The WSJ's Opinion Piece - very much worth reading!
The strongest force in international politics is driving the change: fear. The Arab world as a whole is confronting its greatest crisis since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Iraq and Syria, once pillars of Arab nationalism
and strength, can barely hold themselves together. Yemen and Libya are sunk in bitter civil wars. Egypt, whose economy is staggering as the pandemic slashes its income from tourism and trade, can barely manage its own security, much less export stability to the rest of the Arab
world. Lebanon, for so long a financial and cultural capital of the Arab world, suffers from a failing state and Hezbollah’s heavy hand.
Even the wealthy Gulf oil states fear for their economic future. American fracking is likely to keep oil prices low even when the global
economy recovers from Covid-19, and with pro-Green New Deal Democrats leading in U.S. polls, the pressure from the West on fossil fuels seems likely to grow. What limits a President Biden would place on fracking likely wouldn’t cut domestic production enough to raise oil prices
significantly. The Gulf states must diversify from hydrocarbons or wither away, and they know it.
On top of all this, the American withdrawal from the Middle East keeps gaining momentum. The Trump administration continues to push to reduce U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, t.
while a Biden administration would seek to revive the nuclear deal with Tehran while distancing itself from Saudi Arabia on human-rights grounds.
Behind all these worries lie the real terrors of the Arab world: Turkey and Iran. Muslim Brotherhood leaders fleeing Egypt have found
a haven in Turkey, and many Arabs believe that Ankara’s ambitions pose a greater long-term threat to Arab independence than Tehran’s.
In the short term, Iran, which hopes that a Biden election would lead to open trade with the West, poses what Gulf Arab leaders see as an
existential threat—especially with America looking to reduce its regional commitments.
The more the U.S. withdraws, the greater the value of Israel to the Sunni Arab world. Israel, growing numbers of Arab leaders believe, is the only country with both the will and the means to
help the Arab world defend itself from regional threats—and the only country with enough political support in America to ensure that Arab pleas for help will not be utterly disregarded.
Beyond that, more Arabs are beginning to see the advantages in working with Israel. Israel is
not, as many Arabs once believed, a fragile artificial society held together by U.S. support. It is by any measure the most successful state in the Middle East with the most technologically advanced economy in the region. Chinese, Russian, Japanese, Indian and American military
leaders all want the benefits of Israeli tech.
Timing aside, the Arab rapprochement with Israel is no pre-election stunt staged to help Donald Trump. It reflects a sober and serious response to realities that no Arab state can ignore. As a military and intelligence partner, as
a diplomatic force multiplier, as a trading partner, as a source of investment and of development expertise, Israel is too valuable to the Arab world to be relegated to the status of a regional pariah. It has earned its place in the Middle East.

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