Opinion

Arab States Are Tired of Palestinian Fantasies, Israel Is Tired of Their Violence

The UAE and Bahrain accords have exploded the myth that the Palestinians are the core problem of the Middle East. Gulf states will no longer accept a veto from Ramallah or Gaza for their relations with Israel and defense against Iran

Jonathan S. Tobin
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu(L), U.S. President Donald Trump, and UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan (R) smile at the White House in Washington, D.C., September 15, 2020.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu(L), U.S. President Donald Trump, and UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan (R) smile at the White House in Washington, D.C., September 15, 2020.Credit: SAUL LOEB / AFP
Jonathan S. Tobin

The instinct for partisan opponents of both Netanyahu and Trump is to downplay the significance of the normalization agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. 

They will be encouraged in this by the U.S. president’s characteristic over-selling of what is in and of itself an historic breakthrough that is a genuine success for the United States and Israel.

It doesn’t solve the conflict with the Palestinians, and the chances of it leading to a solution are non-existent. The Palestinians are isolated because they have failed to understand that the Sunni Arab world is no longer willing to accept a veto from Ramallah or Gaza of a move that is clearly in their interests and necessary for their defense against Iran. 

This article is part of a series: Ten experts break down the Israel-UAE-Bahrain accords. Read them all here

Though the Arab world feels compelled to pay lip service to the Palestinians, they understand that neither Fatah nor Hamas is capable of making peace no matter what they are offered, and that time is not on their side.

This happened because Trump and his team of foreign policy amateurs, led by Jared Kushner, understood some things that foreign policy experts have refused to acknowledge. 

The accords have exploded the myths that the Palestinians are the core problem of the Middle East, and that normalization with the Arab world is impossible without a two-state solution. It’s also a vindication for Netanyahu’s conviction that the conflict can’t be solved, but can be managed. 

If the Palestinians want that to change, they’ll have to give up their century-old war on Zionism, stop firing rockets and start negotiating for terms that fall far short of their fantasies.

Jonathan S. Tobin is editor in chief of the Jewish News Syndicate and a columnist for the New York Post. Twitter: @jonathans_tobin

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