The Arab World Is in a Different Place on Peace with Israel

(YouTube) Amb. Ron Dermer interviewed by Jordan B. Peterson - The Abraham Accords were formally signed on Sep. 15, 2020. They represent the surfacing of Israel's relations with our Arab partners, particularly in the Gulf. By around 2012, the Saudi leaders had changed and wanted to end the Arab-Israeli conflict. What changed was a fundamental shift in their understanding and throughout the Gulf as the result of several factors that came together to give Arab leaders a different understanding of their most vital security interests and this changed their approach to Israel. One was the Arab Spring. All across the region things were starting to get unstable. Regimes that were certain of their hold on power for decades to come were less certain. Second was the rise of Iran as a very dangerous power in the region. Iran is a Shiite radical power. They not only threaten Israel with destruction but they also threaten their Sunni Arab neighbors. Third was the rise of Sunni radicalism in the form of ISIS and al-Qaeda. Fourth was the reduction of the U.S. military footprint in the Middle East. At the same time we have seen the rise of Israel as a global technological power. Israel is the second great source of innovation outside of Silicon Valley. The Arab leaders see that their security interests and their economic interests are tied to a partnership with Israel. They want to move into an alliance with Israel, but these regimes have been poisoning their populations against Israel for seven decades. The Saudis are the invisible hand behind the whole Abraham Accords. It wouldn't have gotten off the ground without at least their tacit support. But this was something that was possible to do years before. In 2012-13, they were ready for peace. Netanyahu spoke about it at the UN before the Trump years and said, "Never in my lifetime have I seen the possibilities that I see today. The Arab world is in a different place." A peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia is effectively the end of the century-old Arab-Israeli conflict. The reason why we have the Israeli-Palestinian conflict today is the same reason we've had a conflict for the last century, which is the refusal of the Palestinians to recognize the legitimacy of a nation-state of the Jewish people in any boundary in our ancestral homeland. In their minds, we stole their house. They don't understand that this is the territory where the patriarchs of the Jewish people prayed or where our prophets preached and our kings ruled. It's a complete denial of any historical connection between the Jews and the Land of Israel. They refuse to accept some sort of compromise. The Abraham Accords is a beginning of a shift - the removal of the Palestinians' veto over Israel-Arab peace. Ron Dermer served as the Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. from 2013 to 2021.

2022-09-19 00:00:00

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