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Gulf Crisis—Palestine Opportunity
Squeezing Qatar to Make Hamas Scream
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  • WigWag

    The question is whether the Sunni Arab states can induce the Palestinians to make a deal that is far less generous than they ever imagined. It would require abandoning the hope of repatriating Arab refugees to Israel; it would require a significantly smaller footprint for a Palestinian State than the Palestinians think they are entitled to; it would require a permanent presence for Israeli troops in the Jordan Valley (something Jordan also wants); it would require an Israeli role in maintaining security in a demilitarized Palestinian State; it would require an opportunity for settlers to stay put in the newly “sovereign” Palestinian territory and it would require Israeli control over Palestinian airspace.

    Without these guarantees, Israel is far better off with the status quo than it would be with a peace agreement. Israel is already prosperous and growing more prosperous. It already enjoys a degree of security that Western Europeans should envy. Israel’s military is the regions behemoth and its citizens are healthy and happy.

    Exactly how will Israelis be better off with a peace deal with the Palestinians than they will be without one. Israel’s most dangerous adversary, the EU nations, are in terminal decline; to please exactly whom should the Israelis make a bad peace deal now?

    To make this work, the Sunni Arab nations will have to deliver the heads of the Palestinians to the Israelis on a silver platter (metaphorically speaking).

    If they’re prepared to do that a peace deal may be worth making. Anything less appetizing is not even worth thinking about.

    • Isaiah6020

      Preach Brother WigWag, PREACH!!!!

    • Andrew Allison

      Cliff notes: it’s not going to happen.

  • PCB

    It sounds almost crazy enough to work.

  • D4x

    The squeeze on Qatar is more about Egypt wanting the MB to join Hamas and Hezbollah, (and ISIS…) as official terrorist organizations. Before anyone gets too excited about a Hamas-free Fatah leading to the mythical peace in Jerusalem, keep your eyes on the southern Syria border, and the de-escalation zone from the Golan east.

    Bonus points for unnerving Turkey.:
    “…But above all, the increasingly conspiratorial and paranoid mindset in Ankara has some worrying that Turkey may somehow be in the line of fire. …”

    [At this point, will anyone ever notice there is not much difference between Fatah and Hamas?]

  • TNI Censors Comments Now

    It’s just funny that the Saudis and Qataris loved to donate to two things: terrorists and Hillary Clinton.

  • Kevin

    So, if Trump (and the Saudis and Emeratis) pull off a more or less viable Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement, would the Norwegians give him (or Bibi) a Peace Prize for the the Hky Grail of deals that eluded Carter, Clinton, various Bushes and Obama? How many heads would explode among the Good and Great?

  • Y.K.

    Just to point out the obvious:

    * While Hamas receives support from Qatar, it is not its only source of support.

    * Furthermore, Hamas control of Gaza does not depend on foreign support as much as force of arms + a certain indeterminate amount of popular support. Economic pressure can only go so far – they’d rather have the strip starve than give up power.

    * In short, to make Hamas go away (or more accurately, reduce it to a more manageable state), someone (*cough*) will have to physically clean up Gaza.

    * Can’t imagine Israel is too enthusiastic about this idea – it would do the dirty job and pay the cost without any guarantees of a good final result, and one wonders how much it can really trust foreign support for this. Israel would only begin to consider this if promised support in advance – but I don’t see the world community actually offering it (most states would rather wait for the inevitable blow up than clean up the wound preemptively).

    • Ellen

      The only realistic solution to the problem of Gaza is to resettle the 1.5 million people somewhere else, which should have been done 70 years ago. It was not done then or since because there are many actors in the so-called “International community” who would like to use the hapless Gazans as cannon fodder against Israel. Using them against Sisi’s Egypt is another item on the menu now, as well. Absolutely no one, especially not the leaders of the 2 Palestinian governments in the area, actually cares about the welfare of the people there. If the so-called IC can resettle 5 million Syrians, they can resettle 1.5 million Gazans. That ends the problem. Nobody in Gaza wants to stay there except the rulers of Hamas, as long as they are being supported by the moneybags of the Gulf. If you cut off the support from the Gulf, there will be a civil war, and then a refugee exodus, which could possibly also “solve” the problem, just as it is “solving” the problem of too many Sunnis in Syria to make an Alawite dictatorship viable.

  • Saudi Arabia has had many, many faults, and I do not love their government at all, but it must be said…Qatar has provided more aid to Hamas than they have.

    • Jon Robbins

      But Saudi has done much more to foster jihadism and Islamist violence across the region and beyond over many decades.

  • Jonathan Dembo

    Most of what The American Interest reports is unexceptionable, except the idea of Palestinian “sovereignty” in Jerusalem. Jews have struggled for 2,000 years to return to sovereignty over Jerusalem. They are not going to turn around after 50 years and hand it over to anybody. The Palestinians may get a state, like the Kurds have a “state” in Turkey, or the Arabs have a “state” in Iran, or how the Puerto Ricans have a “state” in the US. But will they get “sovereignty”? Not a chance! Not unless they win it by defeating the Israelis on the battlefield. And the idea that Netanyahu would give up sovereignty over Jerusalem or any part thereof, just for an alliance against Iran, when he was willing to fight Iran, solo, two years ago, is simply silly. Much more likely, he is hoping that the Palestinian battle over the succession to Muhammad Abbas, will lead to violence and disorder, including an upsurge in attacks on Israelis, and a joint collapse of both Fatah and Hamas, expedited by the kinds of security operations at which the Israelis are most expert. The present activities seem like operations to prepare the battlefield by isolating Hamas from its closest allies and forcing it to rely on more distant, uncomfortable, patrons.

  • carl Jung

    if the Qatari LNG terminals get destroyed in a “fight” with Saudi Arabia et als, who would pick up the slack in that market?

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    “It would be a true irony of history if Obama’s Middle East legacy turns out to be an Arab-Israeli alliance against Iran, with Donald Trump getting the opportunity to seal a peace deal between Netanyahu and Abbas.”

    Why would you say Obama’s Legacy? Obama took an “Arab Spring” democracy movement which America had earned the hard way with blood and treasure, and pissed it away with a destroyed Libya, a Syrian Civil-war, an Egyptian failure, and the rise of ISIS, to name a few of his failures. Obama was the Worst President in History, that’s his legacy.

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