USA and the Middle East

I have been thinking that we may have seen proof that the American approach to peace in the Middle East, especially concerning Israel, has been counterproductive.

This is of course ever since Bahrain and UAE “normalised” their relationship with Israel – an effective peace agreement – followed shortly thereafter by a more muted normalisation agreement between Israel and Sudan, a country that actually sent soldiers to fight against Israel.

This video from 2016 with then-Secretary of State, John Kerry, adds more evidence:

(twitter)

That’s just 4 years ago, where USA refused any talks about unilateral peace deals in the area. Then, 4 years of chaotic American foreign policy, and suddenly it’s possible. Yes, I am reluctant to give Trump credit for the success which I think is probably more likely to be due to more regional diplomatic work, but the actions of his government probably helped.

By accident, most likely.

But this critique of Barack Obama’s autobiography doesn’t exactly paint a picture of a competent American foreign policy in the area before Trump, either:

The most disingenuous sentence of Obama’s history of Israel is in his description of what happened during the 30 years following Israel’s establishment: “For the next three decades, Israel would engage in a succession of conflicts with its Arab neighbors … .”

What? I had to read that sentence many times because I could not believe that a president of the United States could write such misleading, deceptive and damaging words about his country’s close ally.

Israel did not “engage” in any conflict with the surrounding Arab countries. The Arab armies and their terrorists attacked Israel again and again, and Israelis fought to defend themselves.

I don’t think any nation is innocent but while “Obama’s revisionist ‘Promised Land’” may be written by a Israeli former politician, I think it is important to at least look at the claims. And as far as I can see, they mostly hold up, leaving an impression of a former American President only a little less ignorant about the Middle East than the current President.

My hope for peace between North and South Korea fell flat and while I gave the American President credit for the good start I also blame his lack of stamina – mental and political – for the failure. I hope that the “normalisations” in the Middle East are the works of regional governments and will last.

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