"More and more Gulf Arab state officials recognize that the Palestinian people, the Arab states, and the United States (not to mention Israel) would all be better off if new, more constructive Palestinian leaders came to power. At the same time, there is less and less adherence to the conventional view that Israel must make peace with the Palestinians before it can make peace with the Arab states.
By noting that greater strategic cooperation between Israel and the Arab states against Iran would “set the stage for diplomatic breakthroughs,” the Trump peace plan anticipated the UAE-Israel and Bahrain-Israel accords. It implied that such deals could usefully increase pressure on the Palestinians to reform their politics, which is the key to a breakthrough on the issue of Israeli-Palestinian peace.
The message to the Palestinians from yesterday’s White House signing ceremony is that they need a political upheaval—new leaders, new institutions, new ideas—or they are going to become utterly irrelevant in the eyes of the world, including the broader Arab world. As they lose attention, they will lose diplomatic support and economic aid. If they cannot make war and they will not make peace, their hopes to shape their own future will diminish to nothing.
A venerable strategic maxim says that if a problem is too hard, expand it. Trying to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict by focusing only on the Palestinians and the tiny slice of land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea is a mission impossible, but the two new peace deals point the way to a wider and wiser approach: encourage greater cooperation between Israel and the Arab states and enlist those states in pressing the Palestinians to empower new and better leaders.
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That is the most reasonable means to advance U.S. interests and to make Palestinian-Israeli peace possible. The UAE and Bahrain deals with Israel are so full of promise that the U.S. policy that helped bring it about should be continued no matter who wins the presidential election in November."
Read in Foreign Policy.