Under the current circumstances, when Arabs are being widely shamed and condemned for sitting in the same room with an Israeli prime minister, it is hard to see how the Trump administration will be able to convince Arab states and leaders to normalize their relations with Israel. Some of these Arab leaders may be privately telling US administration officials things they like to hear about peace and coexistence with Israel. The very same leaders, however, are fully aware of the opposite sentiments, not only in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but throughout the Arab world.
All that is left for the Trump administration to do is to try and persuade the Arab states to abandon the Palestinians, and to continue focusing on the regional threat from Iran. If the US completes its pullout from Syria, Iran will successfully complete its long-desired “land-bridge” to the Mediterranean through Yemen, Syria and Lebanon. This encirclement of the area will position Iran, via its proxies, to be the hegemon controlling the region, as it has clearly been trying to bring about. Russia, of course, is standing in the wings, thanks to the gift that then US President Barack Obama handed Putin in 2011 by pulling American troops out of Iraq.
For decades now, not only Palestinian leaders but Arab ones as well, have been radicalizing their people against Israel. Using every available platform, including mosques, media outlets and United Nations organizations, these leaders, with the collaboration of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, have demonized Israel. They have poisoned the hearts and minds of their people with the hate that exists towards Israel all over the Arab world. To promote normalization with Israel, a leader must prepare his people for the possibility of peace with Israel. Meanwhile, Arab leaders are doing the exact opposite — which is why some of them are currently being denounced as traitors and pawns in the hands of Israel and the US. It would be wise for President Trump’s advisers, if they wish to grasp what is really going on in the Arab world, to listen to the voices of the Arab street.