By Chaim Feller
Saudi Arabia is the second to largest country in the entire Arab world. It has a population of approximately twenty seven million people, and geographically, is to the south of Jordan which is directly to the south of Israel. Although Saudi Arabia, along with the other Arab states, have officially been at war with Israel since 1948, there are areas where it has been becoming mutually beneficial for the under cover collaboration of Israel and Saudi Arabia. This collaboration would be extremely fascinating because Saudi Arabia is home to Islam’s two holiest places, Mecca and Medina, therefore being integral to all Muslims who as a general rule hate Israel and the Jews!
There is evidence showing that Israel and Saudi Arabia are currently still in a state of war, at least externally. On July 12th, 2013, The Washington Times put out a frightening article saying that recent satellite images revealed that lying in the middle of The Saudi Desert are no less that two launch pads. One of them is pointing towards Tehran and the other one is pointing towards Tel Aviv! This missile base is home to Saudi Arabia’s DF-3 missiles which have a range of 1500-2500 miles, and carry a two ton payload.
Another proof of outward hatred between Saudi Arabia and Israel can be seen from an unacceptable ostracism that Saudi Arabia showed to Israel in 2005. Beginning on February 5th, 2005, Riyadh hosted a four day counter terrorism conference for all countries which had been affected by terrorism to come together and give each other advice as to how to deal with it. Yet one glaringly obvious candidate- Israel- did not receive an invitation! Who has had more experience in dealing with terrorism than Israel!?! Yet Israel was still not invited!
A third proof that Saudi Arabia and Israel are still in a war on the outside is Saudi Arabia Airline’s “No Israeli Policy”. Saudi Arabia Airline refuses to issue tickets in New York to Israelis, even if they will only be stopping off in Saudi Arabia for a connecting flight, a policy which goes against federal law! Saudi Arabia Airline’s website asks travelers for their citizenship, but doesn’t have an option available for Israel, although it has options for almost every other country including even Antarctica! From these examples we can see that externally, Saudi Arabia and Israel are currently on very poor terms.
There is evidence suggesting that there are areas where it has become mutually beneficial for a hushed collaboration between Israel and Saudi Arabia. One such piece of evidence is that Israel regularly lambastes Iran for supporting its enemies, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine. At the same time however, it mutes any serious criticism about Saudi Arabia, despite Riyadh’s support for the Salafist and the Wahhabist ideologies which serve as the intellectual and ideological doctrines of Al Qaeda’s version of extremism.
Another piece of evidence which suggests a hidden relationship between the two of them can be seen from a second silence which speaks volumes. In order to protect its military superiority, Israel has historically opposed the attempts of the U.S. and the other major forces to sell advanced weapons and military equipment to its neighbors, friends and foes alike. However, Israel curbed its usual disapproval when the U.S. gave tens of millions of dollars worth of weaponry to Saudi Arabia and its Gulf cooperation Council over the past few years. This silence shows a very clear message- Israel apparently has no reason to fear any attack or harm coming from Saudi Arabia!
A third suggestion that there could be a hidden collaboration between Saudi Arabia and Israel can be seen from the fact that although Saudi Arabia has been extremely quick in publicly condemning Iran’s nuclear program, Saudi Arabia has been unusually reticent when it comes to any mention of Israel’s nuclear system. Not only does Israel have one of the worlds most technologically advanced military systems, but it also possesses an inventory which may contain up to four hundred warheads.
There is yet another suggestion of collaboration between Saudi Arabia and Israel. Saudi Arabia is usually at the forefront of any issue concerning Islam and the Arabs. This can be seen from the boycott on Danish goods that Saudi Arabia led in 2005 after there was a publication of cartoons that mocked Muhammad in one of the prominent Danish newspapers. However, although Saudi Arabia usually takes charge of whatever it feels strongly about, it has been decades since Saudi Arabia has really thrown its full weight behind the Israeli and Palestinian cause. We can also see straight out collaboration between Israel and Saudi Arabia if we look back at the recent Egyptian Rebellion against Morsi and The Brotherhood. While Saudi Arabia arranged the finances for Egypt’s new regime, Israel released its persuasive lobby to persuade the U.S. to continue supporting the new regime and not to consider the coup “just a coup” which would have caused a shutoff of U.S. aid.
An outright piece of evidence which is practically screaming in our ears that there is a collaborative relationship between Saudi Arabia can be seen from an arrest which took place in the year of 2011 in Lebanon. On May 21st, 2011, Sheikh Mohammad Ali Husseini was arrested in Lebanon based on a suspicion that he was spying for both Israel and Saudi Arabia. After going through his possessions, the Lebanese government revealed that he had only been funded by Saudi Arabia. However, this was the first time that somebody was accused of spying for both Saudi Arabia and Israel. Based on this we can see that this new and powerful duo is starting to become noticed by its neighbors. Based on all of the evidence just provided, one can conclude that there is more to the Israeli and Saudi Arabian relationship than meets the naked eye, and that there really may be a collaborative relationship between the two of them.
There are several explanations as to why both Israel and Saudi Arabia would want to join forces. Possibly the primary reason behind their collaboration is that they both fear and dislike Iran. Israel’s fear of Iran is obvious considering the threats that it receives from Iran whenever Iran is threatened by another country. Saudi Arabia’s fear and dislike of Iran is also evident based on its constant pleas to the U.S. to stop Iran’s nuclear project. According to a U.S. diplomatic cable drafted in April of 2008 and revealed by WikiLeaks, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz is reported to have begged the United States to “cut off the head of the snake” in referring to Iran.
A second reason behind the collaboration of Israel and Saudi Arabia is that they both want the Assad government (the current Syrian government) to fall. This would be a big blow to Iran because Iran and Syria are on such good terms and support each other to the extent that Syria is often nicknamed “Iran’s closest ally”.
A third reason why the collaboration of Israel and Saudi Arabia would be mutually beneficial is because they both lost one their main sources of intelligence. Until Mubarak’s downfall in 2011, Saudi Arabia was privileged to a direct phone line connected to Egypt, which constantly sent Egyptian intelligence chiefs over to Riyadh in order to brief the monarch on its latest news. Mubarak also had frequent conversations with Israeli leaders, and his intelligence minister was a familiar face in Jerusalem. After Mubarak’s downfall, both Saudi Arabia and Israel’s intelligence was dried up to the extent that it has become logical for the two of them to begin sharing information with each other.
There is another reason why it would be logical for Saudi Arabia to want to ally with Israel. Saudi Arabia realizes that Israel is more loyal to an Arab ally than President Obama, and Saudi Arabia is allied with the U.S.! While Israel stood by Mubarak throughout the entire Egyptian rebellion in 2011, it took Obama three days to finally call him; a long term U.S. ally, just to tell him to leave office and to threaten him with cuts in U.S. aid!
A final reason it would make sense for Israel and Saudi Arabia to make peace with each other is because making Israel into a Palestinian state would not be in the best interests of Saudi Arabia strategically. Hamas took over in Gaza after Israel withdrew its forces from Gaza in 2005. If Israel were to become a Palestinian state, one might expect that Hamas would then be able to take it over by winning the Palestinian elections or by defeating the P.A. as it did in 2007. This state would then become another Iranian base, which would then conquer Jordan, and surround Saudi Arabia from the North West. These are all reasons why it would be mutually beneficial for Israel and Saudi Arabia to collaborate.
In conclusion, although externally Saudi Arabia and Israel appear to still be at war with each other, really they may maintain a hidden alliance, created because of common strategic needs. As we can observe from Israel and Saudi Arabia’s recent work to achieve the common goal of installing the new Egyptian regime, their collaborative efforts could achieve great successes. What would happen to the entire Middle East if Israel and Saudi Arabia ever became allied outwardly! With Saudi Arabia’s wealth and Israel’s political persuasiveness and potent military ability, they would be able to change the entire Middle Eastern region!