Peace between Israel and Morocco Has Much Potential—If It Lasts

Dec. 13 2021

Last month, Rabat and Jerusalem concluded a major security-cooperation agreement, complete with a public visit to Morocco by the Israeli defense minister. The agreement comes almost a year after the North African kingdom reestablished diplomatic ties with the Jewish state in the wake of the Abraham Accords. While Efraim Inbar sees reason to hope that relations between the two countries will only grow stronger, he also provides a warning:

Although Morocco sent forces to fight against Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War and 1973 Yom Kippur War, it has in recent years emerged as a moderate Arab state when it comes to the Jewish state. . . . Morocco plays an important role globally, and in the Middle East and Africa in particular. Its royal family claim to be descendants of the prophet Mohammad, which gives it a certain influence among Arab countries. Rabat normalizing ties with Jerusalem will pave the way for other Arab countries to do the same.

But we should bear in mind that these relations are under heavy criticism by extremists in Morocco, and internal political changes may bring the honeymoon to an end.

We must not forget that instability is a hallmark in any such relationship. If Israel fails to halt Iran’s nuclear progress, the pro-Israel trends in the region will disappear. The Iranian threat is what prompted these Arab countries openly to normalize ties with Israel. The absence of Israeli action will take away from the achievement that is the Abraham Accords, including ties with Morocco.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Abraham Accords, Iran, Israel diplomacy, Israel-Arab relations, Morocco

 

Israel Is Courting Saudi Arabia by Confronting Iran

Most likely, it was the Israeli Air Force that attacked eastern Syria Monday night, apparently destroying a convoy carrying Iranian weapons. Yoav Limor comments:

Israel reportedly carried out 32 attacks in Syria in 2022, and since early 2023 it has already struck 25 times in the country—at the very least. . . . The Iranian-Israeli clash stands out in the wake of the dramatic events in the region, chiefly among them is the effort to strike a normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and later on with various other Muslim-Sunni states. Iran is trying to torpedo this process and has even publicly warned Saudi Arabia not to “gamble on a losing horse” because Israel’s demise is near. Riyadh is unlikely to heed that demand, for its own reasons.

Despite the thaw in relations between the kingdom and the Islamic Republic—including the exchange of ambassadors—the Saudis remain very suspicious of the Iranians. A strategic manifestation of that is that Riyadh is trying to forge a defense pact with the U.S.; a tactical manifestation took place this week when Saudi soccer players refused to play a match in Iran because of a bust of the former Revolutionary Guard commander Qassem Suleimani, [a master terrorist whose militias have wreaked havoc throughout the Middle East, including within Saudi borders].

Of course, Israel is trying to bring Saudi Arabia into its orbit and to create a strong common front against Iran. The attack in Syria is ostensibly unrelated to the normalization process and is meant to prevent the terrorists on Israel’s northern border from laying their hands on sophisticated arms, but it nevertheless serves as a clear reminder for Riyadh that it must not scale back its fight against the constant danger posed by Iran.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Saudi Arabia, Syria