Peace Process 101

In a new National Review piece, Elliott Abrams makes an important observation:

As a result [of Obama’s Middle East policy], “world opinion” toward Israel has gone from cool to frigid — in Europe especially. U.N. actions such as the Goldstone Report are one manifestation of this; denunciations of Israel, not to mention efforts to prevent Israeli officials from speaking on campuses and indeed to jail them if they come to Europe, are others. The cause is clear: As the United States, Israel’s closest friend, has backed away from Israel since the Obama inauguration, Europeans have backed even farther. They have seen the American coolness as license, indeed encouragement, to excoriate the Jewish state, and have enthusiastically done so.

This could be called Peace Processing 101, and it is obviously a course nobody in the White House has taken. Israel is a small country surrounded by people who hate and continue trying to destroy her. If Israel is to make concessions or take risks for peace, Israelis must feel secure enough to do so. How is this accomplished? The main way is through the U.S.-Israeli relationship. The closeness of the two countries serves the U.S. strategic objective of compelling the Arabs to abandon their quest for eliminating the Jewish state, and it reduces Israel’s fear of taking risks for peace. This is one of the major factors that led to peace with Egypt and Jordan — not Israeli weakness and isolation, but the Arab perception of Israeli strength.

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Peace Process 101

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