Arab leaders would like to sacrifice Palestinians to make alliances with Israel, as a Middle East “security” conference showed last week. Officially, countries such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman refuse to deal with Israel.
Mass sympathy for Palestinians—who have suffered persecution and violent occupation since Israel was founded—has stood in the way of normalising the relationships. But the regimes of the Gulf Arab states have been quietly cooperating with Israel against their shared rival Iran. Now US president Donald Trump is pushing for that relationship to come out into the open. The US relies on states such as Israel and Saudi Arabia to prop up its dominance in the Middle East. But the growing power of Iran and the spread of its military threatens US control.