Why Younger Saudis Won't Fund, Facilitate or Fight for a Palestinian State

(Ha'aretz) Haisam Hassanein - Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are experiencing tremendous socio-political change that has accelerated a generation gap. The younger generations are characterized and led by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) and his close ally Mohamed bin Zayed (MBZ), the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and primary driver of the UAE's foreign policy. The younger Gulf generations are now unconvinced that moderation would follow the establishment of a Palestinian state. They believe it is more likely that a fully independent Palestinian state would itself be hostage to radical forces, and would in fact become an extreme source of instability in the region. MBS and MBZ believe that establishing a Palestinian state would mean handing Iran and Sunni political Islamists another Arab capital to control and influence. Many Western policymakers still fantasize about the idea that the Gulf countries could provide money to birth and develop a Palestinian state - indeed, this is reportedly one of the founding principles of the Trump-Kushner peace plan. That is never going to happen, despite what they may promise publicly. Those who actively dictate policy in the Gulf are convinced that every dollar the Saudis give to the Palestinians means handing it to Iran. The writer is a PhD candidate at Tel Aviv University and a former Glazer Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

2018-08-06 00:00:00

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