Much of this appeal will be made by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. MBS is the most politically repressive, militarily aggressive, yet socially and religiously progressive leader Saudi Arabia has ever had. His decision, reported by the CIA, to have Saudi democracy defender Jamal Khashoggi, who was a long-time US resident, killed and dismembered was completely flawed – an incomprehensible response to a peaceful criticism who posed no threat to the kingdom. .
Biden’s team is still figuring out how it will relate to MBS, but it’s fair to insist that America will continue to deal with Saudi Arabia in general as an ally. Getting the Saudis to adhere to the Abrahamic Accords is the best way to ensure their success. Because, if done right, their participation could create new energy for a two-state Israeli-Palestinian solution, which in turn could allow Jordan and Egypt to fully normalize their relations with Israel. also.
So you really have a new Middle East.
However, Biden has to move fast. Among the Israeli groups that aggressively solicit Gulf Arabs to visit them are right-wing Jewish settlers. They want to prove that Israel can expand settlements, control Palestinians, and have good relations with Arab states – all at the same time. It’s called “washing away the Abrahamic accords,” using the new Arab ties to mask Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.
The UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Saudi Arabia need to understand that they now have more leverage to influence Israeli-Palestinian relations than they realize. Israel does not want to lose them. Imagine if Saudi Arabia agreed to join the Abrahamic Accords, but only on the condition that it could open the Saudi Embassy to Israel in Israeli West Jerusalem while at the same time opening an embassy to Palestinians in an Arab neighborhood. of East Jerusalem.
This one move would help preserve the possibility of a two-state deal, revitalize the 2002 Saudi peace initiative, and further isolate Iran’s axis of failure. And Israel would have a hard time rejecting it.
I respect the concerns of some that the peace Saudi Arabia has with Israel may be a way to rehabilitate MBS. But I don’t think that’s a reason to oppose it. In the Middle East, big changes often happen when big players do the right things for the wrong reasons.
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