Saudi Arabia Parts Ways with the Palestinian Cause

March 21 2023

On March 5, Riyadh appointed Salman al-Dosari—a prominent journalist and vocal supporter of the Abraham Accords—as its new minister of information. Hussain Abdul-Hussain takes this choice as one of several signals that Saudi Arabia is inching closer to normalization with Israel:

Saudi Arabia has been the biggest supporter of Palestinians since before the establishment of Israel in 1948. When the kingdom’s founder Abdulaziz Ibn Saud met with the U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt aboard the USS Quincy in the Red Sea in 1945, the Saudi king demanded that Jews in Palestine be settled elsewhere. But unlimited Saudi support has only bought Palestinian ungratefulness and at times, downright hate. After the Abraham Accords were announced in August 2020, Palestinians in Gaza and Ramallah burned pictures not only of the leaders of the UAE and Bahrain but also of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS).

Since then, many Palestinian pundits and activists have been accusing Saudi Arabia of betraying the cause, even though the Saudis have said repeatedly, and as late as January, that their peace with Israel is incumbent on the establishment of a Palestinian state.

While the Saudi Arabian government has practiced self-restraint by not reciprocating Palestinian hate, Saudi Arabian columnists, cartoonists, and social-media activists have been punching back. After the burning of the pictures of Saudi Arabian leaders, al-Dosari wrote that with their aggression against Saudi Arabia, the Palestinians “have liberated the kingdom from any ethical or political commitment to these parties in the future.”

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Abraham Accords, Palestinians, Saudi Arabia

In the Aftermath of a Deadly Attack, President Sisi Should Visit Israel

On June 3, an Egyptian policeman crossed the border into Israel and killed three soldiers. Jonathan Schanzer and Natalie Ecanow urge President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to respond by visiting the Jewish state as a show of goodwill:

Such a dramatic gesture is not without precedent: in 1997, a Jordanian soldier opened fire on a group of Israeli schoolgirls visiting the “Isle of Peace,” a parcel of farmland previously under Israeli jurisdiction that Jordan leased back to Israel as part of the Oslo peace process. In a remarkable display of humanity, King Hussein of Jordan, who had only three years earlier signed a peace agreement with Israel, traveled to the Jewish state to mourn with the families of the seven girls who died in the massacre.

That massacre unfolded as a diplomatic cold front descended on Jerusalem and Amman. . . . Yet a week later, Hussein flipped the script. “I feel as if I have lost a child of my own,” Hussein lamented. He told the parents of one of the victims that the tragedy “affects us all as members of one family.”

While security cooperation [between Cairo and Jerusalem] remains strong, the bilateral relationship is still rather frosty outside the military domain. True normalization between the two nations is elusive. A survey in 2021 found that only 8 percent of Egyptians support “business or sports contacts” with Israel. With a visit to Israel, Sisi can move beyond the cold pragmatism that largely defines Egyptian-Israeli relations and recast himself as a world figure ready to embrace his diplomatic partners as human beings. At a personal level, the Egyptian leader can win international acclaim for such a move rather than criticism for his country’s poor human-rights record.

Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: General Sisi, Israeli Security, Jordan