Jerusalem Center Fellow Jason Greenblatt, former Assistant to the U.S. President and Special Representative for International Negotiations (2017-2019), who played a key role in developing the Abraham Accords, told the Jerusalem Center War Room zoom briefing on November 1, 2023:
Though President Biden has handled the Gaza crisis well, his administration refused to make the connection between Iran and Hamas’ October 7 attack. Iran poses a threat to the entire region’s stability, and Hamas is an existential threat to Israel as Iran’s proxy. Both have proclaimed publicly that they will do all in their power to destroy Israel.
Israel needs to improve its public relations by exposing the barbaric extent of the atrocities and emphasizing the inhumane hostage situation. Inaccurate reporting, as in the case of the bombing of Al Ahli hospital by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, must be condemned. Israel must enlist better surrogates and provide accurate information for immediate distribution to combat misinformation.
More needs to be done to clamp down on antisemitism-inducing, hateful anti-Israel protests and statements emanating from American universities. College administrations and state and local governments must condemn antisemitism and push back on incendiary statements made by student and faculty groups.
The vortex of college Jew-hatred is the BDS movement and Students for Justice in Palestine, well-funded Iranian weapons against the State of Israel. The narrative of Israel as a “colonial occupier” that “stole Palestinian land” are claims used to justify atrocities and must be defeated.
Even though no Arab country besides the United Arab Emirates fully condemned the October 7 massacre, the real need for Israel’s power to create a stable region remains essential. Emirati senior officials have stated that Israel is here to stay, citing Jewish and Christian roots in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia also understands the need for peace.
The massacre has made the Abraham Accords objectives more challenging since the Arab public is sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. For example, Jordan’s majority Palestinian population has been actively protesting in the streets. Biased news coverage and anti-Israel educational curricula in Arab countries have made the situation worse. These need to be addressed, and the tipping point for change needs to be assessed in each country on a state-by-state basis.
The U.S. and other states should consider assisting Israel in Gaza with their special forces to recover hostages. It is also time for the West to apply pressure on Qatar and Turkey, who fund and provide headquarters to Hamas. Qatar’s leadership is rational and pragmatic, and they may prove helpful in solving aspects of the conflict, especially hostage recovery.