At all levels, the visit of Pope Francis to Jordan and Palestine was a huge success. For about 26 hours, everything was implemented as planned. And the few unplanned moments worked out quite well, leaving indelible memories and images.
Secretary of State John Kerry has attempted to pacify the angry royals. Instead, the Obama administration should tell America's foreign "friends" that Washington acts in the interests of the American people, not corrupt dictators.
While Oman continues to use its leverage to thwart a military confrontation in the Arabian Gulf, officials in Muscat have accepted that their influence is naturally limited, and they have taken actions to prepare for a scenario in which the Strait of Hormuz is closed.
While the Saudis are delighted to see Iran's top ally facing a potentially existential threat, Riyadh would be wise to recognize that Iran's loss might not necessarily advance the Saudis' longer term interests in the Middle East.
How long this situation will last is anyone's guess. But the possibility that before long Israel may have a neighbor to the east who is not as peaceful as the current Jordanian government, must be seriously considered.
Last Sunday, history was made in Saudi Arabia when the recently sworn-in Shura Council, the country's consultative assembly, held its first session with 30 women appointees participating for the first time.
If the agreed timetable for Palestinian reconciliation is adhered to, we are promised to witness the reemergence of the Palestine Liberation Organization as the embodiment of the aspirations of Palestinians.
To date, only presidents have fallen from power during the Arab Awakening -- no king has fallen from his throne. Arab monarchies are of course not immune to the forces that brought down some of their republican counterparts, so why have they all thus far survived?
It is unlikely that East Bankers, already concerned that their role and importance is being eroded, will easily accept the suggestion that the Kingdom agree to an agreement with the PLO regarding the country's long-term status.
The juxtaposition of events was at once startling and profoundly reassuring. Only a few days after a cease-fire put an end to missile fire between Israel and Gaza, I attended the opening of the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue.