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Behind the News – February 2020

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh reportedly angered Egypt by attending the funeral in Teheran of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani

Scribblings: Iran Loves Jews!

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wants Jews to know he and his regime have nothing against them and they have no reason to fear him. 

Essay: Bridging the Gulf

States that once were viewed as existential enemies are now potential partners for peace. As one of the most critical economic and geopolitical locations in the world, the Gulf States have stepped up to play a pivotal role in combatting Iranian hostility. 

The US “Peace to Prosperity” plan for Palestinian welfare

The past week has seen the release of the Trump Administration's US$50 billion "Peace to Prosperity" economic vision for the Palestinians, and the holding of a "workshop" in Bahrain dedicated to encouraging and further developing this plan, with the participation of many Arab states.

Engulfed by crisis

The increasing momentum of the US “maximum pressure” policy has prompted Iran to react more aggressively of late. 

The case for the Bahrain economic confab 

The focus on Ramallah’s refusal to engage with a US administration it views as hostile misses a very important point: the mere fact that the peace proposal’s rollout will take place in an Arab capital is nothing less than a sensation.

Chess Match

On the ground, the Middle East looks more like a chessboard, with Iran and its allies and proxies facing off against American allies.

Essay: The Qatar-Qaradawi nexus

The recent decision by several Arab States to designate a number of Qatari-hosted Islamists as terrorist entities has once again raised the issue of Qatari support for both violent and non-violent Islamists.

The Arab loss of interest in Palestine

On the stage and behind the scenes, there seemed much more appetite for normalisation with Israel. Oman’s Foreign Minister said it quite clearly when he called on the Arab world to “come to terms with the reality that Israel is a fact of life in the region”

Oman as Israel’s link to the Middle East?

Some of the Israeli officials involved in the covert ties with Oman could not help but wonder why is the Sultan suddenly willing to have such a public and broadly covered visit now? The answer to that will not be found in Jerusalem.

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