Sudan Isn’t Making Peace with Israel—Yet

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an unprecedent direct flight from Tel Aviv to Khartoum, amid speculation that Sudan would be the next Arab country to make peace with Israel. While the Sudanese government then clarified that nothing of the sort was to happen, its statement on the matter left the possibility open in a way that until recently would have been unimaginable. Benny Avni sees Pompeo’s visit, and even the rumors about peace, as evidence that Sudan, having freed itself of the genocidal dictator Omar al-Bashir, is ready to reconcile with the West:

[Sudan’s] premier, Abdalla Hamdok, said that the current government has no authority to make peace with Israel before an election. Yet [his country’s] location on the shores of the Red Sea would certainly make it a strategic ally for Israel and America.

Sudan, meanwhile, is desperate for foreign aid and Western investment. To start getting that, it needs to be off the State Department’s terror list, where it was placed in 1993 for harboring top terrorists, including Osama bin Laden. Several America-based terror-related lawsuits against Sudan remain pending, while others have been resolved.

Delisting with respect to terrorism goes beyond technicalities. It’s a political issue with wider implication than ties with Israel. As everywhere else in the world, China’s influence in the Middle East is growing. Unless America competes in this new cold war-like struggle, countries like Sudan will fall under Beijing’s spell.

Washington [should try] to make Sudan, once a cruel terrorist state, into an American ally. Delisting and relations with Israel can mark the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Read more at New York Sun

More about: China, Israel diplomacy, Mike Pompeo, Sudan, Terrorism, U.S. Foreign policy

What Is the Biden Administration Thinking?

In the aftermath of the rescue of four Israeli hostages on Friday, John Podhoretz observes some “clarifying moments.” The third strikes me as the most important:

Clarifying Moment #3 came with the news that the Biden administration is still calling for negotiations leading to a ceasefire after, by my count, the seventh rejection of the same by Hamas since Bibi Netanyahu’s secret offer a couple of weeks ago. Secretary of State Blinken, a man who cannot say no, including when someone suggests it would be smart for him to play high-school guitar while Ukraine burns, will be back in the region for the eighth time to urge Hamas to accept the deal. Why is this clarifying? Because it now suggests, here and for all time, that the Biden team is stupid.

Supposedly the carrot the [White House] is dangling in the region is a tripartite security deal with Saudi Arabia and Israel. Which would, of course, be a good thing. But like the stupid people they are now proving to be, they seem not to understand the very thing that led the Saudis to view Israel as a potential ally more than a decade ago: the idea that Israel means business and does what it must to survive and built itself a tech sector the Saudis want to learn from. Allowing Hamas to survive, which is implicitly part of the big American deal, will not lead to normalization. The Saudis do not want an Iranian vassal state in Palestine. Their entire foreign-policy purpose is to counter Iran. I know that. You know that. Everybody in the world knows that. Even Tony Blinken’s guitar is gently weeping at his dangling a carrot to Israel and Saudi Arabia that neither wants, needs, nor will accept.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Antony Blinken, Gaza War 2023, Joseph Biden, Saudi Arabia, U.S.-Israel relationship