Saudi Arabia and Israel: A New Era of Normalization
In a rapidly evolving geopolitical landscape, Saudi Arabia is making strides towards formalizing relations with Israel, a move that has been met with both anticipation and criticism. A high-level American diplomatic delegation was recently dispatched to Riyadh to expedite discussions on this groundbreaking initiative, which has been in the works for some time.
The White House National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, confirmed that Brett McGurk, the US administration’s envoy to the Middle East, and Assistant Secretary of State Barbara Leaf were in Riyadh to discuss the normalization efforts with Israel. This also included a broader range of regional issues, such as the situation in Yemen.
Sullivan himself has made several trips to the Kingdom in recent times to discuss this issue of normalization with Israel. The New York Times reported that Saudi Arabia had recently summoned Palestinian officials to the Kingdom under the pretext of discussing their demands related to any new agreement between Riyadh and Tel Aviv.
This move is seen as an attempt by Saudi Arabia to mitigate the impact of the normalization scandal by demonstrating interest in Palestinian demands and considering them in a deal that is viewed by some as a betrayal of the Palestinian cause and the rights of the Palestinian people.
The United States has repeatedly announced its ongoing efforts to reach a normalization agreement between Saudi Arabia and Israel. The Kingdom has not denied these claims and has been seen making significant strides towards establishing relations with the Zionists in various fields.
Recently, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his gratitude to Saudi Arabia for warmly receiving a Zionist passenger flight at Jeddah airport. Concurrently, there have been noticeable changes in Saudi school curricula, removing and altering content related to conflict with Zionists and Jews. This includes religious texts, historical facts, and topics discussing Zionist crimes against Palestinians and their attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has openly stated that his country sees Israel as a “potential ally” and recognizes what he referred to as “the right of Jews” in Palestine. Despite the fact that an official normalization deal has not yet been concluded, practical partnerships between Saudi Arabia and Israel have been observed in many aspects, including aggression against Yemen.
As these developments unfold, it is clear that we are witnessing a new era of normalization between Saudi Arabia and Israel. The implications of this shift are yet to be fully understood, but are sure to have far-reaching effects on regional politics.