by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Secretary of State Antony Blinken sat for an interview with New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday. It was not reassuring.
The exchange began with a discussion of the Middle East. The region has been aflame since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, 2023, murdering 1,200 Israelis, kidnapping hundreds more, and spiriting away the innocents into an underground hell.
For the past 104 days, Israel has sought to destroy Hamas and free the captives. Throughout, Hezbollah in Lebanon has been fighting a low-intensity conflict with Israel. Militias have attacked U.S. forces deployed in Syria and Iraq hundreds of times. Houthi terrorists have fired drones and rockets at commercial shipping and U.S. naval assets in the Red Sea. On the morning Blinken spoke in Davos, Iran launched missiles into Syria, Iraq, and nuclear-armed Pakistan.
War rages. What most interests Tom Friedman, however, are the chances for a Palestinian state. He says it’s the key to peace in the Middle East—a position from which he has not wavered, despite all evidence to the contrary, for more than 20 years. Antony Blinken is more than happy to indulge in this delusion.
“If you take a regional approach,” he told Friedman, “and if you pursue integration with security, with a Palestinian state, all of a sudden you have a region that’s come together in ways that answer the most profound questions that Israel has tried to answer for years, and what has heretofore been its single biggest concern in terms of security, Iran, is suddenly isolated along with its proxies, and will have to make decisions about what it wants its future to be.”