Fateful Triangle

Aug 13, 2023 12:43 pm
Photo from archive

Maariv – Adapted


There are now rumors of a potential deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia. Even Vice President Biden has stated that reaching an agreement has a good chance of happening. What are our shared interests, and how does this relate to the severe internal crises facing Israel?

What is Israel seeking? Three key objectives of a formal, public agreement with Saudi Arabia are: First, the right's argument that normalizing Israeli-Arab relations, even with Saudi Arabia, does not entail progress in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Second, the agreement will pave the way for relations with other Islamic nations. Third, this will be a huge victory for the Prime Minister in the domestic sphere. But what will the Israeli counterpart to the Saudis and the Americans?

What is Saudi Arabia looking for? Israel's counterpart would be access to advanced Israeli technology, including an offensive cyber capability. The United States' counterpart would be a NATO-style defense acting as a deterrent to Iran; a civilian nuclear reactor under US and IAEA control.

What does the US want right now? Before the election in the next year, the Biden administration aspires to have accomplished a number of goals, including creating a regional security organization that can confront Iran, expelling Saudi Arabia from China, and reducing Israel's systematic coup d'état.

Washington is adamant about upholding the shared vision of the two States. In its opinion, preventing a hazardous descent into a bi-national state is also in the interest of the United States. There might be regional effects from this. Would the US administration try to "save Israel from itself" through a potential deal with Saudi Arabia? Washington holds the key.