Secretary Antony Blinken is on a whirlwind put-out-the-fires tour of the Middle East that would be engaging with all the countries except the Palestinians on the West Bank. Blinken’s tour includes visiting Israel, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Egypt, and Bahrain. Now, we are not privy to all the minutiae of the US Middle East foreign policy and how visiting countries like Bahrain today is more important than visiting the Palestinians on the West Bank, but we question that selection. From the optics point of view, this looks like a tour of reassurances instead of one to find a solution to an elusive peace. America should stop ignoring the Palestinians so openly and hope that the war we are witnessing will not happen again. Over and over.
Yes, Israel may criticize visiting Mahmoud Abbas or any other interlocutor seeking peace, but how did America benefit from the influence of the extremists in Israel? Yes, Hamas must be destroyed, and we must eradicate all the Arab terror Iran is employing to expand its footprint and interests. But what are we going to do about those fanatic ultra Orthodox Israelis who trample on the rights of the Palestinians, which, in turn, feeds the fire of terror?
Open a direct channel with the Palestinians, who are willing to live with a two-state solution. Let the extremists on both sides realize that their time is over.
EXTREMISM IS LEADING THE REGION TOWARDS SELF-DESTRUCTION
Whenever terror happens, you can be sure Iran is at its center. Directly or by proxy. Instead of revoking its ace of terror dealing with the Israeli Palestinian animosity, America looks complicit in letting Israel drive towards the eventual annexation of the West Bank when its settler population, breeding large families, eventually becomes a demographic majority.
If that is the goal, then Secretary Blinken is right not to pay attention to the West Bank. He is right not to pay the Palestinian Authority a visit.
Speaking of demographics, 40% of Gaza population is under the age of 14. You don’t think the children of Hamas fighters dying might not one day take up arms if the oppression of Palestinians and the stealing of their lands continue?
Extremism is leading the region towards self-destruction, and all signs indicate terror is not about to abet unless we change our foreign policy course. Unless the United States treats the Palestinians with the same respect it treated previous peace partners of Israel. Countries like Jordan and Egypt.
The problem is that extremist settlers want to annex the West Bank, they call Judea and Samaria. As long as that expansionist policy remains in effect, and the US ignores it totally, there will always be big wars in the Middle East. You can bet on that when Iran is backing them.
Open a direct channel with the Palestinians, who are willing to live with a two-state solution. Let the extremists on both sides realize that their time is over. And if our diplomats don’t think the Palestinians, watching the destruction of Gaza today, are not yearning for peace, then they are missing the opportunity of the century.