Saudis ask to suspend normalization talks with Israel over Palestinian issue

T. Belman. I repeat, nothing is going to happen regarding normalizaton with SA until Jordan is recognized as the Palestinian state. This will not happen until Abdullah abdicates and Mudar Zahran becomes President of Jordan. You don’t have to believe me. Time will tell.

I fully support Smotrich and Ben Gvir. Remember, neither SA or the US is doing Israel a favour by pushing for normalization. SA is leveraging it to get what it can from the US e.g. nuclear plant and defense pact. The US is leveraging it to get progress toward a TSS.  Israel, on the other hand, just wants normalization.

The US is telling the Saudis that in order for the US to give them what they want, the US must get what it wants form the Israelis and that SA must apply pressure on Israel to make concessions. That’s what is going on. The news is totally focussed on the Palestinian issue which is a minor issue, rather than whether the US should give the Saudis a nuclear plant or a Defense Pact. Strange, don’t you think?

Saudi-owned site says hardline government’s refusal to make any concessions to Palestinians at heart of Riyadh’s decision to pull away; Israel said ‘confused’

By TOI STAFF    Today,

File: Benjamin Netanyahu (right) during a Likud party meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem on December 13, 2021; Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (left) speaks during the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, December 14, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90; Bandar Aljaloud/Saudi Royal Palace via AP)

Saudi Arabia has reportedly told the Biden administration that it intends to freeze US-brokered normalization talks with Israel because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hardline government is unwilling to make any concessions to the Palestinians.

According to the report Sunday in the Saudi-owned Elaph newspaper, citing officials in Netanyahu’s office, the US has informed Israel of the Saudi stance.

It said that Israel was “confused” by the move, believing that the Saudis were prepared to move ahead with normalizing ties without linking it to the progress on the Palestinian issue.

The report by the London-based paper’s Israel correspondent singled out far-right ministers Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben Gvir’s insistence that Israel not make any concessions to the Palestinians, adding that without progress with Ramallah, there could be no progress with Riyadh.

Last month, Netanyahu indicated that he was open to gestures to Palestinians if a normalization deal with Saudi Arabia depended on it, and hinted that he would not let coalition members block an agreement.

“Do I think it’s feasible to have that, and do I think that political questions will block it? I doubt it,” Netanyahu told Bloomberg News. “If there’s political will, there will be a political way to achieve normalization and a formal peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

“I think there’s enough room to discuss possibilities,” he added.

Netanyahu’s comments were in line with what Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said the day before in an interview with Elaph, which is often seen as a conduit for public messaging between Jerusalem and Riyadh.

“The Palestinian issue will not be an obstacle to peace,” Cohen said.

“We also proved this in the Abraham Accords. We all have an interest in improving life in the areas of the Palestinian Authority.”

But Netanyahu’s far-right coalition partners have ruled out any compromise with the Palestinians.

“We will not make any concessions to the Palestinians. It’s a fiction,” Smotrich, who heads the far-right Religious Zionism party, told Army Radio last month.

Smotrich said that while Israel is interested in the US-brokered deal with Riyadh, “it has nothing to do with Judea and Samaria,” referring to the West Bank by its biblical names.

However, in recent weeks the Saudis have stepped up their engagement with Palestinians.<

Saudi Arabia will be co-hosting an event on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly this week focused on revamping the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, three UN diplomats told The Times of Israel on Thursday.

The event, titled “Peace Day Effort for Middle East Peace,” will take place on Monday and is being put on by Saudi Arabia along with the Arab League and the European Union in cooperation with Egypt and Jordan, one of the diplomats said. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will be the keynote speaker.

Neither the Israeli nor the Palestinian missions were invited to the event, the UN diplomat said, explaining that it is focused on congregating important global stakeholders on the issue in order to “reinvigorate” the peace process.

The current hardline Israeli government led by Netanyahu has refused to entertain the notion of peace talks with the Palestinian Authority, instead moving to radically expand Israel’s footprint in the West Bank. The PA supports a two-state solution, but its leadership is marred by charges of corruption and President Mahmoud Abbas was roundly criticized last week for a speech employing a range of antisemitic tropes.

Both Netanyahu and Abbas will be at the UN this week.

Two weeks ago, Riyadh hosted a Palestinian Authority delegation to discuss how to leverage a normalization deal to advance the Palestinian cause.

Saudi leaders assured the visiting delegation that Riyadh “will not abandon” the Palestinian cause, even as it discusses normalizing ties with Israel, a US and an Arab official told The Times of Israel last week.

The message was passed along in multiple meetings between the Palestinian Authority delegation and senior Saudi officials, including Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan, the US and the Arab official said.<

Last month, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Jordan began serving as Riyadh’s first-ever nonresident ambassador to the Palestinians as well as its first-ever nonresident consul general to Jerusalem.

The Arab official explained that Riyadh has made clear to Ramallah that it is prepared to depart from its long-held public stance against normalizing ties with Israel absent an actualized two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that the PA has come to terms with this development and accordingly is asking for measures that fall short of immediate statehood.

Jacob Magid contributed to this report

September 17, 2023 | 15 Comments »

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15 Comments / 15 Comments

  1. Alas, they don’t mean Jordan but the TSS with East Jerusalem as its capital. They just reiterated their position which a link in the article to another article from 2 two years ago, indicates has been their position. It’s dead in the water. Maybe if Trump is re-elected, something might change but I’m not holding my breath. Remember Trump/Kushner demanded and got tabling sovereignty and a settlement freeze as a pre-condition for the Abraham Accords in the first place. American presidents always give with one hand and take back with the other. Trump was the friendliest so far and will undoubtedly be again but, well, there is a limit to what we can realistically expect.

  2. @Edgar Shana Tova!

    Edgar you may believe whatever or whomever you like, that is certainly your right. Edgar, actually I am taking into account years of predictions that did not occur. Also the predictions are not logical but require blind faith, especially when they have been contradicted.

    I do not have blind faith in anyone as I expressed before. You appear to and that is certainly your right. Again Shana Tova. I hope you have a great New Year!

  3. BEAR-

    TO verify a matter so important and of deep neccessity under wraps, is to blazon it to the whole world, and ruin it’sintended impact.

    You are no one special in this matter, the same as all of us.

    I trust Ted ,he tells us what he safely can.
    Only a narcissic fool should expect more , and I don’t believe you are that, just a stubborn nay-sayer.
    Shana Tova .

  4. @Ted, First Shana Tova!!

    I would rephrase that is I do not have blind faith in anyone and that includes you and Mudar. So when proof is clear and obvious and not based on blind faith, then we will have something to discuss. When the King of Jordan is actually factually gone and a new regime takes over then I will be interested to see if Mudar is involved at that point.

  5. @Edgar & Ted. I believe only what I can see and what can be verified. This applies not just to you Ted but across the board.

    I am glad Mudar as an Arab and Muslim has made positive and objective pro Israel comments in public forums such as EU. This is a very good thing. However until any proof of regime change in Jordan actually takes place and Mudar actually takes charge I will remain unconvinced.

    My conclusion that Saudi and Israeli normalization deal has nothing to do with Jordan. Jordan was also not involved in Israeli normalization deals with UAE, Baharain and Morocco. These normalization deals involve self interest and when necessary adequate amount of political cover (regarding Palestinians) for the Arab Country involved. The same will be true with Saudi Arabia. Plus Saudis will wait until they get want they want from USA (mostly) an not Israel they will not sign on. They prefer to do such a deal with Trump and not Biden.


    The information that talks about freezing the Israeli-Saudi normalization process is a kind of political and media misinformation and political lie. The Saudi leadership ?? will complete the phase of normalization with Israel ?? , but at the right time, and the phase now requires a phase of slowing down a little in order to complete the phase of moving the political chess pieces in the Middle East region. The solution is the new Jordan, and Bassem is its knight

  7. Israeli and U.S. officials on Monday rejected a report that Riyadh had frozen normalization talks, according to Bloomberg News.

    A senior U.S. official called Saturday’s reporting by the Elaph online news site false, echoing earlier remarks by an aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu aboard a plane carrying the Israeli prime minister to the United States for meetings in California and New York, including with President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday.

  8. vivarto-

    I think you’re wrong, and Ted is right. He knows far more than he can put in print for public consumption. the amount he reports he KNOWS is fact.

    The midget kinglet doesn’t even have to abdicate, It can possibly take the form of civil disobedience and open rebellion to the degree that he scarpers. He has already transferred most of the stolen wealth out of the country, so he is prepared. and, as he is most often out of the country, it may happen that at the breaking point he just won’t go back, and lose his “case” by non-appearance.

  9. BEAR-

    Terrorism has always been a serious problem. It has escalated at this time because the IDF are still using the restraint and defensive tactics instead of the mailed fist insid3 the mailed Glove.

    They need to go after them and stamp them into the ground so that their memory even is erased. Like Shaka did.

    And they also need to go after the machers from whom the terrorists orders are issued, and do the same thing..

    Instead, to appease Biden and the PM mistakenly thinks, the Saudis, he is schmearing them as much as he can taxing to the limit his LIKUD opposition. Arabs are never in a hurry. They procrastinate even worse than the Israelis.

  10. I predict that no deal with Saudi’s will happen before USA election. Saudi’s are not favorable to Biden being re-elected. If Trump gets elected the chances for a deal improve significantly, as both the Saudi’s and Israelis prefer to deal with a Trump Administration.

    Israel is not need of a deal that requires them to give up land or start working a Palestinian State. Israel can not afford to do anything that will weaken them security wise. Terrorism is already a serious regular problem.

    Biden needs this deal more the Saudi’s. Bibi would also like a good deal but not one that will cause coalition problems and/or security problems.

  11. T. Belman. I repeat, nothing is going to happen regarding normalizaton with SA until Jordan is recognized as the Palestinian state. This will not happen until Abdullah abdicates and Mudar Zahran becomes President of Jordan. You don’t have to believe me. Time will tell.

    well saying

    Time will tell

    without specifying the length of time is like saying that Mt. Rainier will explode one day.
    It probably will explode between now and 100,000 years from now.

  12. The whole point of the Abraham Accords, as Bibi explained it, was to move the Arab-Israeli peace process forward by going around the Perpestians, leaving that issue on the back burner and taking away their permanent veto. Israel already has a semi-alliance with Saudi Arabia on issues of mutual concern. If that veto is restored, then as Caroline Glick has stated, Israel has nothing to gain from normalization which is an impossibility anyhow because the three little words the Perpestian leadership with full backing from the Perpestian street, no matter how oppressed they are by said leadership, will never utter under any circumstances, since it’s their very raisin d’etre, the diabolical purpose for
    Which they were recently engineered, are: