Sunday, September 13, 2020

  • Sunday, September 13, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
This morning I tweeted:
I'm still trying to figure out how the brilliant diplomats of the Obama administration weren't able to bring accords between Israel and any Arab country, and the incompetent Trump team managed to do it twice.
While the tweet is snarky, there is a serious answer.

The Obama administration (and, to be fair, plenty of previous administrations as well) took for granted various assumptions about the Middle East. Some of these are in the "everyone knows" category, some of them are from an inability of understanding the dynamics of the Arab world and taking some of their leaders' honor-based statements as being 100% true. 

Donald Trump's major strength as President is that he does not accept many of the assumptions that others took for granted, and therefore he has not been straitjacketed by blind adherence to assumptions that are accepted as facts.

Some of these assumptions, in no particular order:

1. Israel is the intransigent party.
2. Settlements are the biggest obstacle to peace.
3. Jerusalem is an intractable problem that must be left for the end of negotiations.
4. Jerusalem must be the capital of Palestine in any peace deal.
5. The Arab world cannot make peace with Israel without a Palestinian state first.
6. Unless Palestinians' demands are met, the Middle East (and maybe the world) will explode into war and terrorism.
7. Solving other Middle East issues depends on the Palestinians accepting a peace plan with Israel.
8. The Arab street will never accept any deviation from the Palestinian demands on settlements and Jerusalem.
9. Arab nations will forego their own self-interest for solidarity with the Palestinian cause.
10. A right wing Israeli government cannot be serious about peace.
11. All of Jerusalem is in dispute until Palestinians are given the parts that were under Jordanian rule for 19 years.
12. The US must be in sync with the UN's and EU's dictates for peace.
13. If Palestinians reject a plan, Israel - as the stronger party - should be pressured into more concessions.
14. A two-state solution is the only possible solution.
15. Israeli rejectionism must be punished by the US, but Palestinian rejectionism must never have any negative consequences.
16. The Oslo process is the only possible way towards peace.
17. Any cooperation between Israel and Arab nations must remain quiet and under the radar; if they go public they would be torpedoed by the Arab media and people.
18. Israel is the only adult in the Middle East and as such the only one that should make sacrifices for peace.

When looked at in total, we see that many of these are articles of faith - almost a religion - that have little relationship with reality. And many of these are self-fulfilling assumptions. 

Trump looks at the world a completely different way, one with completely different assumptions. Trump's assumption is that everyone wants a deal that maximizes their own self-interest, and that the US can facilitate such deals when it is in the US' own self interest. 

It is still an open question whether the Bahrain and UAE deals will work out. But it is clear that the Obama-era assumptions are completely and thoroughly wrong, something that nearly all of those diplomats cannot yet accept. 

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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