In the past, when Arab governments joined forces it was against another common enemy — Israel. Nowadays, President Trump is expected to lay out a plan to create a so-called “Arab NATO“, a force that might even have room for Israel in a later stage.
In a press conference with President Donald Trump upon his visit to Washington, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “For the first time in my lifetime, and for the first time in the life of my country, Arab countries in the region do not see Israel as an enemy, but, increasingly, as an ally”.
Iran’s growing influence in the region has been cause for concern for Arabs and Israelis alike. Faced with rapid gains made by Iran-backed forces in Yemen, Syria and Iraq, and with a crumbling Middle East state order, Israelis and Arabs should realize that a turning point has come. The proposed force is perhaps the only way to balance Iran.
A failure to act now could prove costly. For both Israel and the Persian Gulf states, Iran’s nuclear deal has done little to curb Iran’s regional conduct or its longer term nuclear ambitions.
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