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Middle East hopes to weather storm before the calm

Biden administration presses ahead with planning for "day after” Israel-Hamas war; Iran reaps dividends on penny stock Houthi investment.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the 78th United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York City on Sept. 22, 2023.

Is price of normalization too high for Netanyahu?

US Secretary Antony Blinken, after a seven-day/10-stop diplomatic blitz through the region, said this week that US regional partners are “prepared to take steps, to do things, to make commitments necessary both for Gaza’s future and for long-term peace and security in the region."

The US commitment to an endgame is gaining traction. But the key question is, and always has been, whether Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also ready “to do things" — such as commit to a Palestinian state.

Blinken made clear that Israel’s regional integration is on the table, but the price is nonnegotiable — a path to Palestinian statehood. Even before Oct. 7, Saudi Arabia had conditioned normalization on a two-state process, but on much better terms for Israel. 

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