Saudi Arabia and Israel: the Palestinian Context

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2021-65-1-61-69
G. Kosach (,
Lomonosov Moscow State University, 1, Leninskie Gory, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation

Abstract. The article examines the issues related to the change in the Saudi Arabia’s policy towards Israel in the context of Riyadh’s approaches to solving the Palestinian problem. The author emphasizes that the positive dynamics taking place in the evolution of Saudi-Israeli interaction in recent years is determined by the intra-Saudi socio-economic and political transformation, including changes in public opinion regarding Israel, as well as significant shifts in the development of the Middle East regional situation, inter alia those proclaimed by the United Arab Emirates (as well as Bahrain) heading towards a settlement with Israel. At the same time, the emergence of a tendency to support the course towards normalizing relations with Israel in the context of the current Saudi internal political situation also marked a public demarcation in relation to initiatives to support the Crown Prince. If his supporters act, among other things, as supporters of normalization, then opponents see contacts with the Jewish state as “a betrayal of Arab national interests”. Noting that the current Saudi-Israeli rapprochement is largely determined by a joint interest in confronting Iran, the author, nevertheless, sees the most important reason for the continuing Saudi unwillingness to normalize relations with the Jewish state in the unresolved Palestinian problem on the basis of the “two states” principle. At the same time, the author believes that this principle itself is an instrument of Saudi foreign policy, thanks to which Riyadh seeks to exclude the possibility of Israeli hegemony in the future post-confrontational Middle East. This means, in particular, that the achievement of mutual understanding will become a reality only if the Israeli regional policy is adjusted so as not to pose a threat to Saudi interests.

Keywords: Saudi Arabia, Israel, Palestinian National Administration, Hamas, Iran, Palestinian problem, Saudi-Israeli normalization, Saudi foreign policy


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For citation:
Kosach G. Saudi Arabia and Israel: the Palestinian Context. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2021, vol. 65, no. 1, pp. 61-69.

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