Benjamin Netanyahu’s Visit to Oman Was a Good Thing, but Don’t Overestimate Its Importance

Commenting on the Israeli prime minister’s recent visit to Oman, where he was warmly received by the sultan Qaboos bin Said al-Said, and other signs of improving relations between Israel and the Arab world, Nicole Salter and David May write:

News of Netanyahu’s visit to Oman has stoked hopes that the Gulf sultanate could serve as a regional broker for Israeli-Palestinian peace as part of President Trump’s anticipated “deal of the century.” . . . This visit came amid other potential signs of Arab-Israeli normalization. . . .

It is, [however], unclear whether the average Omani is ready to get behind Qaboos’s effort. Already, the Omani writer Zakaria al-Muharrami tweeted that while he appreciates the sultan’s efforts, “this does not mean that Netanyahu, the killer of children, becomes a friend. He is an enemy of all humanity.” In fact, variations of the hashtag #Omani_Against_Normalization have appeared in tens of thousands of tweets recently. Other prominent Omani commentators were more cautiously critical of the Netanyahu visit.

Moreover, it is uncertain if Oman, a relatively poor country with fewer than five million residents, has the strength and influence to serve as a regional peace custodian. . . . Netanyahu’s visit must be viewed now as a potentially positive step for peace in the Middle East. But it is unclear how much Oman has to offer.

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Read more at Weekly Standard

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel & Zionism, Israel diplomacy, Israel-Arab relations, Oman, Peace Process

Condemning Terrorism in Jerusalem—and Efforts to Stop It

Jan. 30 2023

On Friday night, a Palestinian opened fire at a group of Israelis standing outside a Jerusalem synagogue, killing seven and wounding several others. The day before, the IDF had been drawn into a gunfight in the West Bank city of Jenin while trying to arrest members of a terrorist cell. Of the nine Palestinians killed in the raid, only one appears to have been a noncombatant. Lahav Harkov compares the responses to the two events, beginning with the more recent:

President Joe Biden called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to denounce the attack, offer his condolences, and express his commitment to Israel’s security. Other leaders released supportive statements as well. Governments across Europe condemned the attack. Turkey’s foreign ministry did the same, as did Israel’s Abraham Accords partners the UAE and Bahrain. Even Saudi Arabia released a statement against the killing of civilians in Jerusalem.

It feels wrong to criticize those statements. . . . But the condemnations should be full-throated, not spoken out of one side of the mouth while the other is wishy-washy about what it takes to stave off terrorism. These very same leaders and ministries were tsk-tsking at Israel for doing just that only a day before the attacks in Jerusalem.

The context didn’t seem to matter to some countries that are friendly to Israel. It didn’t matter that Israel was trying to stop jihadists from attacking civilians; it didn’t matter that IDF soldiers were attacked on the way.

It’s very easy for some to be sad when Jews are murdered. Yet, at the same time, so many of them are uncomfortable with Jews asserting themselves, protecting themselves, arming themselves against the bloodthirsty horde that would hand out bonbons to celebrate their deaths. It’s a reminder of how important it is that we do just that, and how essential the state of Israel is.

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Read more at Lahav’s Newsletter

More about: Jerusalem, Palestinian terror