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I keep hoping the Trump administration’s international team knows what they’re doing, but I haven’t been holding my breath lately. Then, I heard that a Norwegian had nominated Donald Trump for a Nobel Peace Prize for brokering a “peace deal” between the Gulf Arab states and Israel — I actually choked for a second. What a strange sense of humor they have in Scandinavia, I thought.

The peace deal seems to be actually an economic/military cooperation pact where all partners appear to be using each other for their own ends — with a common thread of isolating or keeping Iran at bay, while unintentionally driving Iran into China’s waiting embrace. However, if there is any “peace” in these pacts, it may end up being an “enforced peace.” Although not voluntary or democratic, such a “peace” could conceivably bind together with mutual economic and security ties and could become cemented over time with or without popular support. Time does accomplish such miracles occasionally.

Surely all “peaceful” deals attempted so far have not progressed much — Israel continues to expand and Palestine continues to contract, and the conflicts continue. So maybe this could be a good deal. But, as with this administration’s “Deal of the Century,” there is, however, a lacking participant — Palestine.

To turn these potentially catastrophic “deals” into some resemblance of “peace,” a priority must include some kind of a Palestinian entity and representation. Otherwise the “dawn of a new Middle East” could well turn into a nightmare, since it would seem to be difficult to build stable peace on top of the ethnic obliteration of an entire people. It is interesting, even fun, to remember that in the Shah’s day in the 1970s El Al Israeli airlines was flying regular flights into Tehran and Israeli commercial representatives were buying whatever Iran had to offer.

— Ken Green

Cooper Landing

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