Israeli and Arab diplomats secretly met in Jordan to explore a new reality of diminishing influence of President Barack Obama in the Middle East and the common interest by both sides for security against growing radical Islamic threats.
Reshet Bet (Voice of Israel) reported that the discussions included diplomats from Arab countries that have no ties with Israel.
The idea of open security cooperation between Arab countries and Israel was nixed because of the issue of the Palestinian Authority, which has dismissed the idea of the American-led “peace process” unless Israel agrees in advance to it terms.
The Saudi 2002 Initiative remains the basis for an agreement between Ramallah and Jerusalem. It calls for Israel’s withdrawal of all of Jerusalem that was restored to Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967, surrender of the Golan Heights and Judea and Samaria, and the acceptance by Israel of millions of UNRWA “refugees” in several countries.
PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, encouraged by years of Arab League talk of “all or nothing,” has convinced himself that he can go for broke, ditch the United States and the European Union and win everything he wants in the United Nations.
When it comes to money on the table, the Arab League has shown it really does not care very much about the Palestinian Authority.
Jordan, despite all of its rhetoric, really does not want to see a weak Arab country on its borders, which Israel now protests from terrorists.
The dual threat of the Islamic State (ISIS) and of a nuclear Iran is much higher on the agenda of Arabs than coercing Israel into making an agreement for a Palestinian Authority country that is likely would turn into another anarchic terrorist state.
So why did the Israeli and Arab diplomats, presumably also those from Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States, meet in Jordan?
To smoke a hookah? The Arab countries know very well that they cannot coordinate security with Israel and suffer a loss of pride in admitting that the Saudi Initiative is dead.
It is just as likely as not, if not more likely, that there was s serious discussion on security coordination behind a thick smokescreen of nasty comments about Israel not wanting to make peace.
Or the secret talks in Jordan might be a spring-board for a new round of charades of renewing the peace process and pacify Abbas while Israel and its Arab enemies work together against their new-found common enemies.
Either way may pave a path for the Arab world to rebuff Iran and the ISIS.
Israel has no problem playing the role of hero in secret.
Obama will continue to play the part of the fool in the new Middle East.Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu