This is a popular talking point on the left today:
Remember all the Trump-Kushner self-congratulation about their Middle East successes?
— David Frum (@davidfrum) May 11, 2021
The Abraham Accords were predicated on the idea that the United States could broker peace between Israel and once-antagonistic Arab nations by bypassing the intractable Palestinians, who have actively stood in the way of every agreement since 1994. Though they are mentioned in passing, the agreement has nothing to do with Palestinians, who grumbled at the time, “Our Arab brothers have abandoned us.”
Jared Kushner, whose approach had more results than anything tried by the Obama administration retreads who now populate the Biden administration, never claimed the normalization deals would fix the Palestinian situation.
Here is what he said at the time:
You have 5 million Palestinians who are really trapped because of bad leadership. So what we’ve done is we’ve created an opportunity for their leadership to either seize or not. If they screw up this opportunity — which again, they have a perfect track record of missing opportunities — if they screw this up, I think they will have a very hard time looking the international community in the face, saying they are victims, saying they have rights. This is a great deal for them. If they come to the table and negotiate, I think they can get something excellent …
The Palestinian leadership have to ask themselves a question: Do they want to have a state? Do they want to have a better life? If they do, we have created a framework for them to have it, and we’re going to treat them in a very respectful manner. If they don’t, then they’re going to screw up another opportunity like they’ve screwed up every other opportunity that they’ve ever had in their existence.
Indeed, the Palestinians have extended their perfect track record of “missing opportunities” (really, more like blowing them up). And the fact that Iranian-funded Hamas rockets are falling on Jewish cities or that riots are being perpetuated by the Palestinian Authority only further proves that Kushner was right: Waiting around for the theocrats in Gaza or corrupt former PLO officials in West Bank is a foolish endeavor. Now, maybe Frum and others believe that those who indiscriminately fire Qassam rockets at civilians deserve their own state. But that has nothing to do with the Abraham Accords.