Ideas. Action. Impact. The Washington Institute for Near East Policy The Washington Institute: Improving the Quality of U.S. Middle East Policy

Other Pages

Policy Analysis

Articles & Op-Eds

How Obama Nudged Arab Leaders Toward Israel

Haisam Hassanein and Wesam Hassanein

Also available in العربية

Wall Street Journal

October 10, 2017

Regional leaders believe the administration mishandled Iran and the Arab Spring, and this belief had the unintended effect of aligning their interests with Netanyahu's.

Israeli-Arab relations have been warming of late. Last month Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa reportedly urged fellow Arabs to end their boycott and normalize relations with Israel. In August, the Egyptian government released a letter from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman affirming Riyadh's commitment to the existing arrangements between Egypt and Israel relating to the Straits of Tiran -- the first public Saudi acknowledgment of Israel's maritime rights in the straits. Meanwhile, several Arab officials have reportedly met in private with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his defense officials. For the Arab change of heart, credit the Obama administration -- specifically, its rift with Mr. Netanyahu...

Read the full article on the Wall Street Journal website.