Israel and Saudi Arabia: Strange Bedfellows

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Israel and Saudi Arabia: Strange Bedfellows

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

Ruling regimes in both countries allied against Iran. The unholy alliance began years ago, one fascist state supporting the other against a common adversary.

They’re an odd couple of convenience. Earlier back channel relations went public. Former Saudi envoy to Washington/intelligence chief prince Bandar bin Sultan secretly visited Israel years earlier.

The 2013 visit was the first known time a Saudi official visited  the Jewish state, breaking a decades-long taboo.

Both countries have no formal relations. Extensive behind-the-scenes diplomatic, economic, intelligence, and military ties were established to pursue mutual interests.

Regular meetings are held between officials of both countries in their capitals, Jordan and the US. Strategic relations have been developing for years.

The kingdom is allied with the Trump and Netanyahu regimes against Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas, and fundamental Palestinian rights.

The Saudis are heavily involved in efforts to sell the Trump regime’s no-peace-deal of the century-peace plan – a scheme to formalize Palestinian subjugation to Israel, abandoning self-determination and other rights.

Riyadh and Israel are allied with all US regional wars of aggression. Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) urged Netanyahu to wage war on Hamas to divert attention from his responsibility for Khashoggi’s murder.

Like Trump, Netanyahu firmly supports MBS, earlier saying “(i)t  is very important for the stability of the region and the world that Saudi Arabia remains stable” – ignoring its horrendous human rights abuses internally and abroad.

Netanyahu also wants Hamas’ control over Gaza maintained to prevent Palestinian unity – most of all to prevent Palestinian statehood, a notion he and Washington abhor, determined to block it despite claiming otherwise.

Throughout years of US war in Syria, Riyadh bankrolled the recruitment, funding, and arming of ISIS and other terrorists, wanting Assad toppled – his survival as head of state considered the worst outcome for the kingdom.

Growing Saudi/Israeli ties pose a greater regional strategic threat than already. Ruling regimes in both countries support ISIS and likeminded jihadists. 

Their commitment to endless wars suggests more to come – including against Iran if they convince the Trump regime to go this way.

On November 25, Haaretz reported that Israeli cyber firm NSO Group Technologies offered to sell Riyadh a cell phone hacking system – “according to a complaint to the Israel Police now under investigation.”

Saudi officials met with NGO executives in Vienna last year. The company is “promoting its new technology, its Pegasus 3 software, an espionage tool so sophisticated that it does not depend on the victim clicking on a link before the phone is breached,” said Haaretz, adding:

The Vienna meeting wasn’t first between Israeli businessmen and Saudi officials. Netanyahu seeks closer ties to other Gulf states. “Israel is willing to sell (them) security-related technologies,” allying against Iran.

The US, UK, other Western countries and Israel have ties with many tinpot despots – for strategic and economic reasons.

Last year, Rihadh agreed to buy NGO’s hacking system technology, the deal reportedly worth $55 million. In response to Haaretz’s article, a company statement said it operates in compliance with defense export laws.

It called information reported by Haaretz “wrong, based on partial rumors and gossip.” 

Riyadh reportedly used the hacking software to spy on Khashoggi before MBS ordered him murdered.

Damning information about kingdom activities he intended to publish was likely learned – reportedly its use of CWs and perhaps other banned weapons in Yemen.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.