When Jared Kushner, a young man in his 30’s was given the job to lead the way towards a comprehensive peace settlement in the Middle East, very few took him seriously. However, in less than 4 years, he has managed to bring more Arab countries to the peace table with the State of Israel. Basically, the entire Middle East has been reformed in ways that nearly nobody had anticipated could every happen. How did this all evolve? How much credit does Kushner deserve for this?
The policies of the Trump administration on the Middle East will probably be remembered as one of the bright spots of the Trump administration. Sanctions on Iran seriously weakened the main destabilizing force in the Middle East. Moderate Arab countries were faced with the reality that a strong radical Iran threatened them more than a rapprochement with the Zionists, the seemingly eternal foe of the Arabs. But what the Trump administration, under the leadership of Jared Kushner realized, was that the financial incentives could be used in such a way to encourage the Arab countries that were sick and tired of hearing about the so-called “Palestinian problem.” They knew that the hundreds of millions of dollars that poured into the Palestinian Authority each year went down the drain of building more terror tunnels and into the hands of a few corrupt terrorist leaders. They realized that the radical Muslim threat would soon engulf them if they did not build up a larger wealthy class in their country. So, they buckled and decided to sign financially-oriented agreements with Israel. Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Sudan, and Oman. None of these countries were every the main threats to the State of Israel. But the momentum is extremely impressive. There is no question that Iran is not pleased with all of these developments.
How long will all of these agreements last? Will they bring Saudi Arabia to the table also? What about Egypt? It is a fascinating time in the Middle East. It would seem that as long as the Iranian threat grows, more moderate countries will keep signing agreements with Israel. But if Israel blinks on the Iranian threat, and allows Iran to get too powerful, then many of these countries will shy away from fear of appearing to be on the losing side.