Sunday, August 28, 2016

Israel and Its Arab Neighbors

You have been reading it on this blog for some time, but you can now also read it on the editorial page of the New York Times. In fairness, you have read it here because I pay attention to Caroline Glick and to the Israeli press.

The story is worth underscoring. Israel and its Arab neighbors are currently forging a new level of diplomatic ties, the better to fight against the axis of Iranian influence that the Obama administration has created.

The Times editorialized this morning:

Israel and Saudi Arabia have no formal diplomatic relations. The Saudis do not even recognize Israel as a state. Still, there is evidence that ties between Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab states and Israel are not only improving but, after developing in secret over many years, could evolve into a more explicit alliance as a result of their mutual distrust of Iran. Better relations among these neighbors could put the chaotic Middle East on a more positive course. 

One needs to curb one’s enthusiasm and to leave open the possibility that this is not quite as good as it sounds. And yet, the Times is correct to suggest that these public meetings are highly significant:

It’s hard to tell sometimes whether and through whom the Saudi royal family is speaking, and some analysts do not view General Eshki as a serious interlocutor. But his visit to Jerusalem, which included a meeting with members of Parliament, suggested a new Saudi openness to testing how the public in both countries would react to overt contacts. Significantly, Saudi Arabia has also begun a media campaign in the kingdom, apparently to prepare its citizens for better relations with Israel.

Note also-- a point I have not seen reported elsewhere-- the new Saudi media campaign to prepare for better relations with Israel.

And the Times also adds that Egypt, under President el Sisi has been developing more notably positive relations with Israel:

Egypt has also been pursuing warmer ties with Israel. A week before the Saudi delegation arrived, Sameh Shoukry became the first foreign minister of Egypt to visit Israel in nine years. Although the two countries signed a peace treaty in 1979, the relationship never fulfilled its promise. However, ties have improved since Abdel Fattah el-Sisi became Egypt’s president in 2014, enabling greater security cooperation against Hamas in Gaza and the militants battling Egyptian troops in the Sinai.

One should mention that the Times has nothing to say about the role that Barack Obama has played in all this. But it does remain true to its leftist core by continuing to insist that the world needs to show deference to the Palestinian terrorist cause. And of course, the Times is happy to suggest that the Palestinians and the Israelis are equally uninterested in peace. In that the Gray Lady has erred grievously. The truth is, as long as the world continues to legitimate Palestinian grievances and Palestinian terrorism, there will be no peace.

The Times explained:

Unfortunately, neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians show interest in serious peace talks. And there are reasons to doubt that the Palestinians are the Arab countries’ real focus. Mr. Netanyahu, in fact, has made clear his preference for improving relations with the Arab states first, saying Israel would then be in a stronger position to make peace with the Palestinians later on.

Of course, improved relations between Israel and its Arab neighbors do not preclude a Palestinian peace deal. The danger is that these countries will find more value in mending ties with each other and stop there, thus allowing Palestinian grievances, a source of regional tension for decades, to continue to fester.

Of course, if Palestinian terrorists lose their financial support within the Arab world, they will be more likely to sue for peace. But if they continue to gain the support of misguided European and American leftists, they will continue their futile efforts.


AesopFan said...

"Of course, if Palestinian terrorists lose their financial support within the Arab world, they will be more likely to sue for peace. But if they continue to gain the support of misguided European and American leftists, they will continue their futile efforts."

An "if" that currently (and in the foreseeable future) has no possibility of becoming a "when" -- but then, none of the Soviet Watchers expected the Wall to come down; in real life, almost anything can happen.

On gaining support in Europe and America, however, the anti-Israel factions have this going for them:

"Europe, as it is aging, no longer renews its generations, and instead welcomes massive numbers of migrants from the Middle East, Africa and Asia, who are going to replace the native Europeans, and who are bringing cultures with radically different values about sex, science, political power, culture, economy and the relation between God and man."

Sam L. said...

Israel has no interest in peace talks, and shouldn't have, because there is no point. It's in the Palis' interest, and that om many Arab states, NOT to have peace talks. They don't WANT peace. This is obvious to many of us, but not those who will excuse the Palis regardless of what they do.