02-09-17 Moderate Arab nations must lead in Trump era
Columnist Ray Hanania discusses the importance of moderate Arab countries like Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates forging a new leadership to work with President Donald Trump during the next four years to ensure that the moderate interests of the Arab people are protected and advanced.
Trump has shown he wants to be a centrist on Middle East issues, despite a strong friendship with Israel. But that friendship with Israel does not mean that Trump has to support Israel's far rightwing agenda. He has already expressed concerns with some critical Israeli policies.
This is the column commentary podcast of Ray Hanania's column which appeared in the Arab News in Saudi Arabia on Thursday Feb. 9, 2017.
Moderate Arab nations must lead in the new Trump era
For the Arab News Feb. 9, 2017, Updated for Audio Podcast
By Ray Hanania
Assertions that Donald Trump is unfair to the needs of the Arab World are misleading and contradict facts, much like the claim that the newly elected American president Donald Trump “hates” Muslims.
Trump’s efforts to crack down on Islamic extremists who have openly vowed to kill Americans has been widely misinterpreted and wrongly denounced as a “Muslim ban.” It is clearly also not true that Trump has abandoned core issues of justice in the Arab World.
So far, when you look more closely, Trump’s actions are those of a President who is clearly seeking to embrace a more “centrist” approach to Middle East challenges.
Although Trump is scheduled to meet next week with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss Iran and the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Trump has already started to build a strong base of understanding with moderate Arab World leaders.
Trump’s first face-to-face meeting with a Middle East leader was with Jordan’s King Abdullah II. The Jordanian Monarch had also met with Vice President Mike Pence in Washington D.C.