“A Bitter James Baker, Who Failed on the Western Sahara, Urges Biden To Rescind the Deal”

Moroccan Envoy Marks Hanukkah With Israel
by Benny Avni
December 18, 2020

As the Moroccan ambassador to the United Nations, Omar Hilale, lit candles Thursday alongside his Israeli counterpart, Gilad Erdan, some in Washington tsk-tsk’d about the Western Sahara. Like the Israeli-Palestinian territorial disputes, the fight over the desert tract of African land has for decades been a favorite plaything for Washington peace processors and their Turtle Bay counterparts. The more intense the diplomatic activity, the more entangled the Gordian Knot has become. Until, that is, the famous disrupter, Donald Trump, came with a diplomatic axe. As part of Morocco’s joining the Abraham Accords — Mr. Trump’s campaign to widen the number of Arab countries at full peace and diplomatic relations with Israel — America agreed to recognize Rabat’s sovereignty over Western Sahara. READ MORE

WALL STREET JOURNAL Eugene Kontorovich: The Middle East’s Dual ‘Occupations’  Many expected the Trump administration to recognize Israeli sovereignty over parts of the West Bank before Inauguration Day. Instead, last week it recognized Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara as part of a U.S.-brokered peace deal between Jerusalem and Rabat. The new U.S. position on Morocco’s borders has a sound basis in international law and diplomatic practice, and it makes the case even stronger for doing the same with Israel and the West Bank.

NEWSWEEK Ilan Berman: The Israel-Morocco Deal Is a Triumph for Trump—and Biden, Too For all of its import, the December 10 announcement by the Kingdom of Morocco that it was normalizing ties with Israel can hardly be said to have been a surprise. Contacts between the two countries span decades, and Rabat and Jerusalem have long boasted a vibrant (if informal) partnership built around cultural bonds, trade ties and political alignment.

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