A Triumph for Peace Is a Humiliation for the ‘Peace Industry’

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from The Wall Street Journal,

John Kerry said it couldn’t be done, but Arab leaders are embracing normal relations with Israel.

The Abraham Accords, signed by Israel, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, represent an immense victory for peace in the Middle East and a major defeat for the peace industry. Composed of liberal think tanks and nongovernmental organizations, virtually all of academia and the media, and a cadre of former officials, commentators and philanthropists, that industry had long insisted that Arab-Israeli peace couldn’t be achieved without Israeli territorial concessions, a freeze on settlement building, and the creation of a Palestinian state. “There will be no advance and separate peace with the Arab world without . . . Palestinian peace,” Secretary of State John Kerry told the Brookings Institution in 2016. “That is a hard reality.”

That “hard” reality was overturned by the Abraham Accords, which were secured without any preconditions. Rather than admit its mistake, though, the peace industry now asserts that the new treaty didn’t, in fact, create peace between Israel and two influential Gulf nations but merely normalized their relations. Contrary to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “triumphal talk [of] achieving ‘peace for peace,’ ” the New York Times editorialized, “for now, ‘normalization’ will suffice.”

The inability of Israel’s treaties with Egypt and Jordan to bring about normalization was a direct result of the failure of those agreements to address the core of the conflict—not settlements or Jerusalem’s status, as the peace industry believes, but the refusal to recognize a Jewish people indigenous to the Middle East and endowed with the right to self-determination in its homeland.

Sadly, little of this will affect the peace industry.

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