Is Opposition to Israel Losing Its Hold on the Arab World?

Reflecting on recent travels in Lebanon and Israel, Andrew Doran explains why Arab hostility toward the Jewish state is beginning to crumble:

First, since the Arab Spring, regional leaders came to see that their people are not so easily manipulated by scapegoating resistance narratives that project domestic problems onto a distant and somewhat abstract enemy. Anti-Zionist ideology has been a useful governing tactic, but it’s done little to address the real challenges of urbanization, unemployment, economic modernization, education, food security, and access to water.

Second, it’s nearly impossible to hide from citizens the economic success of Israel’s pluralistic society and democratic spirit. Every country that develops trade with the tiny Jewish startup nation enjoys material benefits. And those that punish their citizens for contact with Israeli markets necessarily stagnate.

The third reason is sheer exhaustion. Arab nationalism and Islamism have failed. People want competent administration, not perpetual conflict. . . . The people of the Middle East see the rest of the world passing them by—and now, with the Abraham Accords, they see states in the region coming to terms with Israel’s existence.

Read more at The Hill

More about: Abraham Accords, Lebanon, US-Israel relations

To Save Gaza, the U.S. Needs a Strategy to Restrain Iran

Since the outbreak of war on October 7, America has given Israel much support, and also much advice. Seth Cropsey argues that some of that advice hasn’t been especially good:

American demands for “restraint” and a “lighter footprint” provide significant elements of Hamas’s command structure, including Yahya Sinwar, the architect of 10/7, a far greater chance of surviving and preserving the organization’s capabilities. Its threat will persist to some extent in any case, since it has significant assets in Lebanon and is poised to enter into a full-fledged partnership with Hizballah that would give it access to Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps for recruitment and to Iranian-supported ratlines into Jordan and Syria.

Turning to the aftermath of the war, Cropsey observes that it will take a different kind of involvement for the U.S. to get the outcomes it desires, namely an alternative to Israeli and to Hamas rule in Gaza that comes with buy-in from its Arab allies:

The only way that Gaza can be governed in a sustainable and stable manner is through the participation of Arab states, and in particular the Gulf Arabs, and the only power that can deliver their participation is the United States. A grand bargain is impossible unless the U.S. exerts enough leverage to induce one.

Militarily speaking, the U.S. has shown no desire seriously to curb Iranian power. It has persistently signaled a desire to avoid escalation. . . . The Gulf Arabs understand this. They have no desire to engage in serious strategic dialogue with Washington and Jerusalem over Iran strategy, since Washington does not have an Iran strategy.

Gaza’s fate is a small part of a much broader strategic struggle. Unless this is recognized, any diplomatic master plan will degenerate into a diplomatic parlor game.

Read more at National Review

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