The Biden Administration’s Outmoded Response to Terror Attacks in Israel

In December 2016, then-Secretary of State John Kerry insisted that, without first securing peace with the Palestinians, “there will be no separate peace between Israel and the Arab world.” Kerry was proved wrong by the Abraham Accords, which effectively neutralized the Palestinian “veto” over peace agreements between Israel and Arab countries. Ellie Cohanim argues that the recent spate of terror attacks against Israeli civilians, timed to coincide with a summit between the Jewish state and its new allies, demonstrates the determination of Palestinian and Iranian leaders to “destroy this burgeoning peace.” But the Biden administration hasn’t learned the lessons of the recent past:

The historic Negev summit, hosted by the Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid and also featuring Lapid’s Bahraini, Egyptian, Moroccan, and Emirati counterparts, was a significant step forward in advancing the Abraham Accords. The optics of four Arab foreign ministers intertwining hands with Israel’s Lapid and America’s Blinken were powerful. Powerful too was the agreement to make the summit a “permanent forum” with “shared capabilities.”

That same [day the summit began], March 27, Blinken met with the Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas. In remarks following their meeting, Blinken created a moral equivalency between Israel’s supposed “settlement expansion, settler violence, home demolitions, [and] evictions” with the PA’s “payments to people convicted of terrorism [and] incitements to violence.”

These equivalencies pose a danger to Israeli lives, as they signal to Palestinians that their terror and violence will be met with American statements about Israeli settlements—instead of demands for accountability among Palestinians. The Biden administration last year went so far as to resume U.S. funding to the PA despite its “pay-for-slay” policy, and against the animating spirit of the duly enacted Taylor Force Act legislation.

It is high time for the Biden administration to recognize the reality of the new Middle East. In this post-Abraham Accords era, there are two clear paths for nations to choose from. One is the path of coexistence, peace, and prosperity. That was the path on display at the Negev Summit. The other is the path of radicalism, terrorism and, ultimately, war.

Read more at Newsweek

More about: Abraham Accords, Joe Biden, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror

Why Egypt Fears an Israeli Victory in Gaza

While the current Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has never been friendly to Hamas, his government has objected strenuously to the Israeli campaign in the southernmost part of the Gaza Strip. Haisam Hassanein explains why:

Cairo has long been playing a double game, holding Hamas terrorists near while simultaneously trying to appear helpful to the United States and Israel. Israel taking control of Rafah threatens Egypt’s ability to exploit the chaos in Gaza, both to generate profits for regime insiders and so Cairo can pose as an indispensable mediator and preserve access to U.S. money and arms.

Egyptian security officials have looked the other way while Hamas and other Palestinian militants dug tunnels on the Egyptian-Gaza border. That gave Cairo the ability to use the situation in Gaza as a tool for regional influence and to ensure Egypt’s role in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would not be eclipsed by regional competitors such as Qatar and Turkey.

Some elements close to the Sisi regime have benefited from Hamas control over Gaza and the Rafah crossing. Media reports indicate an Egyptian company run by one of Sisi’s close allies is making hundreds of millions of dollars by taxing Gazans fleeing the current conflict.

Moreover, writes Judith Miller, the Gaza war has been a godsend to the entire Egyptian economy, which was in dire straits last fall. Since October 7, the International Monetary Fund has given the country a much-needed injection of cash, since the U.S. and other Western countries believe it is a necessary intermediary and stabilizing force. Cairo therefore sees the continuation of the war, rather than an Israeli victory, as most desirable. Hassanein concludes:

Adding to its financial incentive, the Sisi regime views the Rafah crossing as a crucial card in preserving Cairo’s regional standing. Holding it increases Egypt’s relevance to countries that want to send aid to the Palestinians and ensures Washington stays quiet about Egypt’s gross human-rights violations so it can maintain a stable flow of U.S. assistance and weaponry. . . . No serious effort to turn the page on Hamas will yield the desired results without cutting this umbilical cord between the Sisi regime and Hamas.

Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: Egypt, Gaza War 2023, U.S. Foreign policy