What Egypt’s Withdrawal from the “Arab NATO” Signifies for U.S. Strategy

A few weeks ago, Egypt quietly announced its withdrawal from the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA), a coalition—which also includes Jordan, the Gulf states, and the U.S.—founded at President Trump’s urging to serve as an “Arab NATO” that could work to contain Iran. Jonathan Ariel notes three major factors that most likely contributed to Egyptian President Sisi’s abandonment of MESA: his distrust of Donald Trump (and concern that Trump might lose the 2020 election) and of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman; Cairo’s perception that Iran does not pose a major threat to its security; and the current situation in Gaza:

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Read more at BESA Center

More about: Egypt, Gaza Strip, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, U.S. Foreign policy

The Sinister Attacks on Israeli Offers of Aid to Lebanon

Aug. 10 2020

“The only encouraging thing” about the deadly explosion in Beirut, wrote the former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt on Twitter, “is that even Israel has been quick in offering humanitarian aid.” Had Bildt been better informed, he might have known that there is nothing new or unusual about the Jewish state offering humanitarian assistance to its Arab neighbors—or to more far-flung nations. Yet his bizarre comment was less hostile than the reactions of those who rushed to dismiss the offer as a meaningless public-relations stunt. Lahav Harkov writes:

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Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Israel diplomacy, Lebanon