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Now Is the Time for the Gulf States to Make Peace with Israel

Aug. 11 2020

In the event that Joe Biden wins the upcoming presidential elections, there is a good chance that the U.S. will revert to the Obama-era policy of realignment with Iran, and to distancing itself from traditional Middle Eastern allies like Saudi Arabia. Richard Goldberg argues that Riyadh, along with the United Arab Emirates, can buy itself some security by establishing official relations with Jerusalem:

With Iran once again flush with cash from U.S. sanctions relief and importing advanced conventional arms from Russia and China, Saudi Arabia and the UAE will have only one true ally in the Middle East: the state of Israel. . . . To make their case for continued U.S. arms sales and political support, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi should demonstrate their ability to advance the U.S. vision of Arab-Israeli peace and regional integration.

In effect, the Saudis and Emiratis should borrow a winning strategy from Jordan and Egypt, both of which have peace treaties with Israel. Jordanian officials claim that Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley would jeopardize Jordan’s treaty with Israel, but King Abdullah knows that his influence in the House and Senate appropriations committees would wash away if the treaty were ever abandoned. Even in the rockiest of times for Cairo—the election of the Muslim Brotherhood to power and an ensuing military coup—U.S. military assistance to Egypt survived, albeit with conditions, because of the Camp David Accords.

Conventional wisdom of the pre-Iran-deal era posited that the Arab world could not normalize relations with Israel until all Palestinian-related issues were resolved. But the last four years should have dispelled any lingering fears in Gulf capitals that normalization with Israel would spark an “Arab-street revolt.”

Read more at Newsweek

More about: Iran, Israel diplomacy, Israel-Arab relations, Joseph Biden, Saudi Arabia, U.S. Foreign policy, United Arab Emirates

The Summary: 10/7/20

Two extraordinary events demonstrate something important about Israel’s most fervent adversaries. One was a speech given at something called The People’s Forum (funded generously by Goldman Sachs), which stated, “When the state of Israel is finally destroyed and erased from history, that will be the single most important blow we can give to destroying capitalism and imperialism.”

The suggestion that this tiny state is the linchpin of a global, centuries-old phenomenon like capitalism goes well beyond anything resembling rational criticism. Even if Israel were guilty of genocide, apartheid, and oppression—which of course it is not—it would not follow that its destruction would help end capitalism or imperialism.

The other was an anti-Israel protest that took place in front of New York City’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, deemed “complicit” in Israel’s evils. At organizers’ urging, participants shouted their slogans at kids in the cancer ward, who were watching from the windows. Given Hamas’s indifference toward the lives of Gazan children, such callousness toward non-Palestinian children from Hamas’s Western allies shouldn’t be surprising. The protest—like the abovementioned speech—deliberately conveyed the message that Israel is the ultimate evil and its destruction the ultimate good, cancer patients be damned.

The fact that Israel’s adversaries are almost comically perverse does not mean that they can be dismissed. If its allies fail to understand the obsessive and irrational hatred that it faces, they cannot effectively help it defend itself.

Read more at Mosaic