Trump's Dodgy Israel-UAE "Peace Deal" Smells like the Work of Henry Kissinger

tags: Middle East, Israel, Henry Kissinger, diplomacy, international relations

Whatever you think of the agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates to open diplomatic relations in exchange for Israel's temporary halt to its planned annexation of Palestinian territories, the deal is driven by a hard-headed, hard-hearted realpolitik that's characteristic of Henry Kissinger — who happens to have visited with Donald Trump in the White House several times while the deal was being made. (The photo above was from the second of at least three visits.) 

I can't prove that Kissinger's fingerprints are actually on the Israel/Emirates deal. But since he was deeply involved in settling the Yom Kippur War between Israel and several Arab nations in 1973, and since his recent visits with Trump were obviously more than just photo ops, it's time — once again — to understand Kissinger's premises and modus. 

First, diplomacy is duplicitous by nature. Its practitioners have to move stealthily, beneath presidents' and prime ministers' fine phrases and grand public pretensions, to stem the blood-dimmed tide in the world's endless "swirl of lusting, murderous, satanic desire" by arranging publicly unthinkable bargains and face-saving exits for power-crazed statesmen. So writes Charles Hill, a former speechwriter for Kissinger at the State Department in the 1970s and a top aide to his successor George Shultz, in his 2010 book "Grand Strategies: Literature, Statecraft, and World Order." At one point Hill likens Kissinger to the fallen angel Mammon in John Milton's "Paradise Lost," who counsels Satan's hosts to "adapt to the conditions of Hell" and "seek to prosper." 


All of which suggests why Gewen's estimation of Kissinger in "The Inevitability of Tragedy" inclines me to think of the new Israel/Emirates deal as a Kissinger-style coup against President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority on the West Bank — even though the PA isn't really a sovereign state, and even though Kissinger, who's long retired from public office, isn't officially involved. But I do imagine him involved in advice-giving: Again, all those visits to the White House aren't just photo-ops. And Gewen's way of handling Kissinger mirrors Kissinger's "Now you see it, now you don't" way of doing things.

Read entire article at Salon

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