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October 1, 2016 / 28 Elul, 5776
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US Losing Middle East Coalition

Lately, the pro-Western coalition has begun to crumble, and two key countries - Saudi Arabia and Egypt - are searching for a new political crutch.

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Secondly, a person of honor does not want to be a rubber stamp for countries whose policies it doesn’t agree with and he doesn’t want to be subservient to others. The Saudis know that in the Security Council they would have to behave according to the American-Western dictates, despite the fact that they do not at all agree with the policy of the West in general and Obama’s in particular toward a wide array of issues. The Saudis do not want to be identified with American support of Israel, with Obama’s appeasement of Iran and with the Western inaction against Asad, the infidel murderer of Muslims. The Saudis also disagree with the United States’ support of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, because the Saudis support Sisi with all of their might, while the United States pressures Sisi – the mass murderer who destroys mosques with fire – to restore power to the Muslim Brotherhood, whom the Saudis loathe.

Of all the myriad of issues on which they disagree with the United States, the Saudis are most angry with the United States because of the American failure to stop the Iranian military nuclear plan, despite the fact that for the last five years President Obama has promised innumerable times that he will not allow Iran to attain a nuclear bomb. From the Saudis’ point of view he has broken his promise, and erased himself from the list of people that the Saudis want to be in the same picture with.

Recently he even increased their fury with the attempts at appeasing the Iranians, and especially with Obama’s pathetic bid to meet Rouhani when he was in the United States for the UN General Council. Rouhani refused to meet with him but ultimately agreed to receive a telephone conversation from Obama as Rouhani was on his way to the airport. Obama’s behavior humiliated not only himself but also his allies, and from the Saudis’ point of view he dealt them and their honor a severe blow.

A third reason for the Saudi refusal to join the Security Council is the fact that Saudi Arabia constantly works against the security of many countries: it is Saudi Arabia who finances Sunni terror in Iraq, her billions serve to oil the hundred of jihadi militias in Syria, and the Saudis pay many petro-dollars to spread radical Wahhabi Islam in Europe, Africa, Asia and America. To sit on the Security Council would be a contradiction of Saudi Arabia’s activities, which actually undermine the security of many countries, and therefore might put the Saudis into embarrassing situations. And embarrassment is the last thing that a man of the Middle East is willing to tolerate, besides shame.

The government in Saudi Arabia prefers to act behind the scenes, to exert influence secretly and to act unseen, because that is where its strength lies. Sitting in the Security Council will place Saudi Arabia in the center of focus, and it is not consistent with the style of the Saudis, who prefer to act and exert influence without exposing themselves. They have everything, and they have a lot to lose. Sitting in the Security Council will not add to their reputation and will increase their friction with the nations of the world, friction that is uncomfortable to them because of their conservative and separatist points of view.

Human Rights Organizations

Western countries boast about their strict observance of human rights, within their own territories and in other countries. They allow NGOs to act freely in this matter, and some of these human rights organizations receive economic benefits such as government support and tax exemption on donations. Western countries use the reports that these organizations publish as a basis for determining their policy, despite the fact that these publications stem from the very specific cultural agenda of the organizations’ members and their financers.

Last week, the London-based organization, Amnesty International published an especially harsh report on Saudi Arabia. According to the report, Saudi Arabia does not act in accordance with the recommendations of the UN (meaning the West) in all matters related to human rights and civil freedoms, and since 2009 has even intensified the oppression of its civil rights activists through arbitrary arrests, torture and trials where the rights of the accused are not upheld. Women and foreign workers in Saudi Arabia are treated negatively, and members of non-Islamic religions are persecuted relentlessly. The Amnesty manager of the Middle East region and North Africa accuses Saudi Arabia of breaking all the promises it made to improve its human rights situation, while using economic force and political influence.

Dr. Mordechai Kedar

About the Author: Dr. Mordechai Kedar (Ph.D. Bar-Ilan U.) Served for 25 years in IDF Military Intelligence specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. A lecturer in Arabic at Bar-Ilan U., he is also an expert on Israeli Arabs.

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