The Middle East Change of Tune

As we watch yet another El Al airliner land in an Arab capital to cement the fourth peace agreement between Israel and Arab states, one cannot fail but to grasp several important differences between these successful bouts of diplomacy as compared to the failed ones of the last three decades.

Firstly, this is the triumph of the concept of peace for peace rather than the land for peace dogma of the previous failed peacemakers, such a Yossi Beilin, Shimon Peres, Bill Clinton, and especially Barak Hussain Obama.

Second, it proves the old concept that absentees will always lose. By putting themselves in an untenable and non-pragmatic position, the Palestinians have lost their place at the table, and the simple truth is that the world and the middle east are moving on.

Further, it is a pleasure to hear the leader of the Israeli delegation, Mr. Ben-Shabbat speak to Arabs in the language they understand. His first words both in the UAE and in Bahrain where words of peace and faith spoken in perfect classic Arabic. It has taken nearly seventy years for Israel to recognise that in order to negotiate with their Arab neighbours they should put at centre stage Jews from Arab countries who know how to speak to their Arab cousins, and actually share many of their values, rather than the standard mittel-European secular Israeli politicians who represent everything that the Arabs despise.

Finally, it is a testament to the courage and foresight of leaders such as Benyamin Netanyahu and Donald J Trump, who had the courage to change tracks, jettison the old adages and embark on a ‘peace from strength’ mode which recognises that the world has changed, that Israel is the regional power, not only militarily, but also politically and economically, and that having diplomatic relations with it, under the protective cover of the United States, is a win-win for all.