web analytics
≡ Menu

 Trump just might get that Nobel?

17.09.20.  “In the entire modern history of the Middle East, since Israel established its independence in 1948, only four Arab governments have recognised the Jewish state and signed peace treaties with it. Two of those — the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain — did so this week, under the diplomatic sponsorship of US President Donald Trump. It is true this is not as significant as earlier treaties with Egypt and Jordan, but it is a move of transforming, historic importance nonetheless and a tremendous win for Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It up-ends decades of stale but ubiquitous diplomatic formulations. It normalises Israel, normalises the Middle East and is the most promising regional development in decades.”

Source: Greg Sheridan, News Corp

Trump’s play for peace in the Middle East a triumph

In the entire modern history of the Middle East, since Israel established its independence in 1948, only four Arab governments have recognised the Jewish state and signed peace treaties with it.
Two of those — the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain — did so this week, under the diplomatic sponsorship of US President Donald Trump.
It is true this is not as significant as earlier treaties with Egypt and Jordan, but it is a move of transforming, historic importance nonetheless and a tremendous win for Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
It up-ends decades of stale but ubiquitous diplomatic formulations. It normalises Israel, normalises the Middle East and is the most promising regional development in decades.
If this had happened under anyone but Trump it would be hailed as a magnificent triumph of American statecraft and the relevant president would be on their way to a Nobel Peace Prize. Barack Obama won a Nobel prize for good intentions. Yet Obama achieved less than nothing in the Middle East, his only big agreement the disastrous deal that legitimised Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for a temporary promise not to produce nuclear weapons. Trump, in contrast, got two historic, genuine peace treaties.
Trump is certainly a mixed grill, with many grave faults that this column is never shy of pointing out, but on many issues his instincts are good. His support for Israel has been perhaps the one issue where he has been not only right but also consistent. One of Trump’s biggest failings is that when he gets something right he tends to get quickly bored and change his position.
An enormous amount of the political credit for this deal goes to Netanyahu. I have interviewed him many times, when he was a diplomat, an opposition politician, foreign minister and then a couple of times as Prime Minister. Over almost that entire period, but certainly for the past 15 years, Netanyahu has held the view that Israel needs to go forward and normalise relations with as many nations as possible. He refused to accept the Palestinian issue as a roadblock.
Thus he pioneered Israel’s expansive and successful diplomacy in Asia. The Morrison government contributed significantly to all this through its sensible, principled, explicit recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The EU, typically counter-productive, prevents its members from establishing embassies in Jerusalem.
Netanyahu engaged in wide-ranging, often intense, semi-secret co-operation with several Arab states. This was partly based on the Arab states recognising, as does Israel, that the chief threat to their security is Iran.
The Sunni-Shia conflicts of the Middle East have killed vastly more people than were ever threatened in any Arab-Israeli war. The leaders of the Gulf states can see how poorly the Middle East has done economically apart from oil. They see the terror and death in Syria. They see the rise of Islamist terror. Above all they see the terrorism sponsored by Iran and its development of a crescent of influence and power extending through Syria and Lebanon and into Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
They also recognise that they share security interests with Israel. They see Israel as the only successful hi-tech economy and democratic society in their region. They see that Israel has no interest in making life difficult for them; rather the reverse. They also see that Israel, as much as the US, has been the real check on Iranian power.
Nonetheless, it took great courage for the leaders of UAE and Bahrain to embrace full diplomatic recognition, full peace treaties and full normalisation of social, economic and cultural relations with Israel.
The Muslim and Jewish hands of friendship extended in this process magnificently transcend one of the oldest and most bitter religious, cultural and political conflicts the world has known.
The Arab leaders involved have made shrewd assessments of their own national interests, but they deserve praise for the genuinely idealistic element of these accords, which certainly are not without risk for them. These developments would not have taken place without at least the tacit approval of Saudi Arabia.
This move destroys three analytical shibboleths of the Middle East. The first is that all the conflicts of the Middle East are related to the Palestinian dispute or arise from Israel’s nature as a Western nation in the region. This was always junk analysis and is now comprehensively demonstrated as such.
Second, that the only path to peace was for Israel to give up land in return for peace. This is no longer true, if it ever was. It would be completely ridiculous, for example, to ask Israel to return the Golan Heights to Syria so that whatever crazy extremist faction controls southern Syria could use this territory as a point from which to launch attacks on Israel.
The third is that international isolation could convince Israel to make concessions leading to peace. It can’t, it hasn’t and it won’t.
But analysts hate to abandon dead and dying paradigms.
The new peace deals are a condemnation of Palestinian diplomatic strategy. At least twice the Palestinians were offered an independent state in more than 90 per cent of the West Bank and all of Gaza with compensating territory from Israel proper. These offers came from Israeli prime ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert.
I have interviewed both men at length about these offers. The offers were generous and would have been hard to deliver. But they were never tested because the Palestinian leadership pursues a completely unrealistic maximalist agenda, or perhaps because the leadership fears that anyone who makes peace with Israel will be assassin­ated.
The Israeli public became deeply disillusioned with the peace process as a result.
The context of the Middle East dictates that Israel would need extensive security guarantees. Any Palestinian state you could imagine now would have to be effectively demilitarised and Israel would need to maintain some control of the new state’s borders. It would be much less than Palestinians desire.
But the path to a new state is often to get there by stages. The maximalist Palestinian agenda, which has seen previous credible deals rejected, has not upheld Palestinian pride but destroyed, or gravely delayed, Palestinian aspirations.
The folks in the West who consider themselves friends of the Palestinians have not helped them by trying always to keep alive a sense of diplomatic crisis. Diplomatic urgency on this matter has achieved nothing for 50 years. A normalised Israel in a normalised region, sharing aspirations for a good life and for peace and security, is infinitely more promising.

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Ozman 17/09/2020, 6:21 am

    It has been said that when the world is at peace calamity will strike like never before.

    But what a difference to that BLM peacemaker who loves pizza and hotdogs, now living on the seashore at Martha’s Vineyard. The communist Obama gets a peace prize for being elected and, it has been reported, he then drops more bombs on innocent people than were dropped in WW2.

    Hope Trump gets the peace prize. He is the first President that has actually got peace happening, knowing full well that it was the US military-industrial complex that was fostering all these wars around the globe.

  • luk1955 17/09/2020, 6:57 am

    That nobel peace prize was trashed when it got awarded to a bomber who dropped more bombs on people than were dropped in ww2. The nobel prize is now worthless, only its money matters. DT needs to get on with dismantling the war state inhabiting the established political circles of Washington DC. That will be the greatest victory ever. And worth far more than a money prize from the bloke who popularized the war use of explosives.

  • Aktosplatz 17/09/2020, 7:21 am

    Nobel Peace Prize was downgraded a long time ago in the wake of some of its awards to terrorists and to one in particular who did absolutely nothing, in fact, made things worse ( yes, I mean, Barry)

    Trump doesn’t need it – he’s much better.

    • Lorraine 17/09/2020, 9:59 am

      so right Trump doesn’t need it, he is better than that,,, and the lefties will never write about the achievement in the news……He, Trump deserves far more from the world ,as he has done what no one else could. Bravo

  • Penguinite 17/09/2020, 7:27 am

    Trump can’t possibly win! Not while The Democraps and MSM are feeding and seeding the news! Aided and abeted by global arms manufactures and traders.

  • Graham Richards 17/09/2020, 7:32 am

    I still believe he should, at the last moment decline the award. He’ll get far more respect for turning that commie organisation down. He’ll give exceptional reason for doing so.

  • Gary 17/09/2020, 8:02 am

    What can this guy do over the next 4 years? Right now the focus is on middle-eastern relationships and the potential for real, long-enduring peace. But let’s also remember the elimination of ISIS, the North Korean threat, the “calling-out” of China, record employment numbers for black, hispanic, asian, and female workers, and the record number of black businesses opening up across the country, which just scrapes the surface of Trump’s achievements. A man that said “If you elect me, I promise to…”, and then once elected, when ahead and kept his promises…now that’s novel. And he has achieved this whilst enduring such hatred and deception from the left. America, if you don’t want him, please ship to Australia by express parcel service today!

    • Lorraine 17/09/2020, 10:04 am

      So many in Australia do not like President Trump ,in fact I have seen the left denounce him even more so than America does….. Yes as a conservative please send him to Australia, Victoria needs him to belt and road Daniel Andrews with a big boot out, and he would do it with the snap of his fingers

  • nev 17/09/2020, 11:12 am

    I Hope Trump will be awarded the nobel peace prize and I hope even more fervently that he will refuse to accept it, if only to demonstrate that he has no need to diminish himself by accepting an award now so tarnished by this politically correct, left leaning centre of wokeness that sealed its reputation with its endorsement of the worst president in American history and one who stood for anything but peace.
    The only way the nobel committee can ever redeem itself is by finding a way to cancel Obamas award by acknowledging they made a major misjudgement by joining the left in the glorification of this fake, a community organiser with a secret history of every aspect of his life. It was no surprise to the realists of the world that this muddling harebrained teleprompter in chief would go on to become a mass murdering warmonger, the worlds bully boy intent on bringing America to its knees.
    Only after it can right that wrong, can a nobel award be fit to award someone worthy enough to remove its tarnished history.

  • Cotter Pin 18/09/2020, 1:49 pm

    The Egypt and Jordan treaty was in name only. It wasn’t so much a peace treaty as a neutrality treaty. They promised not to invade again.
    These treaties envisage tourism, trade, and cultural exchanges – far more significant.
    Also, they are guaranteed to be supplied with better armament and defence equipment than Iran or Turkey.
    Plus, guessing here, a sharing of specified intel.

Leave a Comment