On Israel foreign policy, Trump’s allies are “a group of kleptocrats”

On Tuesday, President Trump, with Benjamin Netanyahu by his side, unveiled a so-called Middle East peace plan that was drafted by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner without any input from Palestinians. The plan effectively leaves no allowance for Palestinian sovereignty and is backed by several powerful U.S. allies in the Arab world — most notably, Saudi Arabia. But Rashid Khalidi, professor of modern Arab studies at Columbia University, observes that much of the support for the U.S.-Israel regime comes from authoritarian governments in the region. “The only reason that Israel is able to maintain its regional superiority is because most Arab states are not democratic,” says Khalidi, who adds that Arab countries with some democratic structures still intact such as Lebanon or Kuwait express popular outrage at these kinds of policies. “The only countries that could or would buy into this are countries which can suppress their domestic public opinion.”

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