Normalization in Limbo

In the waning days of the Trump presidency was the world presented with a long list of Muslim countries waiting to normalize relations with Israel. However, once Trump had exited the White House, the process came to an abrupt end and no more Muslim countries have so far normalized relations with Israel during the Biden presidency. There was profound appreciation among governments in Islamdom for the foreign policies of the Trump administration and who identified with his realist foreign policy. Donald Trump succeeded where Barack Obama failed, namely in gaining the trust of the governments of Islamdom. With Joe Biden is there a perceptual vacuum. No one knows what Joe Biden’s strategy on Islamdom is – if there is any. There is immense fear of what US policy will be after a signing of a nuclear agreement with Iran. This writer has long argued that the Khomeinist regime is not interested in a nuclear agreement which as the Iranians know in any case will be rescinded when Donald Trump no doubt returns to the White in January 2025. However, of course, no one knows for sure what the intentions of the Iranians are. It’s all about educated guesses.  

The building of a new security architecture in the Middle East and Islamdom is an urgent task not only because of Iran’s imperialism, but also because of China’s and Russia’s imperialist ambitions in Islamdom. The new security architecture must be based on the principle of minimizing the influence of imperialists in Islamdom. However, considering the decreasing US interest in Islamdom and the divergent and increasingly idiosyncratic foreign policies of US presidents on Islamdom during the 21st century, it is essential for America to act through Israel as its main proxy in Islamdom. The current situation with two great powers – Israel and Iran – in Islamdom is unsustainable as there is only room for one regional great power in Islamdom and most governments in Islamdom are betting that rational Israel will prevail over apocalyptic Iran. This is also the outcome which they strongly prefer. However, no matter how strong Israel is, does everyone know that Jerusalem is strategically dependent on Washington. Governments in Islamdom surely worry that the Biden administration will implement a Kissingerian policy of balancing Israel and Iran against each other rather than putting their weight behind Israeli regional hegemony. 

There is no such thing as a vacuum in geopolitics and it is not that governments in Islamdom have suddenly become Zionists. Rather, there is understanding that the Israelis are not imperialists while the Chinese, the Iranians and the Russians are. Obviously no one wants to be under the boot of imperialism and so Israeli hegemony in Islamdom is certainly deemed preferable to all existing alternatives considering the erratic and declining nature of the US interest in Islamdom and the highly idiosyncratic and extremely unpredictable policies on Islamdom of US presidents in the 21st century.

The Biden administration of course is determined to conclude an agreement with Iran in Vienna. However, the Biden administration is not revealing what Iran policies it is planning post an agreement. This is what holds up normalization which is an essential element in the new regional security architecture. There are immense suspicions among governments in Islamdom considering that the Biden administration is largely populated by staffers from the notoriously pro-Islamist Obama administration. Governments in Islamdom are thus keeping their options open and maintaining a wait-and-see policy. Or to put it differently, they are all awaiting the return of their beloved Donald Trump and Jared Kushner. After all, three years is a short period in history.

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization

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