Israel Comes Full Circle with Sudan

(Jerusalem Post) Dore Gold - On Sep. 1, 1967, just after Israel's victory in the Six-Day War, an Arab League Summit convened in Khartoum, Sudan, and issued what became known as the Khartoum Declaration, which stated: "No peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with Israel." Today that declaration has been reversed. People forget that Sudan actually is an Arab state and a member of the Arab League. It decided that the time had arrived for its new president to meet openly with the prime minister of Israel. Precisely when the Palestinian Authority was trying to incite the Arab states against the U.S. peace plan, one of the largest Arab countries was thawing its relationship with Israel. In the past, the Sudanese had brought together many of the main Islamist militant organizations and supplied them with training camps, including the Muslim Brotherhood, the Algerian GIA, Hizbullah, and even the PLO. It was one of the earliest places that hosted the Saudi jihadist Osama bin Laden. Tehran gained access to Port Sudan on the Red Sea for its naval forces. Frequently they carried shipments of Iranian weapons that were transported northward into Egypt, destined for Sinai and Gaza. This was one of the key supply routes for Hamas as it built up its capacity to wage war against Israel. Then Sudan changed its pro-Iranian orientation and aligned its foreign policy with Saudi Arabia, severing Hamas' Sudanese supply line. Sudan was part of the joint front against Israel in many significant ways. With Sudan exploring new ties with Israel, that front has been split. And the forces that waged war against the West over the last two decades have lost one of their most important bases of operations. The writer is president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and previously served as director general of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he undertook multiple initiatives in Africa on behalf of the prime minister.

2020-02-04 00:00:00

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