Peace between Israel and Morocco Has Much Potential—If It Lasts

Last month, Rabat and Jerusalem concluded a major security-cooperation agreement, complete with a public visit to Morocco by the Israeli defense minister. The agreement comes almost a year after the North African kingdom reestablished diplomatic ties with the Jewish state in the wake of the Abraham Accords. While Efraim Inbar sees reason to hope that relations between the two countries will only grow stronger, he also provides a warning:

Although Morocco sent forces to fight against Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War and 1973 Yom Kippur War, it has in recent years emerged as a moderate Arab state when it comes to the Jewish state. . . . Morocco plays an important role globally, and in the Middle East and Africa in particular. Its royal family claim to be descendants of the prophet Mohammad, which gives it a certain influence among Arab countries. Rabat normalizing ties with Jerusalem will pave the way for other Arab countries to do the same.

But we should bear in mind that these relations are under heavy criticism by extremists in Morocco, and internal political changes may bring the honeymoon to an end.

We must not forget that instability is a hallmark in any such relationship. If Israel fails to halt Iran’s nuclear progress, the pro-Israel trends in the region will disappear. The Iranian threat is what prompted these Arab countries openly to normalize ties with Israel. The absence of Israeli action will take away from the achievement that is the Abraham Accords, including ties with Morocco.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Abraham Accords, Iran, Israel diplomacy, Israel-Arab relations, Morocco

 

While Israel Is Distracted on Two Fronts, Iran Is on the Verge of Building Nuclear Weapons

Iran recently announced its plans to install over 1,000 new advanced centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear facility. Once they are up and running, the Institute for Science and International Security assesses, Fordow will be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for three nuclear bombs in a mere ten days. The U.S. has remained indifferent. Jacob Nagel writes:

For more than two decades, Iran has continued its efforts to enhance its nuclear-weapons capability—mainly by enriching uranium—causing Israel and the world to concentrate on the fissile material. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed that Iran has a huge stockpile of uranium enriched to 60 percent, as well as more enriched to 20 percent, and the IAEA board of governors adopted the E3 (France, Germany, UK) proposed resolution to censure Iran for the violations and lack of cooperation with the agency. The Biden administration tried to block it, but joined the resolution when it understood its efforts to block it had failed.

To clarify, enrichment of uranium above 20 percent is unnecessary for most civilian purposes, and transforming 20-percent-enriched uranium to the 90-percent-enriched product necessary for producing weapons is a relatively small step. Washington’s reluctance even to express concern about this development appears to stem from an unwillingness to acknowledge the failures of President Obama’s nuclear policy. Worse, writes Nagel, it is turning a blind eye to efforts at weaponization. But Israel has no such luxury:

Israel must adopt a totally new approach, concentrating mainly on two main efforts: [halting] Iran’s weaponization actions and weakening the regime hoping it will lead to its replacement. Israel should continue the fight against Iran’s enrichment facilities (especially against the new deep underground facility being built near Natanz) and uranium stockpiles, but it should not be the only goal, and for sure not the priority.

The biggest danger threatening Israel’s existence remains the nuclear program. It would be better to confront this threat with Washington, but Israel also must be fully prepared to do it alone.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy