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.
On today’s episode:
Mark Landler, London bureau chief at The New York Times.
The Arab Spring, the 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.
Tune in, and tell us what you think. Email us at [email protected]. Follow Michael Barbaro on Twitter: @mikiebarb. And if you’re interested in advertising with “The Daily,” write to us at [email protected].
Mark Landler contributed reporting.
“The Daily” is made by Theo Balcomb, Andy Mills, Lisa Tobin, Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Annie Brown, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Larissa Anderson, Wendy Dorr, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, Kelly Prime, Julia Longoria, Sindhu Gnanasambandan, M.J. Davis Lin, Austin Mitchell, Neena Pathak, Dan Powell, Dave Shaw, Sydney Harper, Daniel Guillemette, Hans Buetow, Robert Jimison, Mike Benoist, Bianca Giaever, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi and Rachelle Bonja. Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Mikayla Bouchard, Lauren Jackson, Julia Simon, Mahima Chablani, Nora Keller, Sofia Milan and Desiree Ibekwe.