Blinken: Arab Nations Cautious on Rebuilding Gaza if 'Leveled' Again

    Blinken: Arab Nations Cautious on Rebuilding Gaza if 'Leveled' Again
    Photo: Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • US Sec. of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday that Arab nations aren't keen to finance rebuilding Gaza after the war if it will be "leveled" again in a few years, stressing the importance of establishing a Palestinian state in any regional settlement. He emphasized that Israel's security depended on normalization with Arab states and resolving the conflict with the Palestinians. Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said the kingdom could recognize Israel as part of a comprehensive agreement that included a Palestinian state.

    • US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, also present at Davos, said that Hamas' Oct. 7 attack hadn't fundamentally changed the Biden admin’s approach to the Middle East. He claimed that the goal of the attack was to derail normalization talks between Israel and Arab states — namely Saudi Arabia. He said that the war in Gaza was "on a path of escalation" and the US seeks de-escalation and diplomacy.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    The US is doing everything it can to both ensure that Israel can eliminate Hamas's military capabilities and prevent regional escalation. Israel must be able to defend itself from terrorist attacks, whether from Gaza or elsewhere and is taking the right steps to wind down its military operations in Gaza, as it is not in the US or Israel's best interest to see the conflict escalate. Nevertheless, the US is prepared to defend its allies in the region and deter threats to regional and global security.

    Pro-Israel narrative

    Though this has been a tragic war, Israel must eliminate Hamas and restore deterrence with Iran and its proxy Hezbollah. Hezbollah is a terrorist army with far greater military capabilities than Hamas, and Israel cannot allow its citizens residing in the north to live under the constant threat of terrorist attacks. The UN resolution that ended the 2006 war with Hezbollah has failed to ensure Israel's security, and if some sort of new arrangement is not made, Israel will be forced to intervene. Likewise, in Gaza, Hamas's military capabilities must be eliminated to ensure Israel's security.

    Pro-Palestine narrative

    Israel continues to demonstrate that its war is not against Hamas or Hezbollah but against the Palestinian and Lebanese people as a whole. Nowhere in Gaza is safe, and Israel has effectively rendered the north of the strip unlivable. Israel is killing Palestinians at an unprecedented rate and clearly wants to make the Gaza Strip unlivable. Though the US, Israel's biggest ally, wants to minimize the war's intensity, it must instead exert more pressure to end the war completely.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 64% chance that Israel will have de facto power in the Gaza Strip on Jan. 1, 2025, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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