Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed his optimism over United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s retweet of a journalist’s analysis about “an Arab-Israeli alliance…taking shape in the Middle East.”
“I welcome the closer relations between Israel and many Arab states. The time has come for normalization and peace,” Netanyahu tweeted in a dual-language English-Arabic tweet.
Sheikh Abdullah’s tweet linking to an analysis in The Spectator garnered media attention on Saturday, including 1,600 retweets and over 4,000 likes. The article he linked to, written by former Tony Blair advisor and ex-council on Foreign Relations fellow Ed Husain, argued that Netanyahu’s 2018 Oman visit could be seen as a watershed moment for Israel’s traditionally difficult relations with many of its Middle Eastern neighbors.
“A new narrative is emerging in the Middle East. New maps of the Muslim mind are being drawn and old hatreds are on the run. The anti-Semitic craze to destroy Israel was powerful in the 1960s, uniting Egypt’s President Nasser with his fellow Arabs. But now, Sunni Arab neighbors are changing course,” Husain wrote.
In the article, the journalist commented on improving relations between Islam in Judaism throughout the Gulf states and elsewhere, and argued that part of the warming attitudes may be the joint feeling by leaders in both Israel and the Sunni Arab states about “the need to stand firm against Iran.”