Since the signing of the new Arab-Israeli peace agreements on September 15, 2020, the Democrats have received heavy backlash. Among those fiercely criticized was former US Secretary of State John Kerry after a video of an old speech he gave back in 2016 at the Brookings Institution’s annual Saban Forum resurfaced on social media.
The video shows Kerry assuring the world that there would be no peace agreement in the Middle East without the Palestinians. It is safe to say that back then, the sweet taste of victory over Iran’s nuclear deal, which proved to be fundamentally flawed, has clouded Kerry’s judgment and pushed him to make empty promises and poor decisions.
Naturally, Kerry’s speech leaves many of us questioning whether he and the Obama administration had any real interest in the peace process in the Middle East. Were they sincere about their promise to establish a lasting peace with Arab countries in a manner that includes the Palestinians? If that had been the case, why didn’t the Obama administration make any real attempts in this regard, instead of instigating devastating revolutions in the Arab world that resulted in major losses estimated at $883.7 billion in infrastructure damage and more than 1.34 million deaths and injuries, according to Dubai’s Arab Strategy Forum report? Why did Kerry fail to present the Obama administration with a peace project instead of sticking to his dualistic policies in the region? This duality has allowed for pushing policies that encourage revolutions in Arab countries like Egypt and Libya in 2011 in the name of defending human rights and democracy. However, it opted out of intervening in Iran’s Green Movement in 2009 on the pretext that US intervention in Iran would destabilize the region.
Not only did the foreign policy of the Democratic party, namely the Obama administration, fail miserably, the efforts of the media affiliated with it also proved its inadequacy and lack of integrity. The Democratic party’s media machinations and disinformation campaigns have turned people against their regimes, facilitating uprisings, and allowing states to be plunged into chaos in the name of the so-called Arab Spring, which only led to further destruction and a surge in terrorism in the region. This same media is now attacking and belittling this peace agreement by arguing that Bahrain and the UAE were not in conflict with Israel, and that establishing diplomatic relations would not minimize the risks and that it will only bring about further political gains for Trump and Netanyahu.
All these attempts to smear this peace agreement have neglected the fact that what distinguishes it from its predecessors is that it focuses on people and not just governments because it is not only a political agreement, it also includes investment endeavors. History has shown us time and time again that Arab states that maintain diplomatic relations with Israel play a more active role in supporting the Palestinian cause and its aspirations. It is reprehensible that the Democratic media would resort to such disreputable tricks to undermine the peace process for their own partisan interests. Now that 2020 has proven Kerry wrong, will he continue to make flashy statements and offer his advice? Will Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden take his words seriously? Will the Democratic party media continue to be partisan and dualistic? At this point, it may be important to emphasize the fact that in order to be in a position to offer criticism, one must be constructive and unbiased, but more importantly, self-critical.
This piece was originally published in Emirati newspaper Al-Ittihad.
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