Trump v. Biden — The Middle East Then, and Again
"There will be no separate peace between Israel and the Arab world."
On January 28, a joint statement by President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu set the stage for a series of historic agreements this year. President Trump has now received multiple Nobel Peace Prize nominations for those successes. Notably, those are earned nominations, unlike the “participation trophy” given to Barack Obama for just showing up.
At that historic meeting, Netanyahu said: “Like you, Mr. President, I understand the magnitude of this moment. With you, Mr. President, I am prepared to seize the moment and change history. I know that there will be opposition; there’s always opposition. I know there will be many obstacles along the way — much criticism. But we have an old Jewish saying: ‘If not now, when? And if not us, who?’”
Last week, Morocco became the fourth Islamic nation to signal peace by normalizing relations with Israel — which is a prerequisite for a broader historic peace deal in the region. The previous nations already normalizing relations are the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Sudan. We may well hear more from Saudi Arabia before the end of the year.
According to Netanyahu: “I want to first thank President Trump for his extraordinary efforts to expand peace, to bring peace to Israel and the peoples of the Middle East. President Trump, the people of Israel and the State of Israel will be forever indebted to you for your magnificent efforts on our behalf. … The light of peace on this Hanukkah day has never shone brighter than today in the Middle East.”
Recall the words of Obama’s inept secretary of state — not Hillary Clinton, but her successor, the enhanced version of ineptitude, John Forbes Kerry. In 2016, Kerry, the author of the “Iran Nuke Deal” who, with Clinton, gave rise to the Islamic State, declared regarding Middle East peace: “There will be no separate peace between Israel and the Arab world. I want to make that very clear with all of you. I’ve heard several prominent politicians in Israel sometimes saying, ‘Well, the Arab world is in a different place now. We just have to reach out to them. We can work some things with the Arab world and we’ll deal with the Palestinians.’ No. No, no, and no. There will be no advance and separate peace with the Arab world without the Palestinian process and Palestinian peace. Everybody needs to understand that.”
I am quite sure that presumptive President-elect Joe Biden, his soon-to-be successor Kamala Harris, and their former Obama administration retreads support Kerry’s feckless effort to ensure there would never be a “separate peace between Israel and the Arab world.” They will do their best to undermine the extraordinary Trump administration successes in the region.