A New Approach to Peace?

There was a report in The Jerusalem Post that an aide to Pres. Abbas of the PA had leaked to the media that Pres. Trump has a new approach to the peace process.  He is intending to persuade Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States to sign a peace agreement with Israel (Egypt and Jordan already have peace agreements) that would result in normal relations and an exchange of Ambassadors and would then leave it to Israel and the Palestinians to negotiate a deal based on the Saudi Peace Plan.   As it is, this plan is basically the Arab position and is unacceptable to Israel, but with compromises on both sides it is then assumed something can be managed.

There have been three main factors preventing the Palestinians from making any kind of peace agreement with Israel:

  1. Their insistence that all of the former Palestine Mandate belongs to them and therefore their only strategy is to destroy Israel
  2. Their sense that they have the huge hinterland of the Arab world in support of them
  3. The Arab world and to a lesser extent the liberal politically correct Europeans have supported Palestinian aspirations (such as at the UN) against Israel

Now if point 2 is removed from the equation, the Palestinians will realize that they are in fact on their own, no Arab States are going to come to their aid if there is a military confrontation with Israel.  This is certainly true of Hamas, that is considered an enemy of Egypt as well as the Saudis.  Also, the Palestinians have known this for a long time, that the Arabs have paid lip service to their cause while really not actually supporting them. This was in fact the motivation for the formation of the PLO after the 1967 Six-Day War, when the Arabs States were handily defeated by Israel.  Palestinians are not allowed to live in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Gulf States and the funds promised to the PA and Gaza by the other Arabs are very rarely actually paid.

Since the Arab world as a whole is in turmoil, with Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya in civil wars, and the menace of Iran breathing down their necks, the remaining so-called moderate Sunni States, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Gulf States, are poised on a precipice.  Their only real hope is support from the US and possibly a coalition with Israel.  In order to achieve the survival of their regimes they will happily join with Israel, that is no threat to them, and leave the Palestinians to their own fate.

Point 3 is also in play, as the Arabs and other Muslim States and the Europeans become more concerned about confronting radical Islamic terrorism rather than supporting the customary status quo, that includes a Palestinian entity that is at least sympathetic to such terrorism, if not actually directly engaged in it (as is Hamas).  Then the Palestinians are forced back to point 1, their own recalcitrance in face of any and every attempt to achieve peace with Israel.  This will prove their undoing.

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