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After Netanyahu’s Visit to Oman – Abdulrahman al-Rashed (Al Arabiya via Daily Alert)

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Oct. 29, 2018

After Netanyahu’s Visit to Oman – Abdulrahman al-Rashed (Al Arabiya)

The nonchalant reactions of the Arab public and media over the Omani announcement that they received Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Muscat, Oman’s port capital, illustrates how much the region has changed from the past.

The non-pragmatic way of dealing with the conflict has harmed the Palestinians and hasn’t deterred the Israelis. The Arab culture of rejecting relations and normalization with Israel is deeply rooted and still alive, but what’s new is that it is no longer the engine moving the policies of Arab governments.

Israel has played an important role in hitting Iran’s growing influence in Syria. It took up roles that Arab countries couldn’t achieve. With this, a military balance in the region was achieved, and Israel became integral to regional security after it was once considered a poisonous apple that everyone avoided dealing with.

Iran’s strong involvement in the Syrian war is what prompted Israel to enter and become a major player, especially when both America and Turkey failed in the face of the Iranian regime’s expansion and hegemony in Syria, after it was clear that it is building an empire with chaotic militias.

Even those who reject Israel in the context of the Palestinian cause found themselves compelled to welcome the intervention of Israeli air forces which dramatically changed the situation in Syria and curbed Iranian threats in the region.

Without Israel’s intervention, stopping the Revolutionary Guards’ expansion – that succeeded on the back of the Russian military and political presence – would not have been possible.

The writer is former general manager of the Al Arabiya news channel and a former editor-in-chief of Asharq al-Awsat.

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