Israel's extended olive branch to the UAE occurs within a complicated geopolitical context, in which some traditional alliances are strained, several states are exploring new partnerships and various actors are seizing upon newly generated opportunities in the region.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is right to criticize the nuclear deal between world powers and Iran. Indeed, it is not a good deal -- certainly not from an Israeli perspective. But it is Netanyahu who should be blamed for that.
Iran has been one of Washington's chief antagonists for nearly four decades. But a broad deal to keep Tehran from building nuclear weapons has been reached. Alas, any accord will face significant opposition. Some Americans -- including many Republican members of Congress--fear peace more than war.
The incredible spectacle of Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu's speech to Congress -- in which he appeared as much as the leader of the political opposition to the Obama administration as the head of government of an allied nation -- has come and gone but will reverberate for a long time.
It is ludicrous to refer to just any interaction between Saudis and Israelis as an "alliance" between the two states and painfully erroneous to suggest that Israel's onslaught on Gaza came with Saudi acceptance, let alone support.
Saudi Arabia is treading a fine line. According to my sources, Netanyahu's rejection of Kerry's peace initiative over the weekend was due in part to the full support of its Arab allies. Saudi Arabia's active support is keeping this brutal war going.
It all gets sorted out by the end of the story; and is exciting, complex and funny all the way through the book. Virgil is a unique character with a unique perspective. He is laid back, laconic and extremely intelligent.
Did Turkey give Iran the names of Israeli Mossad agents allegedly operating in Turkey? If true -- and the public is unlikely to find out any time soon -- then Turkey breached one of fundamental unwritten rules of ethics in the lawless no-rules game of espionage.
Although there was no mention of Jonathan Pollard -- the American who spied for Israel and was sentenced to life in prison -- during President Obama's visit to Israel, Israeli leaders did call on Obama to release Pollard. And Obama refused.
Even Israel's biggest admirers do not, of course, expect perfection. But senior Israelis -- whether they are politicians, army generals, or intelligence chiefs -- often do seem to feel that they can do no wrong.
When you stop to think about it, pro-Israeli views in the semi-official Saudi media are not at all that surprising. The murky swamp of Middle East politics has nothing to do with the easy slogans and 30-second sound bites of presidential debates.
One of the most important debates on the world scene has gone silent. For more than a year, commentators and politicians worldwide had been discussing: How can Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program be stopped, and should Israel be stopped from bombing Iran?
If Iran is developing a nuclear weapon, should they be stopped before or after they may or may not have one? This is the scary, geo-political issue of the day involving the Middle East and therefore the world.
Dan Meridor is the Israeli government's leading moderate -- with the touch of a true intellectual. And Meridor now has an serious emergency at his hands: Iran's nuclear weapons, which Israel has vowed to stop -- with a war, if necessary.