Israel-Saudi Deal: A Bad Idea!
Much has been made of an Israel-Saudi Arabia peace deal in recent months, culminating in Binyamin Netanyahu spruiking an imminent agreement between the two Middle Eastern powerhouses. Is it a good idea or a bad idea just waiting to happen? I err on the latter and consider any deal that concedes parts of Israel’s territory and East Jerusalem as the future Capital of a fake Palestinian state unacceptable. We are being asked to accept a Saudi deal as a sign that, in principle, there are no differences between the Jewish State and the House of Saud. From various standpoints, Israel society would be expected to accept a U.S.-brokered agreement that carves up the heartland of Israel and tears the Jewish Capital asunder. Any remaining differences will only be upon emphasis and method, timing and degree. That’s the sell. Israel would be expected to buy into. It is an impossible position for a sovereign state to contemplate. Still, many on Israel’s left and quite a few from its so-called right would gladly join hands in Israel’s demise.
Netanyahu, caught between his father’s legacy and his growing need to find a way back into the hearts of Jews, leaves him vulnerable to making a bad deal. Should the Prime Minister succumb to hubris? Israel will need Itamer Ben Gvir and Betzalel Smotrich to stand in the breach and resist all attempts at making a bad deal. Knowing the danger inherent in a Saudi agreement should galvanise Smotrich and Ben Gvir to do what is necessary to preserve the Jewish State’s integrity and ongoing viability. While this would put them through a personal hell, the alternative would be much worse.
In the coming days, Israel will come to rely on Smotrich and Ben Gvir, choosing uprightness over pragmatism.