Israel’s New Peace Treaties Reveal How Much the Experts Misunderstood the Middle East

In December of 2016, the outgoing secretary of state John Kerry expressed the conventional wisdom in policymaking circles when he said that Israel and those who wish it well must accept the “hard reality” that “there will be no advanced and separate peace with the Arab world without the Palestinian process and Palestinian peace.” The recent agreements Jerusalem concluded with Dubai and Manama show just how wrong Kerry was. Yet as Lewis Libby and Hillel Fradkin point out, there has long been a minority of observers, Benjamin Netanyahu among them, who have never uncritically accepted that conventional assessment:

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Read more at National Review

More about: Bahrain, Israel diplomacy, John Kerry, Peace Process, United Arab Emirates

Hamas Is Winning the War for Palestinian, and Israeli Arab, Hearts and Minds

While many in the West seem to think the current fighting in Israel is about housing policy, or human rights, or the selective blockade of the Gaza Strip, the rhetoric of Palestinian leaders and on Palestinian social media makes clear that it is in fact about al-Aqsa mosque. This should come as no surprise: fabricated claims that “al-Aqsa is in danger” have been used to provoke anti-Jewish violence for a hundred years. In this particular case, explains Haviv Rettig Gur, both Hamas and Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party exploited the claim in their rivalry for Palestinian hearts and minds:

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Al-Aqsa Mosque, Hamas, Israeli Arabs, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict