Middle East Oppourtunity? - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Middle East Oppourtunity?
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Though I consider myself a skeptic, Mark Helprin has a characteristically thoughtful (though uncharacteristically dovish) piece in the NY Times, arguing that this may be the best chance for peace between Israel and the Palestinians since Egypt and Israel came to terms almost 30 years ago. Helprin takes a contrarian view on the Lebanon War, arguing that it actually “chastened” Hezbollah. He also believes that Hamas overplayed its hand, and supports the strategy of helping Mahmoud Abbas economically develop the West Bank:

The starving and oppressed Gazans who watch Hamas fire rockets, the chief effect of which is to summon Israeli tanks, may soon see a prosperous West Bank at the brink of statehood and at peace with its neighbors and the world. The quarantine of Gaza will cast a bright light upon the normalization of the West Bank. And although Hamas leaders portray Mr. Abbas as a collaborator, it is they who may be held to account for keeping more than a million of their own people hostage to a gratuitous preference for struggle over success.

Fearful of Iran, the Arab states may also be more cooperative:

The sudden and intense commonality of interest between the Palestinian Authority and Israel is the equivalent of the Israeli-Egyptian core of 1977. But today, the Arabs, in the second circle, have largely reversed position. Fearful of Iran’s sponsorship of war, chaos and revolution, they will apply their weight against the rejectionists.

Egypt, the Persian Gulf states and Jordan have so much to contend with at home and in the east that they cannot afford an active front in their midst, and are therefore forming ranks against Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, bringing most of the rest of the Arab states with them.

This is extraordinary and it is where we are now: on the verge of a rare alignment of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the leading Arab nations and the major powers…

As they say, read the whole thing.

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