Since the founding of Israel in 1948, Israel and the Arabs have been at war starting with the 1948 Arab-Israel War. There have been a series of shooting wars including the 1967 War and the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
In both of these wars, the Israelis emerged victorious by the skin of their teeth and acquired territory that was used to launch the underlying attacks that started these wars. [Remember the fact that Israel ended up with MORE territory when folks begin to whisper that Israel needs to return to the pre-1967 borders, meaning Israel needs to return its conquered lands.]
It is important to know that Israel was the product of the United Nations 1947 Partition Plan for Palestine. This plan recommended three things:
1. The creation of an independent Arab State;
2. The creation of an independent Jewish State; and,
3. The creation of an internationalized Jerusalem.
You may recognize that plan as the Two State Solution which continues to this day.
Prior to the creation of the country of Israel, Jewish interests were overseen by something called the “Jewish Agency.”
The Jewish Agency approved the UN 1947 Partition Plan for Palestine. The Arab leaders, the Palestinians, did not. To this day, the Palestinians have never agreed to any peace plan promulgated by Arabs, Americans, the United Nations, or any other sponsor.
When the UN could not get the Arabs to embrace the partition plan, the Israelis formed their own country in accordance with the plan and have now grown and prospered such that its 9,000,000 people are the 31st largest economy in the world based on nominal Gross Domestic Product.
Israel — with its highest standard of living in the Middle East — is a liberal democracy with a parliamentary system, proportional representation, and universal suffrage. Arabs within Israel vote in all elections. It is a hotbed of entrepreneurial zeal.
Where are we going, Big Red Car?
Where we are going, dear reader, is to the realization that the Arab world, the Israelis, and the United States are no longer waiting on the Palestinians to make peace with the Israelis.
In the past, the world said that the Israelis and the Palestinians had to make peace before any other Arab country would step up. Wrong. That ship has sailed.
Maybe, the Israelis and the Palestinians never make peace?
The Palestinians have overplayed their hand and the world is moving on without them.
What is the history of peace in the Middle East?
Witness the following peace accords:
1. After the 1978 Camp David Accords, Egypt (President Anwar Sadat) and Israel (Prime Minister Menachem Begin) signed a peace treaty negotiated under the guidance of President Jimmy Carter.
The effective date was 26 March 1979.
Israel withdrew its military forces from the Sinai Peninsula and Egypt agreed to maintain the area as a demilitarized zone. The United Nations could not set up a peace keeping force because the Soviet Union would veto it. Instead, a Multinational Force and Observors were set up to perform that function.
Israeli ships can now pass freely through the Suez Canal and the Strait of Tiran and the Gulf of Aqaba are now international waterways. In 1980, regular air travel was initiated and Egypt began to sell crude oil to Israel.
Egypt recognized Israel, the first Arab nation to do so; and, thereafter, they exchanged Ambassadors.
2. Jordan and Israel entered into a peace treaty in 1994 called both: Treaty of Peace Between the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan or the Wadi Araba Treaty.
The treaty is modestly complicated, but it sets up peace, trade, and tourism cooperation. The treaty has been under a ton of pressure, but remains in place to this date with cooperation on a desalination plant at the port of Aqaba in Jordan.
One of the most important elements in the agreement is a Jordanian promise to never allow any third party to use its territory of to launch an attack on Israel.
3. This brings us to the agreements with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates which were signed last week.
These agreements provide for formal diplomatic relations, an exchange of Ambassadors, and the building of embassies in each others’ capitals. In addition, there will be tourism and trade.
There are now four countries that have made peace with the Israelis. None of these countries waited on the Palestinians to get with the program.
Bottom line it, Big Red Car
OK, here are the big points:
1. The Arabs are tired of waiting for the Palestinians (Hamas) to get right with Israel. The Palestinians have been unable to find anything they can agree with since 1947. They never will.
2. The Arabs see a world moving away from them with a world no longer interested in hearing about grievances that are now more than 70 years old.
3. The United States has terminated its $750,000,000 annual support for the Palestinians which puts more pressure on the Arabs to fund them.
The US supports both Egypt and Jordan with military equipment. It will also sell military equipment to the UAE.
4. The US is weaning itself from the Middle East because it is energy independent. In a future Iran v the Arab world conflict the US may sit it out because we don’t need the oil. We’re independent.
5. The Arabs see the Middle East as having a big bully in the form of Iran.
They also see the US as the only credible force opposed to Iran and its state sponsored terror campaign (which impacts Gaza and Lebanon).
Both the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain could see a scenario in which Iran comes across the water and gets them. The Iranian Quds has been plotting against them for decades. This is why when the US took out the leader of the Quds force it was such a big deal.
6. All the Arab countries get that Iran is run by lunatics and will never be their friend. [I personally think that Iran will implode and there will be regime change. Give it a few more years of US economic sanctions.]
A quick word about Saudi Arabia.
1. The US and Saudi Arabia have good relations, better than we have had in years.
2. Saudi Arabia still wants a Palestinian homeland and a return to the 1967 borders. The 1967 borders is not going to happen, but the Palestinian homeland is going to happen.
Note: this is all Saudi Arabia wants and it is doable with the current Israeli regime.
3. The answer in any negotiation is always no, no, no, no, no — until one day it is YES.
4. Saudi Arabia wants a non-nuclear Iran or a nuclear Saudi Arabia.
The US doesn’t want anybody in the Middle East to have a nuclear weapon (except for Israel which already has one or a hundred).
The big thing here is that the world got done what the world could get done. This is a 180 degree turn from the mandate that Israel and the Palestinians mend their fences first before the Arab world comes on board. This is a big thing.
Thanks, Trump. Thanks, Arabs. Thanks, Israel. Thanks, God. Peace. Isn’t it grand?