- US, Israel And Saudi Arabia Meet Amid Mounting War Threats Against Iran
by Bill Van Auken, https://www.wsws.org/en
Both Israeli and Saudi officials have confirmed an unprecedented secret trip by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accompanied by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Yossi Cohen, the head of the Israeli spy agency Mossad, to Saudi Arabia on Sunday.
Israel Army Radio first reported the trip and meeting between the US and Israeli officials and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, which was confirmed by a senior Saudi official speaking to the Wall Street Journal. This marks the first publicly reported talks of this kind, though meetings between Israeli and Saudi military and intelligence officials are believed to have taken place with greater frequency in recent years.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan subsequently tweeted a denial of the report, saying, “No such meeting occurred. The only officials present were American and Saudi.” The denial reflects the controversial nature of the meeting within Saudi Arabia, where the ruling House of Saud has postured as the guardian of Islam and has formally insisted that “normalization” of ties between Riyadh and Tel Aviv are contingent on the implementation of a Middle East peace deal and the creation of an independent Palestinian state.
The Sunni oil monarchies of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain dispensed with such conditions, however, in signing onto a US-brokered deal in August to recognize Israel. The monarchy in Bahrain, which rules over an oppressed Shia majority population, depends upon Saudi Arabia for its survival and could not have entered the agreement without its approval.
The meeting between Pompeo, Netanyahu and bin Salman in the Red Sea city of Neom, like the August deal, was aimed not at achieving Middle East peace, but rather solidifying an alliance between Washington, Israel and the Saudi monarchy, the linchpin of reaction and imperialist domination in the Middle East, in preparation for a war against Iran.