During a talk at the Brookings Institution, John Kerry, then secretary of state for the Obama administration, stated, “Palestinian peace was a precondition for Israel to make peace with its Arab neighbors,” as reported by the WSJ.
According to John Kerry:
There will be no separate peace between Israel and the Arab world. I want to make that very clear to all of you,” “I’ve heard several prominent politicians in Israel sometimes saying, well, the Arab world’s in a different place now, and we just have to reach out to them and we can work some things with the Arab world, and we’ll deal with the Palestinians. No. No, no and no.
In U.S.-brokered negotiations this year, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan agreed to normalize relations with Israel without a resolution in the Palestinian conflict, continues the WSJ.
The Abraham Accords were achieved more or less by reversing team Obama’s Mideast policy, and closer Arab-Israeli cooperation puts the U.S. on a firmer regional footing.
Everyone makes mistakes, and Mr. Kerry was reflecting (at the time) the consensus of professional Washington and the Mideast peace industry.
Yet the deals show that hard power and shared interests matter more in world politics than center-left sentimentality. Israel and Sunni Arab states have a common threat in Iran and can benefit from mutual investment. Let’s hope the Biden Administration doesn’t throw away this progress.