Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s interview with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg has created a stir within both the Jewish and Islamic worlds, even though he said very little that hadn’t been said before. The future leader of the House of Saud merely repeated that his Kingdom would recognize, and potentially normalize relations with Israel only AFTER a Peace Agreement was reached with the Arabs that resulted in the formation of a Palestinian state; which was already part of the 2002 Saudi sponsored Arab Peace Initiative. Saudi Arabia is desperate for a military alliance with Israel to defend against a common enemy, Iran, and also eager to curry favor with the US, and knows that its traditional practice of delegitimizing Israel would not play well with the Trump administration. So the Saudis are playing ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend’ and ‘The friend of my friend is my friend’, but that does not mean the Saudis are true friends of Israel.
HAMAS and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have interpreted bin Salman’s words in entirely different way, and are accusing the Crown Prince as siding with the US and Israel in an effort to “liquidate the Palestinian cause”, and going against the wishes of the Arab and Muslim world. Leaders of the Gaza based terror groups believe mere recognition of Israel’s right to exist is “void and illegitimate”, and that normalizing ties with her is like a “dangerous germ”. HAMAS and PIJ are now aligning themselves with, and receiving weapons, training and money from Iran and Hezbollah, the Saudi’s aforementioned enemy. This shift in loyalty raises several concerns for Israel and the region. First, it all but eliminates the possibility of “Palestinian Reconciliation”; there can’t be a “Two-State Solution” when the Palestinians themselves are already two separate, irreconcilable statelettes. The “government” of Gaza has made it clear that it will never recognize Israel’s right to exist, let alone be willing to “live side by side in peace”.
So, the Saudis won’t recognize Israel until it makes “Peace” with, and creates an enemy state within its already minuscule borders. The rulers of Gaza refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist under any circumstance, making “Peace” impossible, while accusing the Crown Prince of being a tool of the Zionist entity and embracing the Saudi’s greatest enemy. But don’t worry, the EU, UN and Arab League will still blame Israel for the lack of a Peace Agreement.
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