Some Very Good News — a “Geopolitical Earthquake” in the Mideast
August 14, 2020
A GENUINE BREAKTHROUGH: We strongly urge you to read Tom Friedman’s column in this morning’s New York Times. A three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Friedman appreciates all the corruption and treachery in the Mideast, but he concludes that yesterday’s deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates is a “geopolitical earthquake” with major implications for the region.
REMARKABLY, ISRAEL HAS WON a truce with the UAE — and, in all likelihood, other Persian Gulf kingdoms, including Saudi Arabia.
THE KEY, FRIEDMAN REPORTS, was an agreement by Benjamin Netanyahu to refrain from annexing territory in the West Bank. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, stripped of key UAE allies, feels betrayed — but he should return to the bargaining table, Friedman writes.
THE LOSERS IN THIS DEAL, quite clearly, are the Iranian ayatollahs, whose use of surrogates in the Mideast will encounter even more aggressive retaliation — led
by the Israelis. Their recent cyberwarfare and pin-point air attacks have crippled
Iranian nuclear facilities.
THIS IS A VICTORY for President Trump and the much-maligned Jared Kushner, who relentlessly pushed for a deal, urging Israel not to annex in the West Bank.
Paraphrasing Trump, Friedman writes that this is a HUGE breakthrough, and we agree.
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WASHINGTON IS CLEARING OUT, as lawmakers flee this steamy city without passing a stimulus bill. We still think there will be more aid for millions of Americans who have been staggered by the virus, but that deal doesn’t appear to be imminent.
THE DEMOCRATS RISK OVERPLAYING THEIR HAND, but much of the focus is on Trump’s astonishing assertion that he could block a stimulus bill because he wants to deny needed funds for the Post Office. Trump is determined to slime the concept of mail-in balloting; we reiterate our conclusion yesterday — there’s a growing chance of a disputed election.
WE STILL THINK TRUMP NEEDS A STIMULUS DEAL, because without one, the economy could slump this fall, just ahead of the election. We also think Nancy Pelosi needs a deal; without one, she could look too calculating as people suffer. But neither she nor Steve Mnuchin are close to agreement.
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THE DOG DAYS OF AUGUST ARE UPON US, so we’ll maintain our tradition of not publishing every day in the second half of this month. We’ll write sporadically between now and Labor Day, when the campaign will heat up dramatically.
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