JERUSALEM — For the first time in over the usual quarter-century, a U.S. president will host a signing ceremony involving Israelis and Arabs in the White House, charging it as a”historic breakthrough” in a region long known for its obstinate conflicts.
However, while the optics of Tuesday’s event will sabotage the revolutionary agreements which ended decades of warfare between Israel and neighboring Egypt and Jordan, which started the peace process with the Palestinians, the truth is rather different.
The arrangement cements a casual alliance against Iran and may pave the way for the UAE to obtain innovative U.S. weapons, even while leaving the lot more controversial Israeli-Palestinian battle as intractable as ever.
The arrangement with Bahrain has increased the risk that Saudi Arabia — the greatest prize in Israel’s normalization driveway — would follow suit. Bahrain’s Sunni monarchy is closely intertwined with Saudi Arabia, which helped quash a popular uprising on the island country’s Shiite majority in 2011.
Nonetheless, it’s problematic whether arrangements such as these, one of the already friendly nations, do much to advance regional peace.
The region’s most important battle pits Israel and the Gulf Arab nations against Iran and its proxies. In the long run, many consider the largest threat to Israel’s success for a Jewish-majority and democratic country is that the battle with the Palestinians, who might soon outnumber Jews from the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.
The Trump government expects that as more overseas nations normalize ties with Israel, it is going to force the Palestinians to return to peace negotiations, which ground to a stop over a decade past.
Over the previous 3 decades, Trump has cut aid to the Palestinians, acknowledged contested Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, fell the longstanding U.S. resistance to Israeli settlements, and published a Mideast strategy that overwhelmingly favors Israel.
The breakdown of this longstanding Arab consensus that fame only is allowed in return for territorial concessions has left the Palestinians arguably more feeble, isolated, and demoralized than at any moment in their history.
But instead of cowing Palestinian leaders to submission, these movements have made them more rebellious. President Mahmoud Abbas formally cut ties to Israel and the U.S. in May and said the Palestinians wouldn’t more be bound by any previous arrangements. The Palestinians have resisted the UAE and Bahrain bargains as a betrayal of the origin and insist that no other nation has the right to pay their behalf.
“Normalization of countries in the area with Israel won’t alter the gist of this battle, that is the systemic refusal of the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to liberty and sovereignty,” said Hanan Ashrawi, a senior Palestinian official.
Daniel Shapiro, who served as U.S. ambassador to Israel throughout the Obama government, stated normalization is a good measure that could potentially enhance the prospects for peace.
“If it is used efficiently it may be a foundation for a renewed attempt to create momentum for 2 countries,” said Shapiro, who’s presently a visiting fellow in Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies. “But it needs to be directed by a U.S. government that’s dedicated to some two-state solution, and that is different from the Trump plan”
Aaron David Miller, a veteran American peace negotiator, said anybody expecting to solve the Israeli-Palestinian battle”wouldn’t have behaved the way this government has acted for the previous four decades.”
“I don’t believe this will make it any simpler or at an actual time bring us closer to serious discussions, but I’d have contended that before the UAE-Israel bargain,” said Miller, who’s currently at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
For at least three decades, the Palestinians have sought a different country from east Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, lands captured by Israel in the 1967 war with Arab nations. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 however enforced a blockade following the militant group Hamas captured power two decades later.
The Trump strategy would enable Israel to annex around 30 percent of the occupied West Bank, including all its far-flung Jewish settlements. The Palestinians will be left scattered enclaves surrounded by Israel, which could have entire security management. Netanyahu pointedly identifies it as a thing” which President Trump defines as a country.”
The UAE stated its agreement with Israel took annexation off the desk, however, Netanyahu has stated that the breakout is temporary and Israel remains committed to the Trump plan.
The program”doesn’t clarify a Palestinian nation with a modicum of sovereignty,” Shapiro explained. “Luckily the UAE deal led to annexation being removed from the table. Now it is time to shelve different facets of this Trump plan”
Former Vice President Joe Biden has guaranteed a much more even-handed strategy if he’s elected in November. He’s opposed to annexation and could almost surely refuse the Trump program.
Trump’s reelection would deliver much more pressure to bear on the Palestinians, possibly leading them to depart the two-state solution entirely and require equal rights in one binational state.
“But the Palestinians have another alternative, which is really to creep toward calling for equal rights in one nation” he explained. “That is the basic mistake and defect from the Trump eyesight is the fact that it misunderstands a whole lot of these long-term dynamics”