In March 2018, Mark Landler — then a White House correspondent at The New York Times — attended a dinner party hosted by the United Arab Emirates’ ambassador, Yousef al-Otaiba, at a Washington restaurant. There he witnessed a chance encounter between the ambassador and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel — one the ambassador asked to keep private. Two years after that delicate conversation, Israel and the United Arab Emirates have agreed to normalize diplomatic and trade relations. Today, we speak to Mr. Landler about the Trump administration’s role in the agreement, what normalization means for Palestinians and what it says about the Middle East’s political climate. Guest: Mark Landler, London bureau chief at The New York Times.
For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily
- The Arab Spring, growing power of Iranian proxies and demographic changes — how changing dynamics in the Middle East set the stage for the deal.
- The U.A.E. has agreed to normalization in exchange for Israel’s suspending annexation of areas in the occupied West Bank. Many Palestinians see the deal as less of a balm and more of a stab in the back.