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Greenblatt: Abraham Accords Will Survive, Iran Enemy of Peace

israel tanks soldiers gaza hamas

Israeli soliders ride in armoured vehicles towards the border with Gaza, on Oct. 16, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and Hamas. Thousands of people, both Israeli and Palestinians have died since Oct. 7, 2023, after Hamas militants based in Gaza, entered southern Israel in a surprise attack. (Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 16 October 2023 11:06 AM EDT

I have written numerous opinion articles in various media outlets in Arab countries. I have extensively traveled through many Arab countries.

I have shopped in their malls, enjoyed their renowned hospitality and have seen the remarkable societal changes taking place and projects being built in their countries.

My family and I have enjoyed large volumes of Arabic coffee and enjoyed good conversation in majlises all over the Arab world.

We have wished one another all forms of happy holidays.

We shared our hopes, dreams and aspirations.

I have gotten to know some of their children, and they have gotten to know some of mine.

I know of their strong support for the Palestinians and they know of my strong support for Israel.

My colleagues and I spent several years at the White House seeking to achieve a workable peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Like those who came before us, we failed.

This is not the time to go through the many reasons why.

That would require volumes of books.

We did manage to create peace between Israel and some of its Arab neighbors with the historic Abraham Accords.

This has led to many significant, positive steps for all, and may lead to more countries entering into similar accords down the road.

Perhaps way down the road now, as a result of the attacks upon Israel.

I am writing today because my heart is broken.

Over the past few days we have seen brutality and savagery perpetrated by those who call themselves human, but in fact are nothing more than vicious animals.

On a Jewish holiday, Hamas terrorists, thirsty for the taste of Jewish blood, invaded Israel and unleashed an unprecedented attack.

The Palestinians burst into Jewish homes as people slept and murdered them in cold blood. They cut down hundreds of Israelis at a music festival.

They murdered family members in front of other family members. They beat and raped Israeli women and then paraded their naked bodies on the streets of Gaza to jubilant shouts of “Allahu Akbar.”

They dragged men, women and children into Gaza to be held in captivity, including the elderly, toddlers and a Holocaust survivor.

The latest count as I write this is that 900 Israelis were murdered, over 100 Israelis were taken captive (no official count was released yet as I write this) and thousands wounded.

Most of those who reached out to me from Arab countries expressed their support. They know that I am an American and not Israeli. They also know of my deep support for Israel.

Most have expressed their support unequivocally.

Some have also expressed their concern for Palestinians in Gaza who will now suffer as a result of Israel’s fully justified response which undoubtedly and unavoidably will result in the injury and death of innocent Palestinians caught in the crossfire, even as Israel tries to warn Palestinian civilians about upcoming attacks when possible.

After all, war is a terrible thing and causes untold grief and loss.

Only one person so far has blamed Israel for the brutal attack perpetrated upon it by Hamas, aided, funded and planned by the Iranian regime.

Only one Palestinian friend reached out with condemnation of the events.

While Hamas was the instrument of the brutal attack on Israel, it did so with the help, support and funding of the Iranian regime. The Iranian regime is an enemy of peace.

It is an enemy of progress for the entire region.

It cares nothing of Palestinian lives.

To them, Hamas and all Palestinians are nothing more than cannon fodder in Iran’s quest to destroy Israel and also to spread its theocratic rule over the entire region.

The Iranian regime lusts not only for the murder of Jews and the destruction of Israel, but also to take over the wealth and breathtaking projects and buildings being built throughout Arab countries.

The Iranian regime desires to subjugate the people in these countries to its rule, the way it subjugates the Iranian people.

Many in Arab countries have told me they are frustrated by what they see as an intransigent Israeli government unable to compromise with Palestinians.

Others are stuck in the past, their approach shaped by decades of education in which Jews and Israelis were taught to be evil, and children of apes, monkeys and pigs.

More and more people who I come across in the region recognize the ways of the past will never bring peace.

They recognize that the demands of the past are not achievable. They support Palestinians and want to see Palestinians thrive and prosper.

Whatever their view, I would like to believe most of the people I know in these countries will not look away from the horrific events of the past few days and condemn these attacks as atrocious, barbaric behavior.

I would like to believe that those who I consider friends, business associates, colleagues and acquaintances in the Arab world recognize evil walking on earth. I think I am correct.

I urge everyone to watch the videos of what transpired in Israel over the past few days. Watch the savagery that was perpetrated by Hamas.

Watch who they killed, how they killed and how they grabbed people and dragged them as captives. Watch how they mutilated people and raped people.

Think about your loved ones and what you would do if this happened in your country. Think about what you would want your government to do if this happened in your country.

I do not lecture Arabs or ask them to accept my point of view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I know we have many very different views on some, perhaps all, of the main issues.

But I do ask them to dig deeper.

I would like them to ask themselves if they have been taught the truth over these past many years. I would like them to ask themselves if maybe they need to learn more.

I would like them to ask themselves if maybe things have changed.

I would like them to go beyond the sound bites from trained propagandists and to recognize who the enemy really is.

You cannot negotiate with barbarians.

I think we need to look no further than the carnage in Israel caused by Hamas these past few days to know that Hamas and its ilk are barbarians who must be unequivocally repudiated and thrown into the dustbin of history.

I hope everyone will join me in holding your parents, spouses, children and loved ones tighter and recognizing that for peace to take hold and for Palestinians and Israelis to have a better, brighter future, Hamas, all those like Hamas, and the ideology of Hamas must be utterly and thoroughly rejected.

Hamas is the same as ISIS and they are just as much my enemy as they are the enemies of most of Israel’s Arab neighbors, both those who have signed the Abraham Accords and those who have not yet signed those accords.

May God protect all of us from evil.

Jason Greenblatt was the White House Middle East Envoy in the Trump Administration. He is the author of "In the Path of Abraham" and director of Arab-Israel Diplomacy for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Follow him on X @GreenblattJD

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You cannot negotiate with barbarians. I think we need to look no further than the carnage in Israel caused by Hamas these past few days to know that Hamas and its ilk are barbarians who must be unequivocally repudiated and thrown into the dustbin of history.
arab, hamas, isis
Monday, 16 October 2023 11:06 AM
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