“They never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity,” said Israeli ambassador Abba Eban about Israel’s Arab neighbors.
This was decades ago, but they are about to miss another opportunity — a peace plan proposed by the United States, announced by President Donald Trump, who is impeached, standing next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been charged with corruption. Talk about the blues brothers.
The plan, hatched by presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner, favors Israel, as it should (I will explain why in a moment), but has the tentative approval of Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who usually hates anything 45 does. You can read about what Trump calls “the deal of the century” here. It is complicated.
Liberal Washington Post columnist David Ignatius described the plan as a squeeze play, one the Palestinians are rejecting — as they have with better peace plans in the past.
But this time, their obstinance may leave them isolated in much of the Arab world.
This is unlike — let’s call it the Old Mideast — where the Arab nations foaming with homicidal hatred for Israel attacked with the stated goal of “Driving the Jews into the sea.” That was the goal in 1948, after Israel declared independence and established the world’s only Jewish state after an absence of 2,000 years.
Israel was attacked by five Arab nations with overwhelming superiority in manpower and arms. But — this time — the would-be murderers faced armed Jews, most of whom survived the Holocaust and for them “never again” started right there.
Israel prevailed, as it did in the Six Day War (1967) and the Yom Kippur War (1973.)
This is one reason we should favor Israel: It is a bastion of democracy in a sea of hate.
Another reason we should support Israel is what I just said — it is, like us, a democracy, and shares Western values.
It is a military, intelligence and security asset, an unquestioned ally in a dodgy area of the world, where friendship is a commodity that is bought and sold.
There have been many peace offers in the past, stretching back 80 years, always rejected by the Palestinians.
Their usual M.O. is to start a war, lose the war and then demand anything they lost must be returned as a precondition to peace. That game no longer works.
There is a difference now. In the New Mideast, several Arab states, instead of promising to annihilate Israel, are secretly friendly. These include Egypt, Saudia Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.
They may not come forward and publicly push the Palestinians, being as Palestinians have the sympathy of the Arab masses, but the Arab rulers can give some brotherly advice to the Palestinians and urge them to stop missing opportunities and to accept the best offer they are likely to get.
Like every other peace proposal, this is a long shot, but what if by some miracle, it works?
What could be more surreal, actual peace coming from two leaders deeply immersed in scandal?