During his two-week tour in the United States, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, met with Jewish leaders and representatives of the Jewish political and financial elite
As part of his tour in the United States, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held meetings in New York with two rabbis: President of the Reformer Judaism Union Richard Jacobs and the head of the United Conservative Judaic Synagogue, Stephen Wernicke. Fear of Iran pushes Saudi Arabia to an alliance with Israel.
The meeting underscored the common link between all people, especially people of faith, which emphasize the importance of tolerance, coexistence and joint work in the interests of a better future for all mankind
– stated the Saudi embassy in the United States.
This is not a unique case when Saudi Arabia’s high-ranking official is negotiating with the rabbis. The former King Abdullah repeatedly crossed with Rabbi Mark Schneier. Close contacts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) with Israel are extremely painful in the Muslim world. Especially at a time when the US President Donald Trump’s decree on the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of a Jewish state puts the resolution of the Palestinian problem aside. Recall that at the summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, where they condemned Trump’s decision, Riyadh sent a second-rate minister, thus underscoring his indifference to Palestine.
However, the young Saudi prince has strong arguments – the Iranian threat. Unlike his predecessors, Mohammed bin Salman plays openly and does not hide an alliance with Israel. So, in an interview with the well-known magazine The Atlantic, he recognized the right of the Jewish people to their own state.
I believe that the Palestinians and Israelis have the right to own land,
said bin Salman. To the question of The Atlantic about “whether there are problems with anti-Semitism” in the KSA, the Crown Prince answered in the negative, citing the example of the Muslim prophet: “Our prophet Muhammad was married to a Jewish woman.” Not just a friend, he married her. ”
Saudi Arabia does not officially recognize Israel and for many decades was an ardent opponent of the creation of a Jewish state. Although the recognition of “de facto” took place back in 2002, when the kingdom supported the initiative on the “two states”.
The union with Israel, which “successfully” supplements the anti-Iranian administration of Trump, is dictated by Realpolitik. After the weakening of Arab countries in the wake of the Arab Spring and decades of military and economic modernization of Israel, which possesses nuclear weapons, Tel Aviv became the only force capable of resisting Tehran. And the latter, according to Saudi strategists, is the main threat to the existence of the Sunni kingdom. Speaking about the Iranian threat, the Saudis have in view not only the nuclear program and ballistic missiles but also the proxy wars of Iran (through the Shiite minorities) against the allies of Saudi Arabia in Lebanon, Yemen, Syria, Bahrain and even on the very territory of the kingdom.
Recently, KSA opened its airspace for commercial flights to Israel. The two countries are jointly developing missile defense systems, with which the Saudis plan to defend themselves against Iranian missiles. Israel has for nearly three decades remained the guarantor of the safety of Saudi tankers passing through the northern sector of the Red Sea.
For the sake of gaining sympathy for Israel and individual Western countries, the crown prince-reformer is taking unprecedented steps for the ultra-conservative Sunni country. Mohammed bin Salman announced last year about the transition to “moderate Islam”, promised to give women the right to drive cars and for the first time allowed to put Christmas trees in public places.
The meeting of Mohammed bin Salman with the right-wing leaders of the Jewish diaspora in the United States, which advocates the continuation of settlements and for a number of other anti-Palestinian moments, is first and foremost the initiative of Mohammed himself. The Crown Prince needs to collect an anti-Iranian alliance from those countries that can and are really ready to clash with Iran. There are very few such countries, and Israel is one of them. The pulling of Israel to this alliance has been going on for a long time, but the Crown Prince needs it to be on the official level. And that’s why he tries to quietly, extremely accurately to establish relations with the Israelis.
The program of the Crown Prince shows how important it is for him to enlist the support of the Jewish lobby. It includes a meeting with representatives of the American-Israeli Committee on Public Relations (AIPAC), Stand Up for Israel and the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). Standing on the list are former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, media tycoon Rupert Murdoch and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner – all of Jewish origin. The Qatari Canal Al Jaazeera recalls that these groups spent millions of dollars building settlements on the West Bank and fought against those who tried to force Israel to recognize Palestine and impose sanctions on it.