Does Saudi Arabia want to partner with Israel?

By Ted Belman

DEBKA reported (just below)

    Saudi King Abdullah has already swept the half a dozen GCC (Cooperation Council of the Arab States of the Gulf) behind the separate security and strategic policies he is pursuing independently of the US and often diametrically opposed to Obama’s course. He has invited Jordan, Morocco and Yemen to join the group.

    The suggestion put by Jordanian monarch Abdullah II to Obama this week that the US transfer its sponsorship of the Israel-Palestinian issue to the GCC underscored the rising power of the new Gulf grouping and was firmly rejected.

This is amazing. Nobody trusts Obama and they all fear Iran. The only reason for the GCC to take over the peace process is so that they can give Israel a better deal with a view to including israel in the GCC. Afterall they have lost Egypt who is supporting the Brotherhood and Hamas. Abbas joined a Unity deal with Hamas. Perhaps, Saudi Arabia is ready to throw the Palestinians under the bus.

Am I delusional.

May 22, 2011 | 7 Comments »

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7 Comments / 7 Comments

  1. This may sound quite reasonable and consistent with the material interests of the parties, but both Islam and the demonization of Israel vis-a-vis the Palestinian Arabs represent insuperable challenges.

    Arab ‘Jew-hatred’ is also a powerful force.

    If ‘nations have only interests’ then this analysis holds up. But nations are more than interests and this is a fun ‘alternative history’ analysis.

    Mr. Belman suggests that ‘survival’ may provide motivation for the GCC members to tolerate the Kaffir infidel. Please note that this Mr. Ted belman’s analysis does not mention Islam and Arab “jew hatred”.

    There will, for the Arabs, always be a less bitter option. A requirements contract in oil with China would provide that ‘wild card’ alternative and there are other, similar, options available. China is but one among several.

  2. Sounds like the machinations of the House of Saud to ensure it is well place to rule the much hyped Grand Caliphate. I hope that a Republic of Kurdistan declares itself a state (take that Turkey) when or if the Arabs of Judea and Samaria and Gaza declare their state of Palistan, the Islamic Republic of Palestine or whatever they seem so hell-bent on doing. It will ALL end badly. Go Israel! Hold out there Bibi!

  3. This would be an uncomfortable, but workable alliance (for as long as it suits all concerned, and everyone watches their back); It makes sense with Iranian/Syrian/Egypt developments. I wonder if there has been any advance, secret talks between Jordan and Israel? Saudi Arabia allied with Israel would be unusual if stranger things hadn’t already happened in history – U.S. allied with Stalin WWII; Reagan funded the Taliban against the Soviet threat in Afghanistan, and we funded Iraq against Iran, and we backed General Zia in Pakistan while he made nukes.
    Geopolitics is Machiavellian.

  4. Hi, Ted

    You and I are amazingly rather close on the matter of the GCC — possibly because we are the only ones here who seem to have noticed what has been happening there recently. You said,

    “The only reason for the GCC to take over the peace process is so that they can give Israel a better deal with a view to including israel in the GCC.”

    The GCC is undergoing a radical change.

    1. For one thing, it can no longer be aptly called the “Gulf Cooperation Council” after admitting Jordan, Morocco and Yemen.

    2. With the admission of Jordan and Morocco, the GCC might be called the “Arab Monarchy Cooperation Council”, since all the members would then be monarchies. I saw the possibility of Jordan joining weeks ago, before it was even announced, because of an arrangement Saudi Arabia had made with Bahrain: As part of the deal of Saudi Arabia (SA) saving Bahrain’s Shiite monarchy, Bahrain became a de facto province of SA. This fit in very well with SA’s current governmental system, whereby each province is ruled by a prince of sorts. The only difference was that the Bahraini ruler was of a different house than the House of Saud. When I read this, I immediately speculated that Jordan, too, could merge with the Saudis; as their ruling house, the Hashemite Dynasty going back to the days of Mohammed (and traditional enemies of the Saudis, but these things are taken in stride in the Middle East), was also of a different family.

    3. The inclusion of Morocco in the mix was yet another great step. Morocco is more populous, I believe, than the rest of the GCC put together. They obviously couldn’t become a province of SA, as Jordan could. Also, while Jordan at least has “Gulf” frontage in the form of the Gulf of Aqaba, Morocco has none.

    Morocco would test the cohesion of the grouping, which is otherwise quite tight. In favor of economic cohesion, is the fact that Morocco is a member, along with Algeria, Tunisia, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Yemen and the GCC, of the General Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA) (Libya, Egypt and Sudan are part of GAFTA and of the African Free Trade Area; but all three countries are so distracted at the moment, they hardly merit mention). Note that Algeria and Iraq are very restive, and that Tunisia, Syria and Lebanon are all on the verge of anarchy. GAFTA has the OBJECTIVE of dropping trade barriers between its members, but the GCC has actually done so and become a Free Trade Area. Moroccan entry into the GCC, in this sense, could be viewed as a natual progression in an integration that was already in motion through GAFTA — which, as its name implies, envisions eventual unity on an Arab-world scope.

    Yemen’t entry adds another layer of complexity: It is not a monarchy, but the remnant of a Soviet-sponsored socialist regime. In the military sense, however, Yemen is intimately linked with Saudi Arabia and the GCC; in that the latter are propping up its regime against an energetic assault by Al Qaeda and its allies. One curious aspect of Yemen’s inclusion is that its socialist, republican government resembles Israel’s about as much as it does those of the Gulf states.

    Getting yet closer to Israel’s door, note that the Palestinian Authority has applied for membership in the GCC. Other states, such as Iraq, have done this in the past and been rebuffed, because the sheikhs rightly saw that their inclusion would be destablilizing. The same will likely continue to apply to the PA in its present form.

    I have mentioned before, that Morocco and Jordan both recognize Israel and have visa arrangements with her. As the expanded GCC gets more integrated — say, into a common market, they will have to adopt some sort of “Shengen Rules” concerning visas. Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran already share a common visa, and represent a precedent in the area (actually, a competing precedent; as those four nations are beginning to be a collective military threat to the GCC states).

    You are the first one I’ve noticed, who suggested the possibility of an eventual integration of Israel into the GCC. Jordan has pointed things in that direction, by pointing the Israel vs. Pal negotiators toward the sheikhs. It is only in the framework of a real peace agreement, that the PA could be practically accepted into such an economic grouping; and the PA already is (howbeit with severe restrictions because of its own hostility) economically integrated with Israel.

    Yes: If any peace agreement is to come between Israel and the Pals, the Saudis and the GCC are the ones who could pull it out of the hat. The latter NEED Israel, as never before, to help them in their struggle against a building, potentially nuclear-armed Northern Alliance; and with the US increasingly recusing itself of responsibility (of responsible behavior, at least) in the area, there is certainly a new incentive among both Israel and the GCC to patch together a working agreement.

    The Middle East is changing quickly, and it is good to notice these budding trends.

  5. Saudi Arabia and Obama:

    When Obama took office, the first thing he did was to bow down to the king of saudi arabia.

    But two years later, in his latest speech, Obama did not mention saudi arabia and its unelected tyrant king at all, but did say that, in the name of democracy, America supports the shiite majority in Bahrain against its sunni king, who is allied with the sunni saudis.

    Bahrain is a small island on the saudi side of the persian gulf, and is physically connected to saudi arabia by a bridge. If the shiite arabs of Bahrain take control, they will ally with the shiite iranians, just like the iraqi shiite arabs have done.

    This poses an incredible threat to the saudis. Incredibly, it looks like Obama has thrown not only Jewish Israel under the bus, but also the saudis. So, just like Jewish Israel, the saudis are also now exploring their options.

    It is hard to believe that Obama and his advisors really know what they are doing.

  6. Do not be unequally yoked with the unrighteous, particularly when they are Muslims who are instructed to destroy you! You can’t trust them.