August 14, 2020

A TRUMP SUCCESS SO BIG THAT NOT EVEN THOMAS FRIEDMAN CAN FIGURE OUT HOW TO MINIMIZE IT: A Geopolitical Earthquake Just Hit the Mideast.

For once, I am going to agree with President Trump in his use of his favorite adjective: “huge.”

The agreement brokered by the Trump administration for the United Arab Emirates to establish full normalization of relations with Israel, in return for the Jewish state forgoing, for now, any annexation of the West Bank, was exactly what Trump said it was in his tweet: a “HUGE breakthrough.” . . .

Just go down the scorecard, and you see how this deal affects every major party in the region — with those in the pro-American, pro-moderate Islam, pro-ending-the-conflict-with-Israel-once-and-for-all camp benefiting the most and those in the radical pro-Iran, anti-American, pro-Islamist permanent-struggle-with-Israel camp all becoming more isolated and left behind.

It’s a geopolitical earthquake.

To fully appreciate why, you need to start with the internal dynamics of the deal. It was Trump’s peace plan drawn up by Jared Kushner, and their willingness to stick with it, that actually created the raw material for this breakthrough.

Well, yes. And without even a Nobel Peace Prize first.

Plus:

This deal will certainly encourage the other gulf sheikhdoms — Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia — all of which have had covert and overt business and intelligence dealings with Israel, to follow the Emirates’ lead. They will not want to let the U.A.E. have a leg up in being able to marry its financial capital with Israel’s cybertechnology, agriculture technology and health care technology, with the potential to make both countries stronger and more prosperous.

I think it’s a stretch to call Joe Biden a winner here, though, except in the sense that if he’s elected in November he’ll inherit a U.S. that is at peace in a more peaceful world, instead of the dog’s breakfast of a diplomacy that Trump inherited from Obama. (And I predict that Joe and Kamala will manage to make a hash of things again if given a chance.) And note that Trump has barely even gotten credit for making peace in the Middle East and — hey, did you notice? — a near elimination of Islamist terror of the sort that we experienced worldwide under Obama.

Related: National Security Advisor Robert C. O’Brien On The Israel-United Arab Emirates Accord: Under Any Other Circumstances, Jared Kushner Would Be Hailed As One Of The Great Dealmakers In American History. It’s been obvious for three years that Kushner has been a successful dealmaker in the region, but it doesn’t fit the narrative.

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