If Arab States Are Involved in the Peace Process, They Will Seek to Fulfill Palestinian Aspirations

(Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington) Dennis Ross - Today, Israel and many of the Arab Gulf states see a common strategic threat emanating from Iran. In Saudi Arabia in August 2016, leading Saudi officials told me, "Israel is not an enemy." They were instead preoccupied with Iran and its use of Shia militias to weaken Arab states and gain hegemony in the region. The Saudis and Emiratis, and their Arab allies, see the Iranian threat in existential terms. Saudi officials said they could anticipate far-reaching collaboration with Israel once the Palestinian conflict was resolved. There is, in all likelihood, security cooperation going on below the radar screen. No one calls attention to it, but that does not make it any less real. After Israel struck a convoy on January 18, 2015, traveling near the Golan Heights, killing an Iranian Quds Force general, Mohammad Ali Allahdadi, and a Hizbullah operative, Jihad Mughniyeh (the son of Imad Mughniyeh), the Twitter-sphere in Saudi Arabia lit up applauding what the Israelis had done. While the logic for an Arab or regional role in solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is strong, there should be no illusions. The Arab states will want to show that they are delivering for the Palestinians what they cannot deliver for themselves. They will not forsake Palestinian national aspirations but seek to fulfill them. The writer is counselor at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy and served in senior positions in four U.S. administrations.

2017-04-28 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive