Israel and Saudi Arabia Flags and Handshake Symbolizing Partnership

Israel is working to get closer with Saudi Arabia as the threat of an all-out war with Iran increases and the U.S. worked to play mediator during the Munich Security Conference. 

Reports indicated that Riyadh could be a willing partner for Israel, but there are some problems between the two countries that will not be easily resolved, despite the shared hatred for Iran, namely, Saudi Arabia’s insistence on a Palestinian state. 

The U.S., of course, is thrilled with the possibility of Saudi Arabia joining a coalition with Israel. Dana Stroul, the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Middle East, said, “We think that other regions integrating and beginning to sit at the same table with Israel is in the interest of stability and security in the region.”

It was not immediately clear how Israel appealed to Saudi Arabia at the conference. 

The Times of Israel reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Jake Sullivan, the U.S. national security adviser, in January and issued a statement that he hopes to “deepen the Abraham Accords and widen the circle of peace, with an emphasis on a breakthrough with Saudi Arabia.” 

The paper wrote, “But while the Saudis have softened toward Israel in recent years, allowing Israeli flights to use the country’s airspace, the new hardline Netanyahu government is unlikely to provide a welcoming atmosphere for any such deal.”

TRENDPOST: The Trends Journal has long reported on how Israel is preparing for war with Iran and has been conducting airstrikes and massive military drills with the U.S. as part of its build-up. (See “WHAT DRONE STRIKE? NETANYAHU DODGES QUESTIONS ABOUT ATTACK ON IRANIAN MILITARY FACILITY” 7 Feb 2023, “TOP TREND 2023: MIDDLE EAST MELTDOWN: ISRAEL, U.S. RAMPS UP WITH IRAN” 24 Jan 2023, and “TOP TREND 2023, MIDDLE EAST MELTDOWN: SAUDI & U.S. VS. IRAN” 10 Jan 2023.)

The U.S. and Saudi Arabia already have a strong military relationship which was bolstered last November when the U.S. and Saudi Arabia sold their “intelligence line” that Iran was planning an attack on the Kingdom. Washington sent warplanes and bombers in the direction of Iran to intimidate the country, which turned out to be a watershed in Washington’s relationship with Riyadh.

The U.S. and six Gulf countries called Iran a growing threat in the region last week, but there are lingering questions if the Iranian threat will be enough to bring the Saudis closer to Israel. 

Jon B. Alterman, the director of the Middle East Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Bloomberg that there is a “profound alignment in threat perceptions between the Israelis and the Saudis and other Gulf Arab governments,” when it comes to Iran, it is not enough to build a foundation of diplomatic normalization. 

The Times of Israel reported that the position of Saudi Arabia has been to stick to the framework of a 2002 proposal that offers Israel fully normalized relations with the Arab League if it agrees to a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders.  

TREND FORECAST: As we have forecast, should military confrontation between Israel/US and or Saudi Arabia vs. Iran, it will spike oil prices above $130 per ounce… which will in turn destroy the global economy and equity markets. It will also open up a new front of WWIII.

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