Wednesday, December 26, 2018

"Tectonic Shifts" in MidEast

Tectonic Shifts in Attitudes Toward Israel - Daniel Pipes, PhD 

As Arabs and Muslims warm to Israel, the Left grows colder. 

It is striking to note that full-scale Arab state warfare versus Israel lasted a mere 25 years (1948-73) and ended 45 long years ago; and that Turkey and Iran have since picked up the anti-Zionist torch.

That Arab and Muslim enmity has fractured, probably never to be reconstituted, amounts to one tectonic shift in the Arab-Israeli conflict. The second, no less important, involves the global Left's growing hostility to Israel.

Attitudes toward the Jewish state follow an almost linear progression of growing negativity as one goes from right to left. 

It was not always thus. Joseph Stalin was so instrumental to Israel's birth in 1947-49 by providing diplomatic support and armaments that Abba Eban, Israel's first UN ambassador, observed that "we couldn't have made it, either diplomatically or militarily," if not for Soviet help. Democrats Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy rank among the most pro-Israel of American presidents, but Republican Dwight Eisenhower was unquestionably the most antagonistic.

MbS versus Jeremy Corbyn symbolizes these two tectonic shifts, as does Israel now enjoying better relations with Egypt than with Sweden. The president of Chad turns up in Israel but a singer from New Zealand does not. Israel's athletes compete in the United Arab Emirates but get banned in Spain. Muslims show increasing indifference to the breakdown in Palestinian-Israeli diplomacy, but Leftists express growing anger over it.

Only an Israel victory and a Palestinian defeat will achieve [a resolution of this issue]. In other words, getting the Palestinians to cry uncle is an urgent priority for Israel and its supporters.
[Washington Times] 

Friday, December 14, 2018

‘Game Changing’ Arab Israeli Reconciliation?

Report claims Saudi Crown Prince planning ‘game-changing’ meeting with Israeli Prime Minister
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and President Donald Trump
The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, is planning a “game-changing” meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the Middle East Eye reported Thursday.

According to the London-based, Qatari-funded outlet, the sources in the Saudi kingdom claimed that the Crown Prince is “seriously considering” a “game-changing” meeting with Netanyahu, which would be hosted by President Donald Trump.

The plan for a meeting with the Israeli leader, including a public handshake modeled on the Begin-Sadat handshake at Camp David in 1978, is reportedly being developed by a special team put together by the Crown Prince to deflect criticism following the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at a Saudi consulate in Turkey in October.

The move is reportedly being promoted in part in the hopes of curbing plans by Western powers, including a pending motion in the US Senate, against the Saudi leadership over Khashoggi’s murder.

“MBS asked his task force to study this proposal and he hinted that he liked the idea,” a Saudi official told the Middle East Eye.

“The task force agreed that without a major stunt, there is a real danger of a series of decisions from Congress that would fundamentally set back the Saudi-US relationship, which is key for the crown prince.”

Bruce's notes
Pinch me.  While most likely a Saudi 'trial balloon' or a nefarious leak, if this report turns out to be accurate, we could be looking at a major development that would change the course of MidEast politics.  It could eclipse the failed Oslo agreement and be the most significant handshake in ages.  Could the [murderous, and now vulnerable/more flexible] Saudis provide the juice needed to move the Arab-Israeli conflict toward resolution? Will the exchange include a plan to hit Iran's underground nuclear facilities with bunker bombs?