Last month The Intercept came out with an interesting report which suggested that US presidential advisor (and son-in-law) Jared Kushner was even closer to the ruling elite in Saudi Arabia than previously thought.
According to the website’s sources, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman boasted that Kushner was “in his pocket”.
Kushner allegedly used his White House security clearance (which has since been revoked) to hand intelligence over from the presidential daily briefing, described by The Intercept as “a highly classified rundown of the latest intelligence intended only for the president and his closest advisers”.
It was reported that Kushner gave Mohammed bin Salman – the next in line to the throne and who, according to many, is the real ruler of the vicious, human rights abusing kingdom – the names of people who had opposed his ouster of the previous crown prince, Mohammed bin Nayef.
Bin Salman then used this information to purge these elements, under the rubric of an “anti-corruption” push. The website reports that the crown prince “would have known who his critics were without Kushner mentioning them”, and that his boasting about this alleged contact with Kushner may have been a way of giving his purge the appearance of having the seal of Trump’s approval.
Whatever the full truth, it seems pretty clear that US and Saudi elites are working closely hand in hand. The main victims are normal Saudis who suffer under the undemocratic regime and the tens of thousands who have died in the Saudi-led war on Yemen.
But another victim of such machinations is the Palestinian liberation struggle.
Kushner, the man who Trump laughably wanted to devise “the ultimate deal” between the Israelis and the Palestinian Authority, is, in fact, a fanatical anti-Palestinian ideologue, whose family has made donations to Israeli settlements built on stolen Palestinian land.
Kushner is such a dedicated partisan for Israeli interests that late last year he was profusely thanked by Israeli lobby billionare Haim Saban for his efforts to promote Israeli interests at the top echelons of US power – even while Trump was only President-elect.
Kushner led efforts to scupper condemnation of Israel at the UN Security Council for its ongoing project of illegal Israeli settlements. This was collusion with a foreign state to work against established US policy at the highest level.
But Saban said to Kushner, “you’ve been in the news about an issue that I personally want to thank you for because you and your team were taking steps to try and get the United Nations Security Council to not go along with what ended up being an abstention by the US”.
Although Saban is a big funder to the Democrats, as he told The New York Times in 2004: “I’m a one-issue guy and my issue is Israel.” Hence his support for Trump’s son-in-law.
This is the man who Mohammed bin Salman reportedly boasted is “in his pocket”. How can this be possible when Saudi Arabia does not have diplomatic relations with Israel?
Because, as I’ve written here many times over the last few years, and as has become increasingly open, the Israeli regime and the Saudi regime are now in a strategic alliance.
The latest sign that the Saudis have dropped any pretence of lip-service support for the Palestinian struggle and have fully embraced the Likud agenda is the newest statement of bin Salman on Palestine.
According to reports this week, he told a closed door meeting in New York, “it is about time the Palestinians take the proposals and agree to come to the negotiations table or shut up and stop complaining”.
He was denouncing the refusal of the Palestinian Authority to totally capitulate to Israeli demands and accept a “state” in name only. According to Israeli press sources, he told this to an invited audience consisting of leaders of the US-Israel lobby. The gathering reportedly included AIPAC, the Anti-Defamation League and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organisations.
It does not bode well for the long-term survival of the Israeli regime of apartheid and occupation that it relies on regional tyrants like the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia to shore up its support in the region.
In the long-term, such actions are a sticking of the finger in the dam. It will not stop the coming flood.
Israel’s regime will not last if – as is inevitable under Zionism – it has such a democratic deficit. The Saudis are a powerful force in the region, there is no doubt. But power that relies on such tyranny is fleeting, and will not last.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.