For decades, Kuwait has charted a neutral course in many of the Middle East’s intractable conflicts. But the death of its longtime ruler leaves his successor with a dilemma: whether or not to normalize ties with Israel without statehood for the Palestinians.

Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, who died Tuesday, was a veteran diplomat who remained a steadfast supporter of the Palestinians even as Arab backing for their vision of an independent state waned. The recent U.S.-brokered normalization of ties between Israel and…

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