The Palestinian Tail Can No Longer Wag the Arab Dog

(Times of Israel) Josef Joffe - For half a century, an entire peace industry churned out the mantra that the Palestinians were the core of the Mideast conflict, an idea that collapsed after the Israel-UAE deal. Credit for the change should go to those pious revolutionaries in Tehran, led by Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who unwittingly engineered the historic realignment. The heirs of Darius have been on an expansionist roll ever since their war against Iraq ended in 1988. They keep working on a nuclear armory while fielding ever longer-range missiles. Iran has advanced all the way to the Mediterranean. It now has a border with Israel, thanks to Hizbullah and Hamas. The Middle East stage is home to an unending intra-Islamic battle between creeds and sects, tribes and ethnicities, potentates and oppressed states and ideologies. It is occupied by ruthless actors like Turkey, Russia and Iran, plus ISIS and non-state killer brigades. Internal war, not Israel, is the supreme threat. In this theater, the misery of the Palestinians has shrunk into a side-show, if not a nuisance. Maybe, Mahmoud Abbas' successor will realize that the Palestinian tail can no longer wag the Arab dog and sit down in earnest with Israel. Heavenly rewards - billions in aid and investment - are guaranteed. The writer, a Distinguished Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, serves on the Editorial Council of Die Zeit in Hamburg, Germany.

2020-11-05 00:00:00

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