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Comment and Opinion

International Crisis Group: Bahrain workshop sets back Arab-Israeli rapprochement, by Ofer Zalzberg

If President Donald Trump’s peace team thought they could advance Arab-Israeli rapprochement over the heads of Palestinians through the Bahrain Prosperity to Peace workshop, they were wrong. The one-off entry of a handful of Israeli journalists to Bahrain and photos of Israeli and Gulf businessmen could not compensate for three developments that underscore that, despite major international and regional shifts, Arab-Israeli normalisation still depends on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

First, after committing to attend the workshop, senior leaders from participating Arab states declared their unyielding commitment to the longstanding positions the Trump administration had attempted to shift, namely those itemised in the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative. Such statements were issued even by Arab governments who, before the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, seemed willing to support Trump’s efforts to coerce the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) to accept considerably less than  the Arab Peace Initiative stipulates.

Read the full article at International Crisis Group.