NEW PEACE PLAN FROM THE SAUDIS….David Bernstein points us to this Haaretz account of a new peace initiative in the Middle East:

According to a new peace initiative being prepared by Arab states, Israel will negotiate a peace agreement with all the Arab states, and not just with the Palestinians, and Arab states would absorb Palestinian refugees.

The Kuwaiti newspaper Al Siyasa reported Saturday that the initiative, led by Saudi Arabia, would include “declarations of peace agreements between all Arab states,” which will bring an end to the conflict between Israel and the Arabs. The states would declare a normalization in their ties with Israel, including the appointment of ambassadors.

….Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and probably Qatar are the main supporters of the plan.

I don’t follow the intricacies of Middle East peace plans closely enough to know for sure, but this sounds like good news, doesn’t it? I know the Saudis have tried this before, but this time they’ve basically conceded the right of return, and as David says, it’s hard to believe they wouldn’t also be willing to concede some minor and mutually agreed land swaps near the 1967 border. That’s considerable progress.

Or so it seems. Unfortunately, this whole policy area is so Byzantine that I can’t pretend to know whether this is really new or just more of the same. But David is considerably more hawkish about Israel than I am, and he seems to think it’s “worth taking seriously.” So maybe it is.

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