Honesty and goodwill. Without them, any new deal will be just another fiasco. Historically, despotic Arab regimes have never been serious about any peace agreement they have ever forged with Israel since 1948. Even after the 1978 landmark peace deal sealed between Egypt and Israel, and the 1993 peace deal with the PLO, or the 1994 peace deal with Jordan; the Arabs have dealt with them as prolonged truces and failed to satisfy the political philosophy behind those agreements which include not only the end of military hostilities but also and most importantly a genuine and functional cultural and economical normalisation of relations with the Hebrew state, and the unequivocal recognition of its right to exist. The spirit that has been driving them until now is based on a politically expedient strategy. They submit to peace either for a humiliating defeat or due to their clear incapabllity to wage war.
The differences between the Arab regimes and Islamist movements regarding the stance on Israel existence are rather nominal and hypocritical. The Islamists are blatantly calling for an all-out Jihad against Israel through an epic popular and military march of millions of Muslims around the world to invade the Israeli soil and take over Jerusalem, ( one of the Muslim Brotherhood bombastic slogans says “we are going to Jerusalem, with millions of martyrs”), while the Arab dictators who are well aware of the real state of their armies are much more realistic in their approach; though they are not opposed to the idea of throwing Israel into the sea, but they just know it is a misleading pipe dream without a WMD.
Internaly, the Arab regimes, however, had their “revenge” on Israel. They have consolidated and deliberately fueled hatred and anti-Jewish prejudices among their subjects to a disgusting point; they have been encouraging antisemetic activities conducted by Islamists and Pan-Arabs in their societies, and suppressed every intellectual move towards a positive and constructive perception of Israel.
Ironically, the Gulf states that have been lately expressing their willingness to establish some sort of formal relations with Israel are the same states that are perpetually inciting against Israel and spreading dark rumours towards the Jews throughout their local media outlooks and schools curricula and drama production. Apparently, their official and unofficial statements that sound at first glance in favor of normalising relations with Israel, are in effect no more then a load of baloneys and periodic bubbles intended essentially to give a fake impression of crossing red lines and breaking major taboos in the collective Arab politics, and threatening to demolish the whole ideological house where the Arabs actually dwell in order to arouse the anger and provoke their ideological brothers but political rivals represented by the antisemetic shaikhdom of Qatar followed by Iran and turkey— the main supporters of the terror groups in Gaza and Lebanon and the “body guards” of the well-established Islamist and Pan-Arab narration that advocates the” liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea.”
Nevertheless, they are all in the same boat: Islamists, Arab dictatorships, Pan-Arabs, Iran of the Mullahs, and Turkey of the neo-Ottomans. And although they are fighting each other ferociously over the leadership of the Middle East and sometimes engaging into mutual nasty quarrels, but none of those states believe in an integral peace with Israel. For them, “Palestina” is an Islamic endowment land conquered by the second Caliph Umar Ibn Al-khattab in 637 CE, and it must always be governed by an Islamic ruler, should that ruler be an Arab, a Turk or a Persian…
Whatever their internal fights and skirmishes might be, their ideological dynamism and inherent impulses are identical since they are made from the same mould, and that cannot be changed through political arrangements or economical workshops only, (like the one expected to be held in Bahrain) for that is like putting the cart before the horse. But the main step should be directed to pressuring the Arab dictators to do the right thing —since they can do all bad things and behave as they please in their lands— to fight antisemetism in their classic educational system, and impose a strict scrutiny on the unruly Islamist element in Arab societies which is fairly infested with fascist ideas and malignant doctrines and preached by trigger-happy fanatics who enjoy unlimited access to all layers of social fabric. This will have a direct effect on Palestinians who are attached organically to the Arabsphere dynamics and subsequently, as ideological barriers start collapsing, they will feel free to consider groundbreaking alternatives.
It’s all about the oil money, and it’s all about who give it and distribute it between individuals and entities which are ultimately fulfilling the ideological goals of the patrons. But what if one could exert a real influence on those patrons and bring them to change their undertaking? If those wealthy Gulf states —the real fashionistas of the Arab mind— need the U.S. and, to a certain extent, Israeli help and protection to confront Iran and other potential threats, then they will have to pay for that protection not only by easy cash and investments but most importantly ideologically—through introducing serious and unmitigated changes into their inherited culture and cherished dogmas to meet international standards. They cannot expect any aid from the U.S. and Israel while mosques, libraries, TV channels, cultural events etc., are crammed with hate speech and poisonous assumptions against Western values and constant diabolization of the Jews. Ultras and extremists do exists as limited minorities in every society, but in the Arab world Islamist ideas constitute mainstream public opinion and that what makes the Arab society as a whole characterized with violence and intolerance and a perfect environment for generating terrorism.
Arab tyrants know that the Arabsphere media is hardly noticed outside the Arab world; there are no international monitoring committees or watchdogs that can make those daily moral and intellectual crimes committed by Arab media, journalists and writers known to the world and subjugate them to legal prosecutions. As a result, most of those daily moral crimes became conventional ideas held by the grassroots and then transmitted to the Muslim diaspora abroad. The West pays little attention to the barrages of Isis-like dogmas and misinformations circulating routinely throughout the Arab media without exemptions, while the most famous English-speaking Arab channels and websites owned by both rivals (Qataris and Saudis) are good in playing the double standard game and fooling their Western audience. The solution is just under the West’s nose and needs only someone who could give it a shot.