The unspoken Zionist honeymoon.
Saudi Arabia and especially Qatar seek to have it both ways. In Arabic they toe the line: unapologetic support for the Palestinians (albeit the House of Saud says little about Palestine as do most Arab governments because the issue underlines their impotency against Israel and if they rally for Palestine they offend their American patrons). This is the line they need to maintain in front of their people, who are fiercely pro-Palestinian and oppose any normalization with Israel. Arabs get irritated even when they see Israeli propagandists on al Jazeera.
But, in private company with American officials, many Arab clients – not allies, but clients – seek to pursue normalization with Israel. They do with solely because any Arab regime which increases ties with Israel looks good in American grace. Arab regimes believe that the path to Washington’s heart lies through Tel Aviv and that if an Arab country wants to win American favor (and the arm sells and foreign aid that come with) they must first get-in good with Israel and the Israel lobby. Wealthy Arab regimes, like Saudi Arabia, need American arms to maintain their political standing in a region where they have little support both within and without the borders of the kingdom. And poor or moderate income Arab nations want American aid. And, at a minimum, they cannot be seen as hostile to Israeli and cannot criticize Israeli wars or occupation if they are to achieve said goals. Look at how the U.S. Congress recently withheld a promised aid package to the Lebanese army.
And Qatar and Saudi Arabia are both playing this card: pursuing normalization with Israel in order to benefit their relationship with the United States. In the case of the latter, it is quite fitting since Saudi already has an unspoken alliance with Israel due to the perceive common enemy in Iran.
But Qatar is quite disgraceful. Because 1) there is no Iran factor here since Qatar does not worry about Iranian nuclear capability or weapons and 2) Qatar’s foreign policy is the most pro-Palestinian of all the Arabs and they recently broke off the minimal relations they had with Israel after the Gaza war/massacre. But Qatar has quietly been re-pursuing normalization – such as hosting Israeli musicians – but all has been censored in the domestic media and the government refuses to comment on it.
Now we can add finance to this unholy normalization:
“At a time when Israel is not exactly popular around the world, particularly the Arab world, the agreement by two large investment companies from the Gulf states to cooperate with an Israeli group is no trivial matter. It can even be assumed that they will come under fire for it. For the Saudis this is less worrying. There it’s a matter of a private body that can always use the Qatar government as a fig leaf for the approval of an investment alongside an Israeli company. The participation of Qatar however has real significance, because that is a matter of a sovereign fund of a very rich and important Arab country. Make no mistake. The investment giants of Qatar and Saudi Arabia don’t really need IDB’s $250 million to launch the fund. Therefore, their decision to involve an Israeli company can be seen as a kind of economic-diplomatic declaration of their readiness to cooperate with Israel.”
H/T: Angry Arab.