My colleague Daniel Levy who directs the Middle East Task Force shared a useful line on Michele Kelemen‘s NPR show focusing on what now needs to be done regarding Israel-Palestine peace efforts. He said:
It’s difficult to be a friend of Arab democracy if you are perceived to be an enemy of Palestinian freedom.
Kelemen’s segment is important as it makes the key point that any further progress in Arab-Israeli peace is going to have to build in Arab public opinion.
From the transcript:
It can’t be business as usual, says Levy. The U.S., he says, can no longer rely on Egypt to back talks that were going nowhere, or to continue sealing off Gaza — the territory controlled by the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Levy says Egypt and Israel will have to find new ways to keep weapons out of Gaza without punishing Palestinians. He says this may be a chance to build on what he calls a “pyramid peace.”
“Until now, it was only the very tips of the two pyramids that had anything to do with each other on a very narrow, often security-interest related basis,” Levy says. “A democratic Egypt and a democratic Israel could have a much broader peace. You could get the bases of those two pyramids into the peace. But only if you can also do right by the Palestinians.”
He calls this a new era for U.S. peacemakers — an era when public opinion in the Arab world matters.
I agree — and I think that there are many in Israel who can get behind a reset in this process given what they see unfolding rapidly around them.
— Steve Clemons