The contrast couldn’t be more striking. On Tuesday, there was the announcement of the latest dividend from President Trump’s historic Abraham Accords. Saudi Arabia and Qatar announced an agreement ending a bitter dispute that had hampered U.S. efforts to isolate Iran.
Brokered by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, the deal was propelled by the Abraham Accords, which has already revolutionized Middle Eastern geopolitics by drawing several Arab states into normalization agreements with Israel.
On the other hand, two days earlier, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas once again – as he has done on innumerable prior occasions since 2007, most recently last year – announced an agreement with the rival Hamas movement to hold presidential and parliamentary elections.
As The Jerusalem Post reports, the last Palestinian presidential election was held in January 2005 when Abbas, who heads the Fatah faction, was elected to a four-year term that has now lasted 15 years. A year later, the Palestinians held parliamentary elections that resulted in a Hamas victory. In 2007, Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip after overthrowing the PA regime there.
Much blather has been spouted about how peace in the Middle East can only come after the Israel-Palestinian conflict is resolved, but aside from that fact that this notion has been shattered by the fruits of the Abraham Accords, the Palestinians – for the last 15 years – haven’t had a leader who could actually represent them. Significantly, in July, Fatah and Hamas launched unity talks, but they foundered after the PA announced its decision to restore civil and security relations with Israel.
Yet, one continues to hear talk about the overarching necessity for a “two-state solution” negotiated by Israel and the Palestinians as equal negotiating partners. That idea was always a fictive reality that has, at all events, plainly been overtaken by events.