Morocco’s Normalization Deal With Israel Is Another Obvious Quid Pro Quo

Morocco’s Normalization Deal With Israel Is Another Obvious Quid Pro Quo
A young girl waves a Moroccan and a Palestinian flag during a protest against normalizing relations with Israel, in Rabat, Morocco, Sept. 18, 2020 (AP photo by Mosa’ab Elshamy).

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The United Arab Emirates got armed Reaper drones and the coveted F-35, becoming the first Arab county to fly the most advanced U.S. fighter jet, despite Israel’s initial objections. Sudan got much-needed economic aid and the promise of being removed from Washington’s list of state sponsors of terrorism, freeing up billions of dollars in more international assistance—which, sure enough, happened Monday. Not to be outdone, Morocco got American recognition of its sovereignty claims over Western Sahara, a disputed region whose status was supposed to be resolved by an eventual referendum, as mandated by the U.N. Security Council.

It’s been clear for months that the normalization deals between Israel and several Arab countries, brokered by the Trump administration, are less about regional peace and more about quid pro quos. Whatever conditions officials in Abu Dhabi, Khartoum or Rabat have apparently made in their discussions about formally recognizing Israel, American officials have been happy to concede them—even if they undermine decades of international diplomacy, including long-held U.S. positions.

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