Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Saudi Arabia, Israel and Gaza - The New Diplomatic Reality

Back in September 2023, it appeared that we were setting up for a new diplomatic reality in the Middle East:



Here's quote from the article with my bolds:


"In recent months, a drumbeat has built around the U.S. effort to negotiate a normalization agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia. The deal would be a tectonic shift in Middle East geopolitics, but also carries major implications for other actors beyond the three negotiating parties. Israel would, of course, benefit from normalized relations with the Saudis — long seen as the “holy grail” of potential normalization agreements for the country. The Saudis, in turn, would see their interests advanced through strengthened U.S partnership in key areas. But this deal could also have serious implications for the future of the Palestinian national movement and, further afield, for the role of China in the Middle East.


The speculation that the agreement is around the corner received an adrenaline shot last week as both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS) indicated that progress had been made. But major obstacles remain in a deal that aims to address shared interests while requiring each of the major parties to make compromises that could meet strong domestic headwinds."


The agreement would have required formalized U.S. security guarantees, and U.S. support for a Saudi civilian nuclear program.  Most importantly, Saudi Arabia and the United States are expected to require Israeli concessions that minimally provide benefits to the Palestinians and that maximally reinforce the shared Saudi and U.S. position of preserving the possibility of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.


Well, thanks to Israel's collective punishment of Gaza residents, we have this new diplomatic reality as announced by the Saudi Foreign Ministry on February 6, 2023:


In case you were wondering, at a vote taken in November 2012, there were 9 nations that have not accorded Palestine as a non-Member Observer State status in the United Nations.  These include Canada, the Czech Republic, Israel and the United States and also include such world powerhouses as the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Panama and Palau. 

Here is a map showing the 138 nations that have recognized Palestine as a state:

And, just like that, there goes the potential for a new, healthy and peaceful diplomatic relationship between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

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