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The Gulf and Israel: Practical Politics or True Alliances?


May 23, 2018
12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Have the winds of change storming the Middle East since 2011 created circumstances for an unprecedented rapprochement in the region between Israel and Arab Gulf monarchies? Is Iran enough of a common enemy to both Israel and the GCC to provide sufficient motive for both sides to lineup in a true strategic alliance? Are some of the Gulf states deluding themselves into believing that the Iranian threat can be exploited to overcome domestic popular distaste for compromise on issues of Palestine and Jerusalem? Is talk of a rapprochement only political posturing to deal with the Iranian threat or just to entice Trump’s support for various Gulf and Israeli initiatives? The US and UK support for the war in Yemen was explicitly based on Saudi acquiescence to Obama’s Iran Deal. Now that Trump has abrogated the agreement to the apparent delight of Tel Aviv and Riyadh, what’s next for the region? The Trump administration has been trumpeting the “ultimate deal” for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with unknown terms. This must make Gulf policymakers pause.