Arab Gulf States now see Israel as a potential ally against the Iranian threat

Wall Street Journal:
For decades, rejection of Israel—sometimes mixed with outright anti-Semitism—has been a defining theme of Arab politics, uniting bickering countries against a common foe.

Former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood leader who was deposed in a 2013 coup, had gone on TV three years earlier to brand Jews as “descendants of apes and pigs.” In 1988, the Palestinian militant group Hamas adopted a covenant that cited the notorious anti-Semitic forgery known as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as proof of a global Jewish conspiracy.

But attitudes are beginning to change in some parts of the Arab world. Mohammad bin Abdul Karim al-Issa, the secretary-general of the Muslim World League, a Saudi-based global organization that has been accused of spreading extremism, recently pointed to a lesson in coexistence from Islam’s past. “The neighbor of the Prophet [Muhammad] was a Jew, and when that Jew was ill, the Prophet visited him and gave him kind words,” said Mr. al-Issa, who is also a former Saudi minister of justice. “The hard-liners don’t wish to know that.”

This new tone toward Jews—and, to a lesser degree, Israel—is becoming particularly prominent in the Gulf states, led by Saudi Arabia. For these wealthy Sunni monarchies, it is Shiite and Persian Iran that poses the most pressing current threat to their interests. They view the Jewish state—a foe of the regime in Tehran and its regional proxies, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia—as their de facto ally.

This unlikely partnership has gathered steam with the rise of Saudi Arabia’s new deputy crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, the architect of the Yemen war, who wants a more vigorous response to Iran. And it has received new momentum since the election of Donald Trump, the preferred candidate of Israel and the Gulf states. The White House said Thursday that Mr. Trump’s first foreign trip as president will feature stops in both Israel and Saudi Arabia.

“We have the same enemy, the same threat,” Saudi Maj. Gen. Ahmed Asiri, now the kingdom’s deputy intelligence chief, said in February. “And we are both close allies of the Americans.”
...
There is more.

 Iran is a threat to the region.  Israel is not and has never been a threat to the Gulf States.  Their previous animosity was based mostly on tribalism and the religious bigotry that infects parts of Islam.  There are some who never forgave the Jews for rejecting Islam and clinging to their ancient faith.

It is interesting how an existential threat focuses the mind on what is really important.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Another one of those Trump stories Ted Cruz warned about

Iraq says civilian casualties in Mosul caused by ISIS booby trap, not US air strike