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

July 25, 2022 | Andrew Doran
About the author: Andrew Doran is the director of Philos Catholic. He served on the policy planning staff at the U.S. Department of State and was a cofounder of In Defense of Christians. He is an Army veteran and attorney.

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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