September 16, 2019

There Is No Key to Middle East Peace

“For decades, many foreign policy officials, academics and commentators across the West and the Arab world have argued that there is a key to stability and peace in the Middle East.

For generations, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been portrayed as the key to making regional peace. Proponents of this concept have claimed that a solution of the protracted conflict would pave the way to Middle East peace, less terrorism and less anti-Americanism, and would eliminate Iran’s regional expansionism and nuclear pursuits.

According to this logic, if Palestinians had a state, all the Arab countries would become secular constitutional democracies run by rulers respecting human rights, Turkey would guarantee the right of self-determination to Kurds, Iran would cut support for its proxies, and militant Salafists would call off their jihad.

There is no similar case in diplomatic history that was so misunderstood by so many entities for such a long time. Roots of this belief can be traced back to British foreign policy by the end of the 1930s. The British believed that their concerns in the region – such as access to oil, their relations with the individual Arab countries, undercutting French positions and keeping Nazi Germany from gaining more of a foothold – would play out once the problem of Palestine was solved to the satisfaction of the Arab countries.”

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