Alwaght – Over the past few years and particularly after Mohammed bin Salman was appointed as the crown prince of Saudi Arabia over a year ago, the Saudi actions and policies went unprecedented way in line with the American policies in the West Asia region. Such a coordination of policy allows the Saudis to be truly labeled the pawn to the US and its key ally in the region the Israeli regime.
In fact, the extent of the Saudi rulers’ dependence on Washington in the region is largely unusual. If we imagine somebody who has been disconnected from the course of developments in West Asia for the past 10 years, certainly, he will find the Saudi Arabian steps towards closeness to the Israeli regime and the signals of coordination sent to the Israeli officials highly unbelievable.
Despite the fact that over the past decades the Saudi leaders have been in one way or another reliant on the US protection and policy, they pursued their own specific considerations in dealing with the Muslim world’s main cause, the Palestinian cause. These considerations rested in a set of inconsistencies and insolvable problems between the Muslim world and the Israeli regime which has been occupying the Palestinian and some of the Arab territories since its creation in 1948.
Despite the essential feud with Tel Aviv and contrary to the will of its public opinion, over the past two years, Riyadh decided to secretly engage in a kind of cooperation with the Israelis in the regional policy. The depth and level of the underground relations between Prince Mohammed-ruled Saudi Arabia and the Israeli regime in the new conditions is in a way that the US President Donald Trump recently linked his support to Saudi Arabia in the case of killing of the prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed early in October at the Saudi embassy in Istanbul, to the Israeli security.
On Friday, he defended his support to the crown prince and said that “Israel would be in big trouble” without the alliance with Saudi Arabia. He responded to the reporters who referred to the CIA conclusion which said Prince Mohammed personally ordered the killing of Khashoggi, saying that undermining Saudi Arabia will mean the destruction of the Israeli regime.
“So what does that mean? Is Israel going to leave?” he was quoted as talking about the significance of Riyadh to Tel Aviv. “We have a very strong ally in Saudi Arabia,” Trump continued referring to bin Salman, known in the West as MBS.
In the first view, Trump’s comments must be taken as an ordinary political stance. But looking deep into his words gives us a picture of what factors made the president talk about Saudi Arabia and its de facto ruler as a key to the existence of the Israeli regime. Let’s put it into a question: How does the Mohammed-led Saudi Arabia play the role of a protector to Tel Aviv and its interests in the region under the US dominance? There are four ways in which the Saudis play this crucial role.
1. Cracking down on regional resistant groups and supporting pro-compromise Palestinian sides
Since the installation of bin Salman into the post of crown prince in June 2017 by his father King Salman bin Abdulaziz, the kingdom adopted a crackdown campaign targeting Palestinian groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad, both resisting the Israeli occupation and aggression. Riyadh leaders backed, on the other side, Palestinian groups who have been open to concessions to the Israeli regime, on top of them the Fatah Movement led by Mahmoud Abbas. The massive support to the pro-compromise sides is both economic and diplomatic. Bin Salman seeks to strengthen the Palestinian forces with a tendency to offer privileges to the Israeli regime in a bid to finalize the peace process between the Palestinians and the Israelis and put an end to the Palestinian occupation case for the good of the Tel Aviv interests.
2. Dragging the Arab world into diplomatic normalization with Tel Aviv
Since Donald Trump’s election as US president in January 2017, Saudi Arabia, a country identifying itself as the leader of the Arab world, has been working hard to establish an Arab alliance with Riyadh leadership with the leading aim being paving the way for a thaw between the Arab states and the Israeli regime. Over the past two years, bin Salman has been persuading the Arab rulers to start the process of diplomatic normalization with Tel Aviv which stands as a prelude to the recognition of the Israeli regime. Sources familiar with the matter suggest that this strategy is jointly managed by bin Salman and Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner, a Jewish American.
3. Shifting Muslim world-Israeli confrontation into an intra-Muslim conflict
Yet another way through which bin Salman contributes to the US regional policy is the change of the Muslims’ confrontation with the Tel Aviv as an occupying party into conflicts between Muslim sides in the form of Shiite-Sunni dispute. This strategy is marked by an attempt by Riyadh to whitewash the Israeli crimes against the Palestinians and Arabs in the eyes of the Muslims and instead replace Iran, as the representative of the Shiite Islam, as the main enemy of Arabs rather than the Israeli regime. This largely exploitational strategy revolves around the promotion of Islamist radicalism in the region mainly represented by Wahhabi ideology in opposition to the Shiite branch of Islam.
4. Supporting Trump’s Palestine roadmap
Furthermore, Saudi Arabia supports the existence of the Tel Aviv regime by its full endorsement of Trump’s plan, dubbed the “deal of the century”, to settle the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. In expectation of Trump’s maximum support for his succession to the Saudi throne, bin Salman has been working hard to lure the Palestinian groups and Arab states into accepting the roadmap devised by the White House to end the decades-long dispute to the Israeli favor. In fact, compromising the Palestinian cause, the crown prince has accepted full service to the Israeli existence in exchange for an American guarantee of his throne gain in the oil-rich monarchy.