Letter: Netanyahu’s regional policy reflects strategic realities

Gideon Rachman describes Israel’s “outside-in” regional policy; the idea that pursuing agreements with Gulf Arab states would help resolve its internal conflict with the Palestinians, as having failed (“Netanyahu’s Master Plan Failed,” Opinion, May 18).

In support of his claim, Rachman points out that Israel’s policy has not prevented Hamas rocket attacks and clashes with Israeli Arabs. Nor did he stifle international condemnation of Israel’s military response.

While it is obvious that Israeli policy has not bought domestic tranquility, it is less obvious that its policy has totally failed.

First, the thawing of relations with Sunni Arab states in the Gulf reflects new strategic realities in the region and confers myriad benefits on Israel, not the least of which is unified opposition to the spread of Iranian influence. , including its surrogate allies, like Hamas, who call for the destruction of Israel.

Notably, the current conflict does not appear to have strained relations between Israel and its new Arab allies.

Second, the recent outbreak of violence is taking place against the backdrop of a power struggle over Palestinian affairs between Hamas and Fatah.

If Israel severely cripples Hamas and Fatah emerges victorious in this contest, it will be an improvement from the point of view of Israeli security, since Fatah is not committed to the goal of destroying Israel.

Daniel Aronoff
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA, USA

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