Bloomberg Businessweek

Bibi’s Back

After winning a fifth term, Netanyahu is set to keep shaping Israel in his image

On Oct. 25, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Oman for a tête-à-tête with Sultan Qaboos at his sprawling waterfront palace. Three days later, Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev choked up as she watched Israel’s national judo team win a gold medal at a competition in Abu Dhabi. Communications Minister Ayoob Kara attended a conference in Dubai on Oct. 30. A week later, Transportation Minister Israel Katz was spotted doing a traditional sword dance in the Omani capital, Muscat, shortly after presenting a plan to link Israel with the rest of the Middle East by rail.

That parade of Israeli visitors to the Persian Gulf highlights a dramatic shift on Netanyahu’s watch: Although Israel has no diplomatic ties with countries in the region, relations are warming up. Shortly after his visit to Oman, the prime minister broke with most of the Western world to rally behind Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman when he was implicated in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. A few months earlier the prince himself drew attention to the thaw when he said Israelis “have the right to their own land”—once an

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