By the numbers the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is minor relative to other similar situations around the world. And yet, it has for decades been one of the world’s top foreign policy issues. That’s true for the West, for the United Nations, and most especially for the Arab world.
It wasn’t until Benjamin Netanyahu came along that the Palestinian issue was put in more proper perspective among the nations of the Middle East. Such was acknowledged by none other than Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in a private conversation with Israeli Arab lawmakers back in 2019.
Of course, in Abbas’ view Netanyahu’s meddling was unfair. He complained that “there has never been a leader in Israel who so weakened us before the Arab world like Netanyahu.”
So reported prominent Israeli Arab journalist Mohammed Magadli.
ב-2016 נתניהו אמר לי במהלך ביקורו לקזחסטן ואזרבייג’ן: בעוד כמה שנים יתברר להנהגה הפלסטינית שזמנה תם.
ב-2019 אבו מאזן אמר בשיחה סגורה עם חבר כנסת ערבי: לא היה מנהיג בישראל שהחליש אותנו מול העולם הערבי כמו נתניהו.
אז על מה הממשלה הזאת מבקשת לקבל קרדיט בפסגה היום? לא הבנתי.
— מוחמד מג’אדלה محمد مجادلة (@mmagadli) March 27, 2022
Magadli’s Twitter post came in response to claims by some in the current Israeli government that they should be credited with sidelining the Palestinians. But Magadli pointed out that even the Palestinians themselves admit it was Netanyahu who did so.
It was indeed notable that the Palestinians were left out of this week’s historic summit in the Negev, which saw the foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Egypt come to the Jewish state to sit down with our own foreign minister, Yair Lapid.
It was yet another sign that the old thinking according to which there could be no broad peace and stability in the Middle East without first “solving” the Palestinian issue was completely wrong.
Our Editor-in-Chief Aviel Scheider explains this new realization in his latest piece: Summit in the Desert
And it was indeed Netanyahu who on numerous occasions noted that it was Israel’s strength, not its willingness to surrender to Palestinian demands, that would ultimately bring peace between the Jewish state and its neighbors.