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Recognition by the Biden administration of the division which now exists among Muslims in the Middle East must create an openness to new arrangement

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Would not Joe Biden’s foreign policy credentials be enhanced if normalization of Saudi Arabia’s relations with Israel were ushered in under his presidency? (Screencap: il.usembassy.gov)

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We are witnessing momentous changes in our world. Most of us have not noticed that the ground beneath our feet is shifting. As always, these changes are rooted in the past, and much of it revolves around radical changes in U.S. foreign policy. Israel has been affected and, until recently, has been only a minor actor in the drama.

America, under the Obama administration, authored a shift from the past in its relationship with the Arab world. Under that administration, U.S. foreign policy made a sharp tilt toward the Shiite brand of Islam, and away from the Sunnis. This recalls the Bush disaster in Iraq, when, ousting the Sunnis under Saddam Hussein, his action led to Isis conquests in the whole region.

From a past close relationship historically (ensuring security for U.S oil supplies,) with the Saudis, the U.S., under Obama, tilted toward Iran to achieve the nuclear deal. The Muslim Brotherhood became an acceptable presence in Washington and their victory in Egypt was defended as an exercise of democracy. Then, with America nearing oil self-sufficiency, and the memory of individual Saudi involvement in 9-11 in the back of the collective mind, the U.S. policy establishment closed themselves off to the outcry coming from Israel, and Sunni Arabs.

For more than three generations, after an abortive coup in Saudi Arabia, Saudi rulers handed over the leadership of Sunni Islam in the country to the Clerics. What followed was a return to a regressive form (“death to the unbelievers”) of that religion throughout the world. Part of that was a rejection of the existence of Israel as having no place in the Middle East, and the doctrine that a Palestinian state was the only road to peace. (Palestinian leadership, itself, opted rather for victimhood, corruptly lining its pockets with the  billions of dollars of international support, rather than attempting to build a state.) Sunni teachings emphasized, among other things, the evil of Israel’s presence.

What followed the nuclear deal was an era of Shiite expansionism in Iraq, Syria, through Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza, the Houthis in Yemen, all financed by the resources granted Iran, (with assistance from Qatar,) through the lifting of sanctions by the U.S. and the West. The Palestinian Authority’s positions only hardened. It must be said, reluctantly, given all the other negatives, Trump’s actions have acted as a partial check on these initiatives.

Fast forward to the Present! We have a new broom in Saudi Arabia. The new Crown Prince, incipient Ruler after his father passes, is at war with the regressive elements in the country. It is said he is changing the Kingdom’s policies and seeking a more moderate Islam. (Notwithstanding the Kasogi episode!)

Saudi Arabia is facing a future where oil can no longer be relied upon to fund the country. Salman seeks to take a leaf out of Israel’s book, to create, in Saudi Arabia, a new Silicon Valley. He may feel he needs some of Israel’s start-ups to help make this happen. He needs normalization to make this happen.

This cannot happen without a change in current Arab League policies. This cannot happen without some Arab countries bridging the gap. So we see normalization occurring with the UAE and Bahrain, and Sudan. And the Arab League acting to chastise the Palestinian Authority for criticizing these moves.

It may have been instructive for these countries to see that the peace treaties that Egypt and Jordan signed with Israel led to an open embrace from America, bringing treasure and sophisticated weaponry.

Saudi Arabia dearly needs a more open door after the developments under the Obama regime. They need to show more progress than just allowing women to drive. They need to revise their religious teachings. Fostering the Crown Prince’s thesis, that he is ushering in a new era for that backward regime, would be enormously advanced if Saudi Arabia were to take the step of normalizing relations with Israel. 

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Would not Biden’s foreign policy credentials be enhanced if normalization of Saudi Arabia’s relations with Israel were to be ushered in with Biden’s advocacy under his presidency? Might such a development give Saudi Arabia a seat at the table when discussing a new Iran deal?

There are many holdovers from the Obama regime in the Biden cabinet. They will be parroting all the negatives about Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia remains a deeply backward regime. Kasogi’s fate will surely be present, as well as the Crown Prince’s ruthlessness in his fight for survival with those vying for the Kingship. Human rights are a touchstone of the new Biden regime and will cause some indigestion.

And there are, reportedly, some with strongly negative views of Israel under Netanyahu, or, for whatever reason, in a likely Biden cabinet. Netanyahu will not be holding back on his views of what policy should be regarding the Mullahs in Iran. The redrawing of the Middle East occurring with the elimination of an Israel-Palestinian treaty, (Palestinians steadfastly refuse to recognize the reality of a Jewish state) as an obstacle to progress, given recent developments, must surely be a factor.

Recognition by the Biden administration of the division which now exists among Muslims in the Middle-East, and the rapprochement of some with Israel, must create an openness to new arrangement of the jig-saw puzzle.

The resurgence of the elemental Sunni-Shiite conflict, and a potential arms race, will surely have to count, as a new Iran deal is contemplated. The preponderance of U.S. allies are on the Sunni side, aligned with Israel. Surely this must also be a consideration of importance. Biden has promised there will not be a nuclear Iran.

It remains to be seen how Biden will fit the new pieces of the puzzle together. 

Max Roytenberg is an author, poet and blogger, with many published articles in Jewish periodicals in Dublin, New York, Winnipeg and Vancouver. After a career as an Economist and Executive in the Food Industry, in Canada and abroad, he writes, and lives with his Bride, in Vancouver. He has children and grandchildren in the US, Canada, China and Israel. His last book, “Hero In My Own Eyes”, is available through major booksellers and on Amazon.

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

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