Despite Their Recent Spat, Saudi Arabia and the UAE Will Likely Remain Allies against Iran

Last week, a meeting of OPEC and affiliated oil-exporting countries broke up without reaching an agreement, following a dispute between Saudi Arabia, which wants to reduce production, and the United Arab Emirates, which wants to increase it. The two neighboring states are closely aligned, and the dispute threatens not only OPEC, but also the loose coalition of pro-Western Arab states that they lead. Bobby Ghosh cautions against reading too much into the recent blowup:

The Middle East’s most meaningful alliance has endured territorial disputes, succession crises and the pressures of war in the neighborhood. . . . It will survive because the two Gulf Arab countries have many common interests, especially in the spheres of geopolitics and security: they both are threatened by Iran and its proxies, are wary of Turkey’s growing influence in the region, and fear the political Islam propagated by the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots. Their de-facto rulers, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Zayed, have a close personal friendship.

Faced with the twin foreign-policy challenges of the rising Iranian menace to the Middle East and the U.S. retrenchment from the region, the rulers of Saudi Arabia and the UAE know they can’t let their differences get out of hand. . . . With a bipartisan consensus developing in Washington for letting the Arab states reach their own accommodation with Tehran, the Emiratis and Saudis need to hang together or be hung out to dry separately.

Opposition to Iran also keeps the UAE—the most important of the countries that last year normalized relations with Jerusalem—and Saudi Arabia aligned with Israel.

Read more at Bloomberg

More about: Iran, Israel-Arab relations, OPEC, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates

Universities Are in Thrall to a Constituency That Sees Israel as an Affront to Its Identity

Commenting on the hearings of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Tuesday about anti-Semitism on college campuses, and the dismaying testimony of three university presidents, Jonah Goldberg writes:

If some retrograde poltroon called for lynching black people or, heck, if they simply used the wrong adjective to describe black people, the all-seeing panopticon would spot it and deploy whatever resources were required to deal with the problem. If the spark of intolerance flickered even for a moment and offended the transgendered, the Muslim, the neurodivergent, or whomever, the fire-suppression systems would rain down the retardant foams of justice and enlightenment. But calls for liquidating the Jews? Those reside outside the sensory spectrum of the system.

It’s ironic that the term colorblind is “problematic” for these institutions such that the monitoring systems will spot any hint of it, in or out of the classroom (or admissions!). But actual intolerance for Jews is lathered with a kind of stealth paint that renders the same systems Jew-blind.

I can understand the predicament. The receptors on the Islamophobia sensors have been set to 11 for so long, a constituency has built up around it. This constituency—which is multi-ethnic, non-denominational, and well entrenched among students, administrators, and faculty alike—sees Israel and the non-Israeli Jews who tolerate its existence as an affront to their worldview and Muslim “identity.” . . . Blaming the Jews for all manner of evils, including the shortcomings of the people who scapegoat Jews, is protected because, at minimum, it’s a “personal truth,” and for some just the plain truth. But taking offense at such things is evidence of a mulish inability to understand the “context.”

Shocking as all that is, Goldberg goes on to argue, the anti-Semitism is merely a “symptom” of the insidious ideology that has taken over much of the universities as well as an important segment of the hard left. And Jews make the easiest targets.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, University