Despite regional concerns, Trump's great Middle East strategy is performing uniting Israel with Saudis and other Gulf Arab forces against…
Despite regional concerns, Trump’s great Middle East strategy is performing uniting Israel with Saudis and other Gulf Arab forces against Iran, laying the foundations for a comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian peace treaty, making unexpected progress away from the spotlight.
The latest sign: Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahus unannounced travel last week to Oman, the first of an Israeli leader for more than two decades. That visit has been followed by a series of other takeovers that Israel has made against Gulf Arab states, including another taboo-breaking public appearance in the United Arab Emirates by Israeli Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev.
Arabic diplomatic activity traditionally avoiding global relations with Israel has “been good at both Netanyahu and Trump administration optics”, announcing the fact that “relevant regional peace partners are in place to support a possible new Israeli-Palestinian “deal” before it is launched, “said Assaf Orion, a former Israeli Defense Forces Secretary and visiting colleague at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Mr. Netanyahu visits to Oman, bordered by Saudi Arabia, and has often played a role as regional mediator with Iran, could be crucial to Mr Trump’s efforts to isolate Tehran after the United States recall of the 201
5 nuclear nuclear agreement from Iran. The Arab states could put pressure on the Palestinians to accept the highly anticipated peace agreement compiled by the White House aide and President Swearson Jared Kushner.
“The symbol of what the Israelis are doing is important,” says Brian Katulis, an analyst in the Middle East, with the Center for the American Progress. “[Netanyahu] The visit signaled Iran that Iran is quite interested in developing ties with Iran’s neighbors a way that could further cause Trump’s campaign for the highest pressure against Tehran. “
The opposition has taken the attention of the regime in Tehran and tough Palestinian elements. One article of the week about Netanyahu’s visit to the Conservative Iranian newspaper Kayhan said he was close to it Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, begging the title of “Arab rulers as single Palestinians in the back.” The article quoted Palestinian Hamas radical group as warning that the visit could have “serious repercussions on the Palestinians and their trial.”
On the other hand, Jason Greenblatt, Trumps Middle East Envoy, Netanyahus travel on Twitter as a big boost to US politics in the region.  “This is a good step for our peace efforts and important for creating an atmosphere of stability, security and prosperity between Israelis, Palestinians and their neighbors. Looking forward to seeing more meetings like this one! “Mr. Greenblatt tweeted.
The Israeli diplomacy’s excitement can be more relevant among the diplomatic crisis killed by the apparent killing of October 2 in Turkey by an American Saudi dissident writer Jamal Khashoggi.
Mr. Trump’s overall strategy towards the region has been strong Dependent on the establishment of stronger relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia. However, Riyadh’s reliability as a partner able to carry other Gulf powers aboard has been questioned by allegations that Mr Khashoggi was killed on orders from the highest levels of the Saudi royal family.
“With Saudis apparently sidelined Trump administration is now looking at Oman, knowing that the Omanians have such a neutral role as a potential mediator, “said Jonathan Schanzer, regional analyst at the Foundation for Democratic Defense.
“If things looked as if they were potentially going to hang on to normalize between Israel and the Arab world, the thought is that you can get Omanis to take the role of trying to deepen this normalization and also openly embrace the thought of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. “
Out in the open
Mr.. Netanyahu counted a long time on warming ties with important Arab states that do not have diplomatic relations with Israel. But these bands – still largely unpopular among the Arab public – have rarely been recognized so publicly.
It changed Friday when the Conservative Israeli leader suddenly appeared in Oman with a delegation that included his wife, his national security adviser, his Foreign Ministry director and Mossad’s head, Israel’s intelligence service. The group was met by the long-time Omani Sultan Qaboos bin Said.
“It was important talks, both for the state of Israel and very important talks for Israel’s security,” Netanyahu said afterwards. “There will be more.”
When he spoke, the region saw another subtle Israeli move. Ms. Regev, the Israeli Minister of Culture, was in the United Arab Emirates at a Judo Tournament to participate in a scene that would have seemed unthinkable a few weeks ago: an Israeli cabinet minister, joyful tears filled his eyes, proudly sang the country’s national anthem at a sporting event in the heart of it Arab world.
Ms. Regev also toured the Great Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi.
Oman as mediator
It remains to be seen how Oman – a connection of a loosely wrapped headscarf and the traditional floor-long edge called abaya, was warmly welcomed by local officials. Anomaly among the Arab Power in the Gulf, which also has good relations with Iran – knows the possibility of adapting to Israel, the United States and Saudi Arabia against Tehran.
However, as regards the Israeli-Palestinian question and the more fundamental issue of recognizing Israel’s existence as a legitimate nation, the Omanians seem to have a leading role in following Netanyahu’s visit.
Oman Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah made international headlines after the visit by describing Israel as an accepted Middle East nation.
“Israel is a state present in the region, and we all understand this,” he said. “The world is also aware of this fact, and perhaps it is time for Israel to be treated equally and also have the same obligations.”
A statement by the Foreign Ministry this week argued that the Sultanate now “supports some sincere efforts that can help create a suitable environment for resuming peace efforts and negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian sides to reach a fair, comprehensive and balanced solution.”  But the Omanians have also long been standing as defenders of Palestinian rights. The days before the Netanyahu visit received Omani Sultan Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas for a visit to Muscat, Oman’s capital. The Foreign Ministry’s statement this week also insisted that “the Palestinian people have suffered and still suffer a lot to get their legitimate rights”.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an emotional issue with the Arab public, and relations are likely to remain limited without a peace agreement.
Israel’s forces have killed more than 160 Palestinians during months of Hamas-led protests in the Gaza Strip against an Israeli blockade and an in-depth humanitarian crisis. The peace process has been frozen for years, and Abbas sent ties with Washington after the White House acknowledged Jerusalem as the capital of Israel last year and moved its embassy to the city.
Palestinians fear that the Trump administration is trying to support Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states to push them to accept a peace plan that goes far beyond their demands.
Mr. Schanzer said that Kushner has been central to the United States to promote closer relations between Israel and the Gulf – relations that may not be formalized but will constitute a “regional architecture”.
“Kushner has ceased to be the guy who has done the space with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and with the other Gulf Arab states to try to deepen this regional architecture idea, and it began to be reported with this Trump Israel-Palestine peace plan,” said Schanzer .  Although the Trump administration has not reached its strategy, he said that several officials have offered “vague statements and innuendos” which show that the strategy’s goal is to “marginalize Palestinian positions and make the Arab power press the Palestinians to perhaps accept less or anything else than they had required before. “
” But it would also mean that the Arab states, together with perhaps the United States and others, could drive more prosperity and economic incentives for the Palestinians, “said Schanzer. So, the idea was to get the Arab states more involved in the peace process to bring the Palestinians together and make them willing to accept a little less on the political front in exchange for more on the institutional and economic development front. “ Some analysts say that the Omanians are Uniquely placed to play an intermediate role, with a long history of navigating dividing fat in a turbulent region. Sultan Qaboos seems to at least set a time when Gulf Arab’s powers can be more open about their relations with Israel.
“One of the obstacles to progress with the Palestinians has been their belief that they can keep Israeli relations with others in the hostage of the region,” told Orion, the former Israeli general, The Washington Times. “At least some Arab states, while moving carefully, say:” We do not want our policies to be held hostage. Perhaps we do not want to go public with it, but we have relations with Israel, who can even help their relations with the Palestinians. “”
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