Sunday, July 4, 2021

News from the New Middle East

Despite the worst efforts of the Biden administration, the Abraham Accords are alive and well. Whereas the Biden administration sees the Middle East in terms of a conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, other nations, like the United Arab Emirates, are happily doing business with Israel.

And whereas the Biden administration has pulled its defensive missiles out of Saudi Arabia-- the better to suck up to Iran, the Saudis are seeing that a prosperous and even peaceful future lies in good commercial relations within the region.

Last week, Israel’s new foreign minister visited the Emirates and Bahrain. The story was reported fairly widely. What was not reported was the quasi-official Saudi response.

Israeli site, Debkafile, reports:

Indications of a radical policy turnaround in Riyadh towards jumping aboard the peace wagon rolling forward between Gulf nations and Israel were highlighted in a column published on July 1 by Asharq Al-Awsat, the London- based publication close to the Saudi royal house. Last week’s visit by Foreign Minister Yair Lapid to the United Arab Republic and Bahran, the first by an Israeli minister to the signatories of the Abraham Accords, was extensively covered in the Saudi media as a historic event, the columnist noted. One paper front-paged a picture of Lapid backed by the Israeli flag, And TV channels have begun inviting Israeli pundits to live talk shows, often introducing them as experts “in Jerusalem.”

While the Biden administration is trapped in the Palestinian narrative, Saudi leader, Mohammed bin Salman is more perspicacious:

Decades-long taboos are being tossed, as the Saudis eye the booming trade ties their neighbors are binding with the Jewish state.

Saudi and other Arab commentators have come to believe that Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman has already come around to recognizing that Riyadh is being left behind by clinging to an outdated policy that links recognition of Israel to the Palestinian conflict. This no-war-no-peace stance has become leads nowhere. MBS has long realized that the kingdom’s-oi-based economy can no longer sustain a population which has grown to 35 million and is expanding. 

Diversification is the way as the Emiratis’ have already shown. To branch out as a hub of services, tourism and trade, the Saudis will likewise have to eschew conflict and embrace good relations.

One understands, as one has remarked in the past, that the Saudis have close ties with the Emirates. If the Saudis had not wanted the Abraham Accords, they would not have happened.

Consider the Abraham Accords a first gesture toward a new Middle East. The more nations join it, the better the region will be. Of course, in the background the Biden administration is militating to support Iran and to continue Obama administration funding of terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah.

Debkafile concludes:

The Crown Prince understands he must choose sides between the two blocs fast emerging in the Middle East. One led by the Arab states and Israel based on their peace relations as a strong engine for generating wealth and prosperity for their peoples, and the other one, led by Iran and its focus on developing a nuclear weapon and aggression while its population stays hungry.

One understands that the mainstream American media will ignore Middle East progress, especially since it recalls the name that they refuse to speak.


jabrwok said...

Good news, if true. One should always keep taqiyya in mind.

Sam L. said...

The Saudis are waaaaaaay smarter than the NYT.

IamDevo said...

The ruling Saudis, being Sunni, recognize the danger posed by Iran, which is run (I almost said "governed") by Shia clerics. The internecine warfare between the two Muhammadan sects has been going on since the founding dispute about the succession of the Prophet Muhammad and consequently, to the question as to who the better Muslims were: Ali, Hussein and their descendants or Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman? The ethnic antagonism between Persian and Arab is a force multiplier in the matter. Of course, like all generalizations, this is a simplistic analysis of a far more complex conflict, but it is sufficient, along with "The enemy of my enemy is my friend," to explain the current realignment of interests with the Jewish state. Recall, the mujaheddin gladly aligned with "American" (more properly understood to be neocon) interests as long as it profited them with enormous inputs of money and weapons. Not so much since the kicked out the Russians. Thus, one can predict that the current modus operandi will last until it no longer benefits one of the parties; that is, until the Saudis and their fellow Sunnis are sufficiently well armed to carry on the conflict unilaterally, or until the Jews in Israel no longer profit from the arrangement, monetarily or otherwise.