Extreme feuds have erupted in the Saudi royal family over warm relations with Israel. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is desperate to establish relations with Israel. However, Saudi King Salman has taken a position on the opposite pole. The influential US daily Wall Street Journal has published an investigative report on this unprecedented father-son conflict. Let’s hear that story.
Controversy has erupted inside the Saudi palace. The question is, should they follow the same path after the UAE and Bahrain?
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz has been embroiled in a dispute with his son, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, over relations with the Jewish state. King Salman is a staunch supporter of the Arab countries boycotting Israel and demanding an independent Palestine. But Yuvraj wants to make it a thing of the past to form an alliance against Iran by establishing relations with Israel.
The 64-year-old king was shocked when US President Donald Trump announced the normalization of relations between the UAE and Israel last August. Then he barely started summer vacation. People involved in the incident and Saudi advisers provided the information.
Yuvraj, however, was not surprised. He feared that his father would not accept any agreement without progress on the Palestinian state’s demands. Without the support of the Saudi monarch, the Middle East’s largest economy and the guardian of Islam’s two holiest sites, it will be difficult for the neighboring emirate to move forward with the deal. Yuvraj did not inform his father about the deal in advance.
There is no mention of a Palestinian state in the UAE-Israel agreement. The king was furious. He instructed his foreign minister to reiterate Saudi Arabia’s commitment to the establishment of a Palestinian state.
A member of the royal family close to the king then wrote an article in a Saudi-controlled newspaper. It reiterated Saudi Arabia’s commitment to the Palestinian state and called on the UAE to press Israel for more concessions.
Former intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal, a senior member of the royal family, wrote in his article: And that has to be a very high price. ”Turkey’s al-Faisal was Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States.
Without the establishment of a Palestinian state, normalizing Saudi Arabia’s relations with Israel would be like an earthquake in the Middle East. This will change the pan-Arab position of decades. This split in the Saudi royal family on this issue does not seem to change their position suddenly. And if you decide to change the position, a conflict situation may arise.
However, the Trump administration wants to bring Saudi Arabia and Israel together against Iran. Joel Guzanski, a former director of the Israeli National Security Council’s Iran and Gulf desk, said Israel would have to wait longer to establish relations with Saudi Arabia. It is not a question of whether it will happen, the question is when it will happen. Saudi Arabia is in talks with the White House over how much Israel should pay.
However, Saudi Arabia is resorting to double standards in its relations with Israel. The two countries have maintained secret contacts for the past 30 years on security issues, particularly with Iran. From time to time, Saudi Arabia has to speak openly and secretly about its relationship with the United States and its claim to a Palestinian state.
King Salman is the son of the founder of the Saudi monarchy. He has seen the forcible occupation of Arab lands in Israel all his life. Seeing this, love for the Palestinians was born in him. Palestinian ambassador to Saudi Arabia Bassem al-Agha said he had been governor of Riyadh before becoming king. During this time, he often identified himself as the Palestinian ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia imposed oil sanctions on the United States in 1973 for supporting Israel in its wars against Egypt and Syria. Later, Saudi Arabia changed its position with other Arab countries. It is reported that these countries are willing to establish relations with Israel if they accept the establishment of an independent Palestine. Until now, this was the position of the Arab countries. But now the UAE and Bahrain have renounced that demand and established relations with Israel. Earlier, Egypt and Jordan also established relations with the Jewish state.
King Salman has donated hundreds of billions of dollars to the Palestinians over the decades. He has personal ties to most Palestinian leaders.
US Ambassador Joseph Westphale told the World Street Journal that King Salman sent him a message when Trump took office in 2016. In it, the king writes, he believes in Israel’s right to survival. But the Palestinians also have the right to their own state.
Trump is on his first foreign trip to Saudi Arabia since taking office. At the time, Trump’s plane was allowed to fly directly from Riyadh to Israel. The king hoped that Trump would play a role in establishing a Palestinian state. But soon he has to be disappointed. In a telephone conversation with Trump on September 6, the Saudi monarch also expressed his desire to establish a Palestinian state, according to Saudi state media.
However, the position of Prince Mohammed bin Salman or Mbis is at the opposite pole. Shortly after taking office as Saudi ruler in 2016, he expressed his desire to establish relations with Israel. The 35-year-old MBS has since put pressure on Palestinian leaders to adopt Trump’s Middle East plan, which was drafted in the interests of the state of Israel, after he became Crown Prince in a midnight palace coup. But Palestinian leaders have not bowed to his pressure.
The Saudi prince needs the support of the Trump administration. After the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2016, he was condemned all over the world. Since then he has not visited any country in the United States or Europe. Trump boasted that he had saved the prince in this difficult situation.
Before the November election, Trump wants more Arab countries to establish relations with Israel. This facilitates the promotion of his foreign policy success story. That’s why Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner met with the king and his son on September 1, according to Saudi Arabian rules. Yuvraj later said that his father would not accept the establishment of relations with Israel.
After the meeting, Prince told Kushner that he could ask their loyal Bahrain to establish relations with Israel. The small Muslim country then announced its intention to establish relations with the Zionist country.
Western diplomats say there is a strong anti-Semitism in Saudi Arabia. Their textbook contains harsh criticism of the Jews. Scholars pray in the mosque for victory against Israel. The country’s media refers to Israel as a Zionist enemy.
Randall, who has served as US diplomat in Saudi Arabia for 15 years, said the prince did not want to rush into establishing relations with Israel. Instead, he wants to normalize relations with other Arab countries loyal to the Saudi royal family, such as Sudan and Morocco. If all countries unite on this issue, Saudi Arabia will also move forward. As the last Arab country, Saudi Arabia will announce the normalization of relations with Israel.
But two close advisers to the prince said he wanted a deal with Israel. But he also knows that it is not possible for his father Badshah Salman to survive. However, the prince wants to pave the way for establishing relations with Israel. He called on the Saudi media to praise the UAE and Bahrain’s agreement with Israel. A Saudi adviser says Yuvraj is monitoring public opinion and preparing the ground. So that the people understand what he will do if he is king.