- Secret Flight Shows Netanyahu and Mohammed bin Salman Joining to Face Biden
by JONATHAN H. FERZIGER, https://foreignpolicy.com/
One thing is clear: The two leaders are bracing for an ill wind emanating from the new White House.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s apparent trip to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Sunday raises the tantalizing prospect of Saudi Arabia joining the new alliance of Gulf Arab states with Israel. It also seems to show how the former enemies are relying on each other to dispel the ill winds already blowing in their direction from the incoming Biden administration. As arguably the greatest beneficiaries of U.S. President Donald Trump’s foreign policy, Netanyahu and Mohammed bin Salman now seek to insulate themselves against indications they’ll soon be shunned by the Biden White House as rogue actors.
So Netanyahu canceled a cabinet meeting on Sunday and, according to multiple accounts, slipped into a private business jet for the one-hour flight across the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia’s western coast. In the desert city of Neom, under construction as a $500 billion showcase of technological innovation, the Israeli leader spent as much as five hours with Saudi Arabia’s heir to the throne, joined by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Mossad Director Yossi Cohen.