How Israel and the Arab World Are Making Peace Without a Peace Deal

(Politico) Aaron David Miller - For the past five years, contacts between Israel and the Gulf states - especially Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain - have been booming. Trade between Israel and the Gulf states is now estimated at $1 billion a year. Much more on the intelligence and security side is reportedly happening below the waterline. Contrary to the warnings from diplomats, analysts and peaceniks who predicted Israel would become a pariah if it didn't settle up with the Palestinians, Israel seems to be making more progress toward normalization with Arab regimes without a credible peace process than with one. One of the reasons the Israeli-Arab state detente has gained traction is because it's homegrown - emerging from the perception of common threat. The rise of Iran and Sunni jihadists spewing terror across the region has created a narrow but important coincidence of interests between Israel and the Arab world. Increasing exhaustion and frustration with the never-ending Palestinian cause has opened up more space for Arab states to follow their own interests. Will the Israel-Arab state honeymoon last? The answer is probably yes, anchored as it is in self-interest. The writer is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment and a former State Department Middle East analyst and negotiator.

2020-05-28 00:00:00

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