web analytics
August 1, 2015 / 16 Av, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Despite Shared Concern Over Iran, No Breakthrough Seen In Saudi-Israel Relations


Saudi-Flag-102513

WASHINGTON – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is hoping the enemy of one’s enemy truly does become a friend.

In recent years, Netanyahu has said the enmity for Iran shared by Israel and the Arab states could become a spur to regional reconciliation. Last week, in a speech to the Knesset, he noted that the “many issues” on which Israel and the Arabs have shared interests could open up “new possibilities,” including a peace accord with the Palestinians.

But while experts say that intelligence sharing between Israel and the Persian Gulf states has grown in recent years, thanks in large part to the facilitation of the United States, the possibility of a breakthrough appears to be overstated.

“There may be some common interest on Iran and how to reply to Muslim Brotherhood groups,” said Brian Katulis, a senior fellow at the liberal Center for American Progress.

“That doesn’t mean these countries are going to play ball with Israel. It’s quite a stretch to imply that this means these countries will coordinate” on defense issues with Israel.

Israel has long maintained low-level representations in a few of the smaller Arab Gulf states. But any serious breakthrough would likely hinge on Saudi Arabia, which enjoys outsized influence in the Arab world because of its unparalleled oil wealth and curatorship of the holiest Islamic sites.

Simon Henderson, the director of the Gulf and Energy Policy Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said there had been increased rapprochement in recent years among Israel, the Saudis and the Gulf states because of shared concerns over Iran and the Arab Spring.

“For many years, the Israeli Mossad and the Saudi General Intelligence directorate have maintained a backchannel communications link,” Henderson said.

Prince Turki bin Faisal al Saud, the Saudi ambassador to Washington from 2005 to 2007, acknowledged his country’s interest in preventing a nuclear Iran and tamping down extreme forms of Islamism, but blamed Israeli recalcitrance for the failure to achieve a breakthrough in relations.

“Israel is kept out particularly as far as Saudi Arabia is concerned because it’s keeping itself out,” Turki said this week at the annual conference of the National Iranian American Council.

Turki added that the 2002 Arab League peace offer, which proposed comprehensive peace in exchange for an Israeli return to the 1967 lines, was unrequited.

“No one has come forward and said let’s sit down and talk about it,” Turki said. “If Israel is isolated in the area, it is because it chooses to be isolated.”

The sticking point is not only Israeli-Palestinian issues, Katulis said, but Israel’s insistence on keeping alive the possibility of a military strike on Iran. He said the Arabs are deeply divided on the issue.

In his Knesset speech, which marked the 40th anniversary of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Netanyahu said a main takeaway of the war was that preemption was a valuable tool and should not be ruled out.

Turki said he was disturbed by that statement.

(JTA)

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Despite Shared Concern Over Iran, No Breakthrough Seen In Saudi-Israel Relations”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Matt Lee of the Associated Press at the State Department press briefing.
ObameDeal Exposed: It’s not ‘Secret’ from Congress but not in Writing
Latest News Stories

There were no injuries, but the bus was badly damaged.

Matt Lee of the Associated Press at the State Department press briefing.

State Dept. claims Congress is “looped in,” but IAEA head refuse to testify at Senate hearings.

They are throwing rocks and blocks at the drivers as they drive by.

“Families should not be stuck paying hidden fees, or buying ‘premium’ seats, simply because they wish to be seated together on crowded flights.”

Arabs threw firebombs and stones at Jewish people, homes and cars all week long, yet the mainstream media missed most of the reports.

The IDF and police are combing Judea and Samaria to search and arrest the attackers.

“Yesha” and Binyamin Regional Council leaders said the attack “is not the path of Jews in Judea and Samaria.”

Saudi Arabia may buy $5.4 billion worth of PAC-3 missiles as part of an effort by the Obama to soothe Riyadh’s anger over the nuclear agreement with Iran. The State Dept. approved the Lockheed missile sale, which also would be another plum for the military-industrial complex. Lockheed stated, “Lockheed Martin is supporting the US government […]

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a statement after this mornings’ arson-murder, apparently by  price-tag terrorists, near Shechem (Nablus): I am shocked over this reprehensible and horrific act. This is an act of terrorism in every respect. The State of Israel takes a strong line against terrorism regardless of who the perpetrators are. I have ordered […]

Thousands of security forces have been deployed to the Temple Mount. Mother and brother of baby are in critical condition.

The initial investigation indicates that Price Tag vandals have now graduated to murder.

California Democratic Congressman will vote against Iran deal because it fails to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear threshold state.

Hamas said that the unity government’s reshuffle was “unconstitutional and outside consensus.”

Jewish community leaders argued these “stolpersteine” — German for stumbling blocks — were an inappropriate form of remembrance because people would step on them.

More Articles from Ron Kampeas
Former Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton. (archive)

Clinton derided perceptions that U.S.-Israel tensions had become tense under Obama.

“We have made impressive progress on issues that originally seemed intractable. We have cleared up misunderstandings and held exhaustive discussions on every element of a possible text.”

It’s not yet clear if Nemmouche was acting on orders and, if so, whether the orders came from ISIS.

“The Jewish community is going to have to work harder,” said one veteran official who has worked both as a professional in the Jewish community and a staffer for a Jewish lawmaker.

The disagreements don’t seem to have gone away, despite a cease-fire that appears to be firmly in place.

“On the Hill and with some people with whom I have spoken who are robust Israel supporters, people are concerned if not angry,” one of the staffers, a Democrat, told JTA

President Obama in an April 25 press conference seemed ready to take a break. “There may come a point at which there just needs to be a pause and both sides need to look at the alternatives,” he said.

Obama himself suggested that a break from the process may be necessary.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/despite-shared-concern-over-iran-no-breakthrough-seen-in-saudi-israel-relations/2013/10/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: