Don't Expect An Arab-Israeli Alliance
Marc Lynch posts a photograph that has caused quite a stir in the Arab media showing a handshake between Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and former Saudi intelligence chief Turki al-Faisal. Why it matters:
It's a common mistake to assume that only the private views of leaders or only public discourse matters. Both levels matter, the private Realpolitik of Arab leaders and the real passions of the Arab public. The depth of the gap between the private views of Arab leaders and the predominant views of the Arab public explains much of the vitriol of the current "Arab cold war". Many Arabs are worried about Iran, no doubt about it, and many in the official camp are deeply hostile to Hamas, Hezbollah, and most other forms of populist opposition. But most also continue to be genuinely outraged by Israeli policies and reject any public relationship. It's a cliche to say so but also true: don't expect the much-predicted Arab-Israeli alliance against Iran to ever live up to its hype (at least publicly) without real movement towards Israeli-Palestinian peace.