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

 

Hizballah Is Preparing Terror Attacks on U.S. Targets

June 18 2019

On May 16, a New York jury convicted the Hizballah operative Ali Kourani on multiple terrorism-related counts, including planning attacks on FBI and Secret Service offices as well as on an Army armory. His arrest and questioning, writes Matthew Levitt, suggest that the Iran-backed Lebanese organization is far more focused on carrying out attacks on U.S. soil than law-enforcement agents previously believed:

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Read more at Foreign Policy

More about: Canada, Hizballah, Iran, Terrorism, U.S. Security