Not in US Interest to Push Saudis
By Micah Halpern
Thursday November 5, 2020
I've Been Thinking:
I’ve mentioned this before – Saudi Arabia is not going to be the next country in the Middle East to normalize relations with Israel. Saudi Arabia is in line but certainly not at the front of the line.
There are many reasons. One reason is that the United States has been pressuring the Saudi Kingdom to normalize their power in the region.
Saudi power is based on their wealth and on the way they spread influence. They are contributors and sponsors. Even more significant is that they are the guardians of the Islamic holy sites in Mecca and Medina.
The Saudis have sway.
As open to the West as they appear to be, there is a significant group of leaders in Saudi Arabia – especially religious leadership, that is extremely conservative. They would have great difficulty with normalization with the Jewish State, especially public celebrations of the normalization with Israel.
The Saudi Kingdom functions by maintaining balance between Wahabi religious leadership and the royal family.
The Wahabis are a fiercely, fervently, religious subgroup of Sunni Islam. It is they who are responsible for religious life and education in Saudi Arabia. Normalization would wreck that balance.
We are not even going to discuss the Saudi human rights record and their attitude towards women.
While on the surface it would appear that Saudi Arabia is the prefect partner for normalization. That is simply incorrect at this stage. It is not in their interest or the interest of the US to push it.
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6 November 2020 10:32 AM in Thoughts
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