This week in Say More, PS talks with Shlomo Ben-Ami, a former Israeli foreign minister, Vice President of the Toledo International Center for Peace, and the author of Prophets without Honor: The 2000 Camp David Summit and the End of the Two-State Solution.
Project Syndicate: You’ve attributed the recent uptick in violence between Palestinians and Israelis largely to a renewed sense of hopelessness among Palestinians, who feel “abandoned by their Arab brethren” as Israel forges ties with them to build a new security framework in the Middle East. Any such framework, you argue, will be fundamentally fragile unless it integrates the Palestinians. What steps must Israel and its Arab partners take to advance such integration, and what must the Palestinian side do to make it work?
Shlomo Ben-Ami: The Palestinian issue was always supposed to be central to any Israeli-Arab reconciliation. Given this, the Abraham Accords, whereby Israel established diplomatic relations with four Arab countries (Bahrain, Morocco, Sudan, and the United Arab Emirates) in 2020, together with the peace treaties that Israel already has with Jordan and Egypt, represent a major strategic setback to the Palestinian cause. Indeed, by creating security alliances with Israel, the conservative Arab regimes have prioritized confronting the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran over defending the Palestinians.
With the wave of terror attacks by young Palestinians and the riots in Jerusalem “in defense of the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” the Palestinians are issuing a warning: they can disrupt this new Arab-Israeli security architecture and inflame the masses throughout the Arab world into what could be the mother of all jihads.