The White House wants Saudi Arabia and the Zionist regime, which have had unofficial and hidden relations for years, to make those relations public and formalize them as soon as possible.
Biden and Netanyahu, for obvious reasons, do not have a good internal situation, the details of which are published daily in the media. Therefore, both sides speak of the importance and necessity of recognizing bilateral relations between the Zionist regime and Saudi Arabia to “strengthen their internal and external positions.”
Normalization of the relationship between the Zionist regime and Saudi Arabia is a “winning card” for Biden and the Democrats in the upcoming presidential elections. This issue could also play an important role in attracting the attention of the powerful Jewish lobby in the 2024 election (in which the support of the Republicans is more likely) in favor of the Democrats.
Meanwhile, for Netanyahu, who is facing complex security and political problems and crises, compromise with Saudi Arabia is considered a domestic and regional “achievement” amid the crises of this regime.
Regarding the dimensions and prospects of formalizing Riyadh-Tel Aviv relations, there are points to be considered, the important cases of which are as follows:
One, the amount of benefits and costs resulting from the foreign policy approaches of the countries is different according to the position and status that the countries enjoy. Saudi Arabia is no exception to this rule; the cost of normalizing, publicizing, or formalizing the bilateral relations between Riyadh and Tel Aviv for Saudi Arabia, which is known as an important and large Arab and Islamic country, is much more and more “strategic” than other smaller countries.
In important foreign policy issues, society and domestic “public opinion” is an important variable. If public opinion does not support a policy and opposes it, the said policy will become costly and a challenge for the government in the long run. This issue is also true for Saudi Arabia because, based on periodic polls by Western centers, including the American Studies Foundation, about 85 percent of Saudi people are against the relationship with the Zionist regime.
Second, another important issue is that the parties have not yet agreed on any of the issues, even minimally. For example, the conditions and demands that Saudi Arabia has for normalizing relations with the Zionist regime are “strict” and largely unfulfillable.
High-level American security guarantees to Riyadh similar to those in NATO, support for the civilian nuclear program, access to the most advanced American weapons, and reduced restrictions on arms sales to Saudi Arabia are new conditions of Riyadh in this regard, which the US Congress, including the Democrats, due to human rights issues and the war in Yemen and the fact that they do not have a good relationship with bin Salman, at least at the current stage, does not agree with any of the mentioned conditions. In addition, bin Salman’s proposals go beyond the US administration’s foreign commitments to countries like Saudi Arabia.
This is while the Zionist regime has never agreed to establish a nuclear reactor in Saudi Arabia due to the fear that other Arab countries will make a similar request. The nuclearization of Arab countries, even the countries that have compromised with the Zionist regime, is a “long-term security and strategic threat” for the Zionist regime.
Third, Riyadh considers itself committed to the “Arab Peace Initiative” it proposed in 2002. According to this initiative, recognition of the Zionist regime is subject to the “formation of two states” based on the UN resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative; according to one of its provisions, the Israeli regime must completely withdraw from the Palestinian territories it has occupied since 1967.
Given that the Zionist regime does not agree with the Arab Peace Initiative and does not accept it, it is natural that the normalization of relations between Riyadh and Tel Aviv faces a “difficult deadlock” from this point of view.
Fourth, the Islamic Republic of Iran is an important variable that Saudi Arabia, especially at the current stage, cannot ignore in recognizing its relations with the Zionist regime. Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran are improving their relations, and in the past few days, they have reopened diplomatic centers and thus resumed diplomatic relations.
Considering that the improvement of relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran is of strategic and long-term importance for Saudi Arabia, it cannot be “ignorant” of the negative impacts of its possible action in recognizing the Zionist regime and establishing diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv on its relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Five: during recent months, the atmosphere of the region has been “changing,” and this change has two important aspects: first, the decline of bipolar alliances such as Arab-Sunni alliances, etc., and second, the reduction of the role and importance of the Zionist regime in the region. In such a situation, formalizing or establishing a relationship with the Zionist regime is a calculation error and a strategic mistake that cannot be avoided in the future.
Six; supposedly, if Saudi Arabia had an incentive to agree with the Zionist regime, this would never happen at the current stage because, first of all, there is an extreme right-wing cabinet in the ruling Zionist regime, which has placed settlement development, violation of Al-Aqsa Mosque regulations and extremism at the top of its policies, which Riyadh strongly opposes. Secondly, the Zionist regime faces internal and external crises that have made the prospect of establishing diplomatic relations extremely unclear. Thirdly, what has gained strength, especially in the region’s past two years, is the discourse and logic of resistance and self-reliance, not reliance on aliens and foreigners. In addition, the normalization project has found many opponents and is actually failing.
In conclusion, it should be emphasized that normalization of relations with Saudi Arabia is not an easy process, contrary to the calculations and imaginations in the Zionist and American circles, and it faces major internal, regional, and extra-regional obstacles. Saudi Arabia is not the UAE or Bahrain or the Maghreb; therefore, realizing the project of normalizing political relations between the Zionist regime and Saudi Arabia is far from reach and does not have a clear prospect.