Israel-Saudi Normalization Has Nothing to Do with Biden

(JNS) Jonathan S. Tobin - The Biden administration has taken up the cause of promoting a normalization agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia. But if those two countries are moving ever closer to each other, it has little to do with the efforts of President Joe Biden. Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman (MBS) and the Saudis may be perfectly happy to grow ever closer to Israel as a strategic military ally against Iran and a potential business partner without going all the way to a peace treaty. The administration's insistence on including Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, coupled with reviving the dead-in-the-water peace process and the quest for a two-state solution to the conflict, indicate that they fail to understand why normalization is even possible in the first place. The Arab states - and MBS, in particular - comprehend, as many in the U.S. foreign-policy establishment and media still do not, that the Palestinians have no interest in peace with Israel. As such, they are tired of having their security and national interests being held hostage by a Palestinian political culture that cannot let go of its century-old war on Zionism. As both Netanyahu and MBS have made clear, they don't need Washington to hold their hands in order for the two countries to grow closer. They were brought together by Obama's pivot to Iran and the nuclear dilemma, as well as their national interests. That will continue to bind them in an informal alliance that can thrive even without a signed treaty.

2023-10-05 00:00:00

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