Sunni Arab Leaders Are No Longer Willing to Wait for the Palestinians

(The Hill) Dennis Ross and David Makovsky - In speaking to Arab leaders of nine states in Jedda, Saudi Arabia, President Biden said that "we will operate in the context of the Middle East as it is today: a region more united than it has been in years....Increasingly, the world is seeing the Mideast through the lens of opening and opportunity." As he told an Israeli television interviewer, "the more Israel is integrated into the region as an equal and is accepted, the more likely there is going to be a means by which they can eventually come to accommodation with the Palestinians down the road." Biden is saying that ties with the Arabs give Israel a gateway to an Israeli-Palestinian deal. For Sunni Arab leaders, what began as under-the-radar cooperation against terror and traditional security threats is now expanding to include domestic economic needs. With Israeli business people now doing business in Saudi Arabia, albeit on second passports, the phenomena is clearly not limited to the countries that have made formal peace with Israel. What the Palestinian leadership has failed to realize is that the needs of Arab states now mean they are no longer willing to wait for the Palestinians, particularly because they doubt the Palestinian leadership is capable of doing anything to help resolve the conflict. The continuing Palestinian public incitement against Israel, which necessarily legitimizes violence, gives the Israeli public little reason to think that the Palestinians will ever make real peace. Dennis Ross is counselor at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, where David Makovsky is director of the Project on Arab-Israel Relations.

2022-08-04 00:00:00

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