Don't Ignore Kushner's Quiet Mideast Gains

(National Interest) Ahmed Charai - Jared Kushner, who supervises America's Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts, recognizes that Iran now matters more to the Arabs than Palestine. With Iran and Islamic militants threatening the survival of major Arab states, many Arab leaders have quietly decided to align with Israel - dialing down their interest in the Palestinian drama. Consider that President Trump's plan to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem did not touch off huge protests in Arab capitals or angry editorials in the Arab press. Kushner realizes that more than 60% of Arabs are too young to remember the 1967 and 1973 wars with Israel. As a result, younger Arabs largely accept Israel's existence as a settled fact, and generally see trading with its prosperous economy as essential to their own economic growth. I know. I have heard them tell me these things in the privacy of their living rooms. Kushner has befriended Saudi Arabia's deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. Both are seen as disrupters of the status quo and both favor practical solutions over symbolic displays. Other Gulf Arab leaders that I have met tell me that they have heard positive things about Kushner and are eager to work with him. In short, Kushner's correct reading of this unique moment in Arab politics positions the U.S. to make historic progress in the Middle East. The writer, a Moroccan publisher, is a member of the board of directors of the Atlantic Council.

2018-01-30 00:00:00

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