Dr. Ibrahim Habib
Zionist leaks about the impending peace agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia are prevalent as well as are reinforced by some American leaks. Nevertheless, there are no serious talks about signing a normalization agreement between them.
Just as it enjoys a religious and political weight, which makes it the key to the normalization of the rest of the Arab and Islamic countries, Saudi Arabia possesses a sophisticated and economic treasure, which enables it to promote itself as an integral part of the region, surpassing the resolution of the Palestinian cause. Thus, Israel places a high value on it. This methodology was successfully applied by Netanyahu to UAE, Bahrain and Sudan. He once said, "Peace for peace, and there are no compromises in the Palestinian file for the benefit of normalization with the Arab nations."
Seemingly, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Muhammed bin Salman realizes his country's strategic value. He is, therefore, eager to invest this value in reinforcing his strategic power so Saudi Arabia becomes the largest regional power, exceeding all Israeli and American efforts to undermine the Saudi role and keep it under the US hegemony.
Following the crisis of Adnan Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist, President Joe Biden's administration put significant pressure on bin Salman. Therefore, Saudi Arabia was forced to pursue new alliances and diverse sources of power after it was confined -to a certain extent- to the West. It thus tended to reinforce its strategic relations with Russia and China, both of which managed to achieve the Iranian-Saudi reconciliation; therefore, Israel and the USA were irritated.
The United States of America believes that the new Saudi Arabia, led by Muhammed bin Salman, will not be following it as before. The new Saudi leadership's perception towards leading the region has now become evident, pulling the US administration to reconsider its policies towards the Saudi leadership, respond to its claims, and undermine its inclination towards Russia and China. As a result, this would certainly deal a fatal blow to American supremacy in the region.
Saudi Arabia once demanded the United States of America to supply it with advanced weapons in order to empower its defense capabilities in combating Houthi threats originating from Yemen. Nonetheless, these claims coincided with Israeli-America opposition, leading the Saudi leadership to seek new sources of armament. Amid the search for possible ways to restore its strategic ties with the new Saudi leadership, the United States of America is keen on suggesting the normalization of ties with Israel in return for obtaining considerable privileges preferred by Israelis.
Apparently, the Saudi leadership has not rejected the American offer of normalizing ties with Israel, depending on the Arab initiative proposed by Saudi Arabia in the Beirut Summit in 2002 and adopted by the Arab League. Therefore, this initiative has become the Arab consensus framework for peace with Israel, yet, at the same time, raised the level of its claims to accept the normalization, in a way that would serve its national project and reinforce the power of Saudi Arabia in encountering Iranian and Israeli nuclear ambitions.
Three conditions have been put to normalize ties with Israel and reformulate the strategic relation with the United States of America. Conditions are as follows:
- Provide Saudi Arabia with a civilian nuclear program, through which Uranium would be enriched over its lands.
- Supply Saudi Arabia with American weapons, according to US terms on NATO countries.
- Present a just solution to the Palestinian cause in light of the Arab Peace Initiative.
The course of events depicts that the US administration realizes the power of the Saudi position. Subsequently, it started to interact with the Saudi claims, which annoyed the Israeli strategic and military leaders. Netanyahu, yet, was positive and expressed his aspirations towards the normalization with Saudi Arabia in return for certain concessions.
He sent Yoav Gallant, his defense minister, to obtain clarity on the topic, while the Israeli strategic and military leaders and elites commenced collecting signs rejecting normalization with Saudi Arabia in return for these harsh conditions, which would pose a threat to their country and enable Saudi Arabia to defend itself. Saudi Arabia might turn into an enemy of Israel overnight, considering that the Saudi leadership depends on one-man rule, endangering their presence in the country.
Those who check the Saudi conditions realize that Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman has placed both the Israeli and American leaders in an unprecedented impasse. Although he confirmed his non-rejection to the normalization with Israel, he put near-impossible conditions to pass the normalization deal. If fulfilled, Saudi Arabia will appear as the largest power in the region, affecting Israel's functional role in which it would decline in favor of Saudi Arabia, which possesses all assets.
Saudi Arabia's possession of a civil nuclear program will allow Egyptian, Algerian, and maybe Arabic and Islamic claims to own such a program. This means to break the Israeli monopoly of nuclear weapons, which threatens its existential presence. Thus, bin Salman presented fresh approaches to normalization with Israel that depended on achieving their national interests, instead of responding to the American claims as usual.
Furthermore, its acquisition of power and leadership of the regional scene of defending Arab and Islamic rights is the dream of all Arabs and Muslims who are jealous of the nation's interests. Therefore, the equation for the Saudi normalization with Israel is difficult. So, would Saudi Arabia would succeed in imposing a new equation? The upcoming years will respond to this question.