Washington's Interests in the Middle East Lie in Building Israeli Power

(Foreign Affairs) Michael S. Doran - For the two-state solution to become viable, Hamas must collapse, Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank must craft a shared vision of the future, and then they must march in lockstep toward a compromise with Israel. The number of stars that must align for this vision to become reality is too great to count. Yet for a quarter century, U.S. leaders have stubbornly insisted on treating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as if it were ripe for settlement. Between 1993 and 2017, three presidents and dozens of their senior aides invested thousands of hours in pursuit of a permanent peace agreement. No other diplomatic goal has received this level of sustained attention. The meager fruits of this work do not justify the massive investment. More than ever before, Washington's interests lie in building Israeli power to shore up the battered U.S. regional security structure, not in tearing it down in the pursuit of a peace fantasy. It is the responsibility of Palestinian leaders, whose politics remain riddled with irredentism, to prove that their nationalism can promote international peace and stability. The onus is once again on Israel's rivals to demonstrate that their aspirations serve U.S. interests. The writer, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, served as Senior Director for the Near East and North Africa at the National Security Council and as U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense.

2020-06-04 00:00:00

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