli proposals but nevertheless, Ethiopia became internationally accused of having given concessions to Israel for setting up Israeli military bases on Ethiopian islands in the Red Sea. Ethiopia consistently denied all such accusations.”
Haile Selassie was no different than any other monarch with an absolute power. His grandiose vision of himself as a world statesman was further distorted continuously being fed with the illusion of his greatness by sycophantic retainers. Those retainers were his Ministers and Commanders with important executive positions in the many Ministries and Military/security structures of the Empire. They advised him very poorly in moving him away from committed relationship with Israel to playing second fiddle to Arab interest. Bureaucrats such as the Prime Minister Aklilu Habtewold, Foreign Ministers Ketema Yifru and Menase Haile et cetera (who were to a man well educated bureaucrats) prevailed on Haile Selassie’s weakness for fame and glory and moved Ethiopia into involvement in the OAU and Arab politics. [This particular comment and criticism is not meant in any way to diminish the singular patriotism of PM Akililu Habtewold’s great contribution during the formation of the United Nations, the Paris Treaty of 1947, or his monumental presentation in the UN General Assembly claiming Eritrea’s integration with Ethiopia.] Here I am only focusing on that single flawed foreign policy dealing with the disruption of diplomatic relations with Israel in favor of Arabs that lead us Ethiopians to all of the horrendous consequences of famine, civil disorder, revolutions, military takeover, extreme poverty, migration, overpopulation, moral deterioration, and the current prevailing situation as the most despised, hated, and abused people in our long history for the last half century.
PART II: NUCLEAR CONFRONTATIONS
V. Necessary Close Relationship with Israel
I warn my fellow Ethiopians emphatically that the enormity of the hostility of Saudi Arabs to Ethiopians has no boundary or limit. I see it as something pathological that is deeply seated in their Arab identity, more importantly in their perception of themselves as much less potent individuals than Ethiopians. I suggest that you all read Richard Burton’s translation of the “The Thousand and One Nights (The Arabian Nights)” and consider why all the hostility to “black men” and women is deeply embedded in their culture. The continuous super achievement of Ethiopian athletes in stamina and endurance out performing everyone in the world does not help much to dissuade such biased fear. As an example I give you the 2014 Dubai Marathon, the richest and most famous athletic event in the World, where Ethiopian athletes, both men and women, had clean sweep and breaking world records and winning all the way from number one to nine. That is only one incident among numerous wins for years at different places and Ethiopians earning great admiration the world over.
Taking into account the psychological makeup of Arabs and their arrested moral development, I believe that the first nuclear war between nations is going to be launched by Saudi Arabia supported by Egypt and Pakistan dropping some nuclear devise or bomb on Ethiopia. Already the Saudi Government has stated that they will buy nuclear bombs from Pakistan. Numerous Arab newspapers have been reporting and commenting since 2011 about Saudi Arabia’s nuclear weapon ambition, and has already established a secretive structure called Royal Saudi Strategic Missile Force for that purpose. The Israel Times has gone as far as claiming that the Saudis have already bought Nuke heads. The Saudi Government used the recent accord between the West and Iran about limiting nuclear development by Iran as an opportunity to vent its hate for peaceful resolution of conflicts by stating that it will acquire nuclear weapon from Pakistan. I take such pronouncements seriously and as a direct threat to Ethiopia.
There is no peaceful friendly solution to the ever growing hostilities of Arabs against Ethiopia. They have surrounded us with their supporters on all sides of our diminished borders, the result of a collaborator leader now deceased (Meles Zenawi) and his apocryphal party. The most dangerous of such hostile governments suffocating us is the insanely anti-Ethiopian government of “Eritrea” that is openly or covertly acting as a surrogate attack dog for Arabs. It is very possible such future attacks by weapons of mass destruction may be launched from that region against Ethiopia. We must prepare for such eventual showdown by focusing all of our resources on military industrial grand program for the manufacture of advance weapon and the training and deployment of highly trained military personnel to counter such real threats. Right now, Ethiopia is capable of producing chemical and “dirty-bombs,” a form of low grade nuclear bomb, which would sufficiently deter any jihadist fanatic Arab from attacking us. But before we start such monumental journey, we must first clean house by removing individuals who are placed in high and critical positions within the Ethiopian government and Ethiopian political organizations with obvious divided loyalty between the two states.
We must ignore the idiotic and insulting idea currently circulating about restarting some kind of “2000 Algiers II” type lopsided relationship between “Eritrea” and Ethiopia, which is promoted by two former United States diplomats. Moreover, Ethiopia must never accept the decision of a corrupt Boundary Commission that is being endorsed by such former United States officials. It is even more infuriating to me when I hear some Ethiopian jurists and politicians talking about both the Algiers 2000 Agreement and the decision of the Boundary Commission as something sacrosanct and irreversible. Such perception shows lack of understanding how international law, politics, and power hegemony interface in order to safeguard our national vital interest. Mind you that the Arbitration Commission was established to render a pre-determined result by resurrecting long dead treaties by the 2000 Algiers Agreement. Here is a lesson how creative and talented lawyers and crafty politicians can even defy gravity to revive long dead instruments to life and achieve some impossibility through sheer sophistry and manipulation. So, do not tell me that corrupt Arbitration Commission cannot be disqualified and its decision dumped as garbage.
Ethiopia must look after its own national security interest first and foremost. No Ethiopian Government should ever be dictated to by the United States or anyone else when the issue is of national survival. For the next twenty years, as long as the Leaders of the EPLF have not died out (their natural lives), there should not be any normalization or reconciliation between Ethiopia and “Eritrea” the State, although individuals from Akale-Guzai, Kunama, Hamassen, Serie, et cetera who migrated to Ethiopia should be properly integrated into the Ethiopian society as citizens once they renounce their “Eritrean” citizenship.
The fact is that not only the Eritrean leaders but also the general population seem to have a corrupted view of Ethiopian history and people and need some enlightenment on the meaning of “sovereign people” as opposed to being subjects of colonial power. The glory is not in the institution of colonialism but in the liberation from both the physical oppression and the binding of colonial subject mentality of disrespecting and abusing those that are considered outsiders. In his recently published book, the philosopher Teodros Kiros, in a heart wrenching short story titled “Agame,” narrates how as teenagers growing up in Asmara they used to hurl rocks and dehumanizing insults at people (Agames) who were engaged in collecting cactus fruits/seeds to sell earning a meager income; he also narrates about the savagery and brutality of the police in Asmara in arresting and torturing such people for minor infractions or for no cause at all. [Teodros Kiros, Hirute and Hailu and Other Short Stories, Red Sea Press (2014)]
In building Ethiopia’s national security structure and in securing its territorial integrity, the first step in this course of action is to withdraw completely from the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963, where Ethiopia has only signed (August 23, 1963) but not ratified that Treaty. Saudi Arabia has not signed or ratified the Treaty, whereas Egypt signed the Treaty on August 8, 1963, and ratified the Treaty as part of the United Arab Republic on January 10, 1964.
The United States with all its trillions of debt to the Arabs is the least reliable or stable country as a friend for Ethiopia. It is also a nation that would not last for long as world-leader with its wasteful ways and saber-rattling at every political crisis. When I think of the United States, the words of Abraham Maslow keep coming to my mind: “If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.” The only country that has both the moral content and the courage to stay a committed course based on principles and friendship is the State of Israel. We need to build our relationship with Israel on the following solid grounds: 1) Enter an extensive military mutual defense agreement allowing Israel to base its strategic air force in Ethiopia; 2) Establish a joint military industrial complex for manufacture of advance weapon systems; 3) Reestablish Ethiopia’s military academy including its air force, territorial army, rapid deployment forces et cetera with Israel model and training instructors and joint commanders. As an incentive Ethiopia must adopt favorable economic policy fully integrating Israel’s participation in the Ethiopian economy.
Ethiopia historically and currently is a predominantly Christian country with a minority of about thirty percent Islamists. This fact is not to change any time soon. If at all Christianity is in great revival. I am simply stating what I observed happening in Ethiopia from all kinds of sources. I did not see any kind of great concern from the Ethiopian Muslim population on the recent atrocities against Ethiopian immigrants in Saudi Arabia except for sporadic and far in between statements by Muslim leaders where the statements more or less were pulled out of them by persistent reporters.. The Saudi Government and population did not distinguish between Christian Ethiopians or Muslim Ethiopians; their fury was just against Ethiopians. Having a powerful and judicious friend such as Israel is a must for Ethiopia’s survival and the survival of its population Christians and Muslims alike. The only question is to determine the modality of that close relationship between Ethiopia and Israel.
VI. Political Alliance and Ethiopian Citizenship to Israelis
Whether it is in legends or recorded history, there is no denying the long standing relationship between Ethiopia and the Jewish people. In fact, I have met knowledgeable individuals who think of Ethiopia as a kingdom of transplanted Hebrews who continued the Judaic kingdom after its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar in 597 BC. Even though most of these ancient connections might be cleverly constructed stories to create some form of legitimacy to particular Ethiopian “royal” family members to continue the control of state power, it did serve that purpose quite successfully. Personally I do believe that most Ethiopian people have the same root as do all of the Ethiopian Dynasties. They are fundamentally Agew, the original people of Ethiopia that have nothing to do either with Jews or Arabs except in an instrumentalist role in the consolidation of local political power and directing/controlling the marches of histories.
I am fully aware of the history of the Ethiopian Bete Israel or Ethiopian Jews. I do not agree with the propaganda type fund raising condemnation of past Ethiopian Monarchs (to the time of Mengistu) for especially harsh treatment of Ethiopian Jews. What is missing in such accusative and misleading use of history for fund raising effort by some Jewish organizations is some balanced full exposure of the historic events that led to such repressive actions by past Ethiopian monarchs. In short of such full disclosure, selective accusations are very misleading and at times patently wrong. The collaborative role played by Ethiopian Jews during the twelve year of Gragn Mohammed’s destruction of Ethiopia is a well-documented fact. Even during the Italian occupation, except for very few Ethiopian Jews, a number of Ethiopian Jews were collaborators even worse than some Christian Ethiopians. There is enough brutality and betrayal in our past relationships between Ethiopian Jews and Ethiopian Christians to make the rounds of both communities. We all must see such past history in its right perspective—the demand of history contemporaneous with the incidents of history.
For the people of Ethiopia, the most important question is the imperative of living within our Ethiopian reality and history. It is in this singular context that Ethiopians should seek alliance with nations that would insure mutually advantageous setup to guarantee their individual survival in a sea of extremely hostile and morally depraved leaders of the Middle East Arab States. There is not a single Arab nation in the Middle East whose government and population is tolerant of anyone with different religion or ethnic background especially if one is non-Caucasian. Whether it is in Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Yemen or Egypt whenever there is some social upheaval, the first victims in all such Arab States are Christians and people who are non-Caucasians. It will be insanity by anyone to expect justice or decent treatment from any Arab in the Middle East. Look what is going on in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and soon the brutality and savagery of murder and destruction would engulf Lebanon, Yemen and the other Gulf States. No one should expect any humanity from Arabs and their despotic rulers who show no mercy to children, women, elderly men, and young men who are even their own fellow Muslims.
I strongly advise that we Ethiopians better confront headlong this grim reality and take the necessary safeguard to insure our future survival. In order to insure such close connection with Israel, Ethiopia should grant all Ethiopia Jews who migrated to Israel full Ethiopian Citizenship. Such Ethiopian Citizenship should also be extended to any Israeli Citizen, who did not have Ethiopian ancestry, the privilege to apply for Ethiopian Citizenship. As Citizens of Ethiopia such Israelis would have all the Constitutional rights and duties of any Ethiopian. There would be open-border policy for any Israeli to settle in Ethiopia and be an integral part of the Ethiopian society. And those Israeli Citizens with Ethiopian Citizenship have the right to participation fully in the political, economic and social life of Ethiopia.
VII. Conclusion: What Ethiopia Offers to Israel
There will never be lasting peace in the Middle East as long as there are fanatical Arabs who have no tolerance for other people and other religions being practiced in the Middle East. I am not suggesting something new or unusual writing about mutual support system for Ethiopia and Israel only that I am suggesting urgency and much heightened magnitude. It is imperative that both Ethiopians and Israelis realize the gravity of the problem with Arabs that we both face, which emboldened me to suggest much more intense and far deeper relationship between these two countries than the types of relationship that is simply convenient or temporal. There are clear advantages in the power-balancing consequences of having such relationship between Israel and Ethiopia against frantically prepared armed enemies. Of course, in such situations, the alliance is a defensive one. I would be more reassured if the foreign policy of Ethiopia is proactive than being reactive. Right now it seems that it is geared to ensuring economic development and the preservation of the nefarious legacy of Meles Zenawi.
Israel is confined to a tiny territory surrounded by extremely hostile Arab neighbors. Ethiopia by contrast to Israel has vast territory, but like Israel Ethiopia shares the hostility of Arabs even more so. It is a natural order of defense that Ethiopia and Israel develop a common defense strategy. The resources of Ethiopia and the technical know-how of Israel could turn up a great mutual military, economic, and social survival strategy better than any modality of relationship anywhere else.
I anticipate such close relationship with Israel would trigger Saudi Arabia to start another round of its heavy-handed attack on Ethiopia. It will first attempt an economic strangle of Ethiopia by mobilizing the neighbors of Ethiopia to cut of access to their air space and access to their port facilities in states such as Djibouti, Somaliland, Somalia, Sudan, even Kenya. It will also target the Ethiopian Airlines, and incrementally attack Ethiopia’s foreign commodities trade, such as coffee, hide et cetera that Ethiopia exports. Here is where a leader with nerve of steel is most helpful to see us through such challenges. Our loyalty to our Djibouti and Somali friends must be nurtured and enhanced. An Ethiopian leader with a sense of Ethiopian history will not panic, but shall mobilize all the great Ethiopian talents around the nation and engage the Ethiopian military to encounter all political and economic challenges facing Ethiopia. We must not forget the fact that history is on our side. We must have done something right to be able to exist as a free people and sovereign nation for all the period of human history when almost all the great civilizations (nineteen out of twenty one) had perished.
I offer the above solutions as both short term and long term relationships between Israel and Ethiopia not because I have some close Jewish friends or some special relations with the State of Israel—but that such close relationship is mutually beneficial to both Israel and Ethiopia. My personal experience with some Jews is negative and caustic, for the individuals who hurt me personally the most in my life were a couple of Jews, who used their Jewish ethnicity in covering their mediocrty in ganging up against me for I dare challenge a discourse where one had denied the Armenian genocide and advocated also a blanket forgiveness of general vindication (forgiveness) of the economic exploitations of the likes of DeBeers distorting the reason and essence of the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa. The other individual was totally out of control terrorizing faculty and staff for no professional reason, and in my case, just cheap vindictiveness because of my schooling in some of the finest Universities in the United States. However, one must look at the ethos of a people in light of their particular history. Thus, Jews as a people (group) do have distinct characteristics from the individual member of the group that I had fallout with. In my opinion, the Jewish People in the main are the most moral and principled people with whom I can reason and from whom I can expect due consideration and justice. The Jewish people are not homogenous and fanatical coming in a single mold as Arabs tend to be. Ask yourselves whether it is possible to reason with any Saudi leader, or Syrian leader et cetera on any political or religious issues.
To a great extent, individuals cannot easily outrun their past or culture, and as a result we often hear of history repeating itself. Individual Saudis are caught in their own historic loop that is impossible for them to break through. The unholy alliance that started out between former primitive marauding Bedouin Arab tribal men (now living in unimaginable luxury wallowing in petrodollar) with Wahhabis extremism as an ideology would grind down whatever imported material setup money bought for them for years. Saudi Arabians in particular have a long way to go before they can be seen socially responsible enough to be accepted in the community of civilized communities of the World. I hope, long before that, the Red Dragon from the depth of our Earth will rise and devour the Black Dragon coiled under the sands of Saudi Arabia.
In the mean time, we Ethiopians must find ways to deflect/avert catastrophic attacks on Ethiopia from Arabs and their allies. Israel is both a logical and necessary friend for Ethiopia. It is reliable, ethical, advanced, and committed to defending itself against hostile neighbors who are equally if not more hostile to Ethiopia too. It seems to me that we Ethiopians do not have much of a choice in the type of predicament we are put into by myopic leaders of the TPLF who are solely responsible for landlocking us. The tragedy of Ethiopia as victim of a handful of anti-Ethiopia corrupt leaders will continue as long as TPLF’s old-guards and their counterparts from the EPRDF are still in power causing friction and dissonance among Ethiopians. I do not blame the mediocrity of the opposition in the Diaspora, for they reflect the state of our pretentious modernist cultural and misguided social development. We are mostly the chaffs leftover after Meles Zenawi had effectively decimated all those who could have led Ethiopia very well. The task for us, as a united Ethiopian people, is how best we can save our nation from devastating Arab Jihad and disintegration, for without Ethiopia there cannot be peace, security, and prosperity for any of us. Ω
Tecola W. Hagos
February 18, 2014, Washington DC
© Phineaus St Claire 2014