Bahrain is, apparently, on track to normalize relations with Israel. UAE already has agreed to do so. Saudi Arabia is rumored to be on its way to doing the same. As oil-market analyst Simon Watkins puts it, this is about two things: doing business in the United States and getting a leg up on Iran. “More than any other outcomes from this deal, the UAE wanted to put itself firmly in the U.S.’s most-favoured allies for receiving future business and financing deals, as it suffered a big hit from the Saudi-led oil price war that just ended, and to be included in the U.S.-Israel intelligence and security network to protect itself from Iran.”
By way of comparison, the Palestinian leadership is financially choking its own people out in a fit of pique.
One of these ways of living in the world has a future, and one of them does not.
The Middle East is still a snake-pit, and extreme caution is always the right attitude, especially toward good news. But seeing greed edge out hatred is an encouraging development. We can come to an accommodation with people who want to be rich and safe.
Of course, we would be in an even stronger negotiating position if we weren’t unnecessarily hamstringing our own oil industry in the service of swing-state politics.