No matter what a presidential candidate like Joe Biden — any candidate, really — might promise during the election, sometimes, smart policies initiated by their predecessor continue even after the new guy is sworn in.
Biden’s China policies are remarkably like Donald Trump’s. Trump began the long and difficult process of decoupling our economy from Communist China’s with a combination of tariffs and sanctions, and Biden has doubled down. The flip side is the crisis on our southern border. Trump had alleviated it somewhat, even if he overpromised and underdelivered on the border wall. But Democrats believe they can remake the electorate by unmaking the border, so hey, hey, ho, ho, Remain in Mexico had to go.
But today I discovered a case in which Biden quietly murdered one of Trump’s most successful policies only to resurrect it with much more fanfare.
Longtime Sharp VodkaPundit Readers™ know that I’m a yuge fan of Trump’s Abraham Accords, negotiated under his auspices by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and advisor/son-in-law Jared Kushner. Trump tends to overuse the word “genius,” but the Accords truly are a work of just that.
It’s not always easy to remember but, with a very few exceptions, Arab countries have been technically at war with Israel since the nation’s founding in 1948. That means no trade, few direct talks, and tourists couldn’t even get a direct flight from Tel Aviv to Riyadh or Abu Dhabi. Considering what an economic and technological powerhouse Israel is in the region, the permanent state of war was… well, really stupid and self-defeating.
The sticking point in bringing peace was the West Bank and Gaza. One American president after another thought the road to peace in the region began with peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. But the Palestinian leadership wasn’t interested in peace — peace does tend to put a damper on murdering Jews — so peace remained out of reach.
Trump and his team saw an opening in the Arab world’s increasingly obvious frustration with Palestinian intransigence. “Why not,” Kushner and Pompeo figured, “just bypass them?”
That’s exactly what they did. The Abraham Accords are a series of bilateral normalization agreements — i.e., peace treaties — between Israel and any Arab nation willing to sign on. It started with Bahrain and quickly snowballed. Also note that while Washington helped set the stage, the U.S. is not a signatory to the Accords. They are Israeli-Arab agreements, not resentment-brewing American diktats.
Had Trump gotten his second term, the Accords would have almost certainly had Saudi Arabia included as the capstone. With Riyadh on board, the Palestinians would have had little choice but to make their own peace.
Trump/Pompeo/Kushner had the genius revelation that the road to Middle East peace actually ends in Palestine.
But Trump didn’t get that second term, or the Nobel Prize he would have richly deserved. Just three months into the Biden administration, White House spokesweasel Jen Psaki bluntly dismissed the Accords as “tactics of the prior administration.”
Tactics that worked, but whatevs.
Well, guess what? Axios reported last week that Biden is pushing for an Israeli-Saudi “mega-deal,” hopefully “before the 2024 presidential campaign.”
Trump got the process going, but, now that Democrats have pretended to forget about the Abraham Accords, Biden will try to complete them — with his own name on the deal, not Trump’s. As my friend and PJ Media colleague Chris Queen noted in our company Slack channel, plagiarism is nothing new to Biden. It’s been his lifelong M.O.
I doubt it will work, however.
Rather than building on the elegant genius of the Accords, Biden’s mega-deal includes Israel making “significant concessions to the Palestinians” beforehand, some complicated but unspecified arrangement for a future two-state solution, and a U.S./Saudi mutual defense treaty. There are American domestic politics at play, too, including the anti-Israeli element of the Democrat party that will demand “significant” concessions to the Palestinians, or they’ll scuttle the treaty in the Senate.
Biden’s peace process is a Rube Goldberg device engineered out of hubris and stupidity.
The most likely outcome of Biden’s mega-deal mega-failing would be the fall of Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s government. If the mega-deal somehow came to pass, the far-right parties of Bibi’s coalition might have to bite the bullet and accept it. But the humiliation of Israel once again offering concessions to the Palestinians without getting peace would probably split Israel’s governing coalition.
Come to think of it, breaking Bibi might just be the real goal of Biden’s “peace” deal. Under the guise of peace, Biden could finally complete Barack Obama’s goal of getting rid of Netanhayu once and for all.
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