Former Saudi ambassador to the US Bandar bin Sultan has returned to the spotlight with his appointment as the kingdom’s intelligence chief, but what does it mean asks Elliott Abrams in the Weekly Standard.
[T]he Saudis have been off the field. Now they may return, with an energetic and experienced player who can match anyone in the Arab world for charm, a network of contacts, and the financial resources of a rich government. Bandar is a spinner of webs, a dealmaker, a man who—assuming he is healthy—can bring Saudi views and interests back to the center of Arab decision making as well as the inner circles in many other world capitals.
Gaza’s ruling militant organization is seeking to expand its influence in the Arab world, even as the rival Palestinian Authority’s power is fading, writes Jonathan Schanzer in Foreign Policy.
The political tide across the Middle East is ... highly favorable to Hamas. Most obviously, the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsy in Egypt’s presidential elections has energized Hamas. Following the Brotherhood’s victory, Haniyeh expressed confidence that “the revolution led by Morsy will not take any part in blocking Gaza”—a reference to the blockade enforced by fallen dictator Hosni Mubarak.
Jerusalem Post: Hamas’s Haniyeh set to meet Egyptian president in Cairo
New York Times: Jordan Worries Turmoil Will Follow as Syria’s Refugees Flood In
Washington Post: The ‘day after’ in Syria
Wall Street Journal: Key Role Floated for Syrian Defector