The U.S. Should Invite Kuwait to Make Peace with Israel

July 30 2021

On Wednesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Kuwait, but absent from his agenda—at least according to official press releases—was any effort to normalize relations with the Jewish state. Hussain Abdul-Hussain argues that encouraging the Gulf emirate to join the Abraham Accords should be higher on the list of American priorities:

[I]n the 1960s, Kuwait played an instrumental role in the rise of Palestinian nationalism. The late chairman of the Palestinian Authority, Yasir Arafat, and his closest lieutenants were residents of Kuwait when they formed their Fatah militia. However, Arafat benefited from Kuwaiti diplomatic support and generosity only until 1990, when he backed the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s occupation and decimation of Kuwait. The alliance between the United States and Kuwait became unbreakable as a result of the Gulf War, when Washington liberated Kuwait from the invading Iraqis, an event that reoriented the country away from Arab nationalism and removed a key obstacle to peace with Israel.

Since then, Kuwaiti zeal for Arab nationalism has receded, while Kuwaiti voices calling for peace with Israel became louder. Legislators, columnists, pundits, politicians, and TV anchors have all called for unconditional peace with Israel over the past few years. If the Biden administration is serious about expanding the Abraham Accords, it has to show countries like Kuwait that peace is still one of Washington’s top priorities.

It is very likely that the Kuwaiti government and its loyalists, most of whom are top regional merchants, will jump on the opportunity to sideline Islamists and endorse peace that benefits their businesses. What is still missing is for America to show these Kuwaitis that it is seriously pursuing such a plan.

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Read more at National Interest

More about: Abraham Accords, Kuwait, U.S. Foreign policy

Condemning Terrorism in Jerusalem—and Efforts to Stop It

Jan. 30 2023

On Friday night, a Palestinian opened fire at a group of Israelis standing outside a Jerusalem synagogue, killing seven and wounding several others. The day before, the IDF had been drawn into a gunfight in the West Bank city of Jenin while trying to arrest members of a terrorist cell. Of the nine Palestinians killed in the raid, only one appears to have been a noncombatant. Lahav Harkov compares the responses to the two events, beginning with the more recent:

President Joe Biden called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to denounce the attack, offer his condolences, and express his commitment to Israel’s security. Other leaders released supportive statements as well. Governments across Europe condemned the attack. Turkey’s foreign ministry did the same, as did Israel’s Abraham Accords partners the UAE and Bahrain. Even Saudi Arabia released a statement against the killing of civilians in Jerusalem.

It feels wrong to criticize those statements. . . . But the condemnations should be full-throated, not spoken out of one side of the mouth while the other is wishy-washy about what it takes to stave off terrorism. These very same leaders and ministries were tsk-tsking at Israel for doing just that only a day before the attacks in Jerusalem.

The context didn’t seem to matter to some countries that are friendly to Israel. It didn’t matter that Israel was trying to stop jihadists from attacking civilians; it didn’t matter that IDF soldiers were attacked on the way.

It’s very easy for some to be sad when Jews are murdered. Yet, at the same time, so many of them are uncomfortable with Jews asserting themselves, protecting themselves, arming themselves against the bloodthirsty horde that would hand out bonbons to celebrate their deaths. It’s a reminder of how important it is that we do just that, and how essential the state of Israel is.

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Read more at Lahav’s Newsletter

More about: Jerusalem, Palestinian terror