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

July 25 2022

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.

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Read more at The Hill

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

 

Will Tensions Rise between the U.S. and Israel?

Unlike his past many predecessors, President Joe Biden does not have a plan for solving the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Moreover, his administration has indicated its skepticism about renewing the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. John Bolton nevertheless believes that there could be a collision between the new Benjamin Netanyahu-led Israeli government and the Biden White House:

In possibly his last term, Netanyahu’s top national-security priority will be ending, not simply managing, Iran’s threat. This is infinitely distant from Biden’s Iran policy, which venerates Barrack Obama’s inaugural address: “we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

Tehran’s fist is today otherwise occupied, pummeling its own people. Still, it will continue menacing Israel and America unless and until the internal resistance finds ways to fracture the senior levels of Iran’s regular military and the Revolutionary Guards. Netanyahu undoubtedly sees Iran’s growing domestic turmoil as an opportunity for regime change, which Israel and others can facilitate. Simultaneously, Jerusalem can be preparing its military and intelligence services to attack Tehran’s nuclear program, something the White House simply refuses to contemplate seriously. Biden’s obsession with reviving the disastrous 2015 nuclear deal utterly blinds the White House to the potential for a more significant victory.

To make matters worse, Biden has just created a Washington-based position at the State Department, a “special representative for Palestinian affairs,” that has already drawn criticism in Israel both for the new position itself and for the person named to fill it. Advocated as one more step toward “upgrading” U.S. relations with the Palestinian Authority, the new position looks nearly certain to become the locus not of advancing American interests regarding the failed Authority, but of advancing the Authority’s interests within the Biden administration.

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Read more at 19FortyFive

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran, Joe Biden, U.S.-Israel relationship