Saturday, August 15, 2020

Donald of Arabia

A few thoughts for today, from yesterday. A little over a year ago Niall Ferguson offered some comments on the Trump foreign policy.

On the occasion of the groundbreaking peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, I will present some of his analysis. One feels compelled to note that Ferguson’s thoughts correlate well with those expressed on this blog, for years now.

Anyway, here is Ferguson what Ferguson wrote about Trump’s policy and the Kushner peace plan, a year ago June:

The other thing I now understand better is the administration’s Middle East strategy. As Trump revealed when he cancelled the planned airstrikes, he is not itching for war. Temperamentally, Trump is just not a war president. His goal is to maintain the pressure on — and the isolation of — Tehran for diplomatic reasons. No journalist I know takes seriously Jared Kushner’s Middle East peace initiative, the first part of which will be unveiled at a conference in Bahrain this week. “Dead before arrival” is the conventional wisdom. But I take the contrarian view that the timing is propitious and the design of the plan ingenious.

When you reflect on the changes there have been in the region since his father-in-law’s inauguration, two things leap out at you. The first is that Israel is no longer beleaguered, surrounded by foes. It has become part of an American-led Arab-Israeli coalition against Iran. The second is that the Palestinians, whose status as victims was once so useful to both Arab nationalists and Islamists, have been marginalised.

Previous peace initiatives put the big constitutional and territorial questions first. Big, but insoluble. Kushner’s goal is to begin with the small matter of money, which in reality is not so small. Large-scale investment in the West Bank and Gaza, funded in part by the oil-rich Gulf states, stands a chance of weaning at least some Palestinians away from Hamas. The lesson of the Arab revolutions was that there is a constituency of small businessmen who are as sick of the rackets run by terrorists as they are of the extortions of venal governments.

As for the Israeli-Arab alliance, that train has left the station. Obviously, a few chronic malcontents, led by Iran, Turkey and Palestinian terrorists are outraged, but they are clearly on the wrong side of history.

Unless of course Crazy Joe Biden takes the White House and tries to undo it all… in order to align itself with Iran.


Giordano Bruno said...

Big Trump Victory. Even if Israel agreed to a one sided compromise, that is Israel’s problem. Trump and the US look like real diplomats. This must irk Samatha Powers and Hillary Clinton and Ben Rhodes. Orangeman put the right carrot out there. Wait until the Saudis and Egypt join in. Ouch.

Sam L. said...

"The second is that the Palestinians, whose status as victims was once so useful to both Arab nationalists and Islamists, have been marginalised." As I've said before, the Palis never miss a chance to miss a chance. Poor, poor miserable them, they who seem to prefer living in squalor and misery.