As to Israel, Mahathir Mohamed blames its existence for all the subsequent trouble in the Middle East. He says that before Israel was founded, there were no problems in the Middle East. Let’s just begin to examine that remark by looking at the Middle East today. The Sunni-Shia enmity, which dates back to the first century is Islam, is now on violent display in Yemen, in Iraq, in Syria, and in Lebanon. In Yemen, the Shi’a Houthis, supported by Iran, are fighting the Yemeni government, which is Sunni and supported by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. That conflict has been going on for several years. It has nothing to do with Israel.
In Iraq, the Sunnis who had been favored under the rule of Saddam Hussein, have been forced to acquiesce, most unwillingly, in the loss of their political and economic power to the Shi’a Arabs, who outnumber the Sunni Arabs by 60% to 20%, with the rest of the population being Kurds and a few Christians. The continued political maneuverings in Iraq, between Sunni and Shi’a Arabs, and between Arabs and Kurds, have nothing to do with Israel.
It is the same in Syria, where the civil war that began in 2011 as a revolt against the cruel despotism of Bashar Al-Assad, and the corruption epitomized by his uncle Rami Makhlouf, inevitably took on a sectarian cast, for the Assads and Makhloufs are Alawites, a sect considered to be a branch of Shi’a Islam. The opposition to the regime was Sunni, and both Iran and the terrorists of Hezbollah aided Assad militarily, which made the war into one of Alawites and more orthodox Shia against Sunnis. Again, this war had nothing to do with Israel.