Sajjad Mohseni said in an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations: “Although extensive attention in the Islamic world has been given to the TV programs on the Saudi television network MBC, especially the two TV dramas of the holy month of Ramadan, Um Haroun (Mother of Aroun) and Makhraj-7 (Exit-7) which indicates objective efforts of unofficial Saudi media and the Saudi government’s implicit consent to normalizing relations with the Zionist regime, however, it seems that the intention to establish these relations has already taken root in Saudi politics, and now is the time for the results to yield.
He added: “A historical look at the relations between Saudi Arabia and the Zionist regime shows that the Saudis have never taken a strong position in the conflicts between the Islamic world and the Zionist regime, but have tried to satisfy both sides by providing financial support and preventing tensions with the Zionist regime.”
The Middle East affairs analyst said Saudi Arabia’s close ties with the United States affect Saudi officials’ approach to the Zionist regime, saying that even if Riyadh was willing to confront the Zionist regime, they would refrain from doing so. At the same time, the escalation of tension with Iran has played an important role in Saudi Arabia’s desire to get closer to the Zionist regime.
Mohseni called the coming to power of Mohammad bin Salman a turning point in this regard and explained: “Given his conditions and the possibility of holding the monarchy for a long time, he can facilitate relations between the two sides, so the current state of relations between Riyadh and Tel Aviv is not a new policy. What has happened is that the media coverage of the issue has become more prominent.”
Saudi Arabia, Zionist Regime in Early Stages of Normalizing Relations
Regarding the future of these efforts to normalize relations with the Zionist regime, he said: “It seems that initial plans have been formulated to facilitate relations, and now the two sides are in the early stages of normalizing relations in public.” There is a tendency in the political cadres of both sides that at first glance can create the mentality that they will quickly move towards normalization.
The position of the region’s Muslims prevents relations with the Zionist regime
At the same time, Mohseni emphasized: “But there is a foreign variable here, and that is the position of the Muslims in the region, which can prevent the establishment of relations.” Of course, there are many debates about this issue. The lack of cohesion in the Islamic world, on the one hand, and the internal concerns of each of these countries on the other have minimized the space for targeted opposition.
What Saudi Public Think about Normalization of Relations
“Given the internal situation in Saudi Arabia and the growing trend of secularization in the country, although even Islamists may take a tougher approach, it does not seem to be opposition at least by the younger and educated generation,” the Middle East affairs expert said. Saudi Arabia’s main concern in communicating with the Zionist regime is the actions of Muslims outside Saudi Arabia, rather than inside the country.
Mohseni added: “Basically, the issue of Palestine is not considered a concern of the Saudi people, especially now that economic bottlenecks, increasing tensions with Iran and Qatar and the war in Yemen are also considered current threats to this country.” In addition to these issues, it should be noted that at least one-third of Saudi Arabia’s population, who are mainly foreign immigrants, are reluctant to engage in political issues, and this in itself will help increase Saudi political passivity.