Saudi Arabia’s monarchy under the leadership of unelected Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has always been suspected of maintaining close ties with the colonial state that occupies Palestine. Despite attempts to conceal this in the past, Saudi subterfuge hasn’t been very successful, perhaps by choice.
The latest revelation reported by Israel’s i24NEWS, which cites comments made by Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir in favour of “normalisation” with the occupation state is, therefore, no real surprise. The media outlet claims that at a recent meeting with senior American Jewish leaders, Al-Jubeir “guaranteed that Israeli-Saudi normalisation will happen eventually…” No ifs or buts; he guarantees it.
This follows a meeting between US officials and Bin Salman in Riyadh, facilitated by the Washington Institute. The shocking but, again, hardly surprising conditions or demands made by the de facto Saudi leader in order to “normalise” with apartheid Israel had nothing to do with Palestine.
According to the report, Bin Salman listed three main demands that the US must meet as preconditions for Saudi Arabia to join the Abraham Accords and normalise ties with Israel. These are linked entirely to Saudi-US policies, and do not express any sort of concern for Palestine and its people. In other words, he finds it expedient to extract concessions from the US for Saudi Arabia’s benefit only; there’s nothing in this for Palestine.
Using Palestine merely as a pawn, however, Bin Salman seeks an affirmation of the US-Saudi alliance; arms supplies to the kingdom; and allowing Riyadh to have a restricted nuclear programme for civilian purposes.
Strangely, the proposed deal comes at a time when relations are believed to be strained between Washington and Riyadh. Biden, remember, had to eat humble pie during his controversial visit to the kingdom after having pledged to punish Saudi Arabia and Bin Salman for the 2018 murder of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. A report by the CIA concluded that Khashoggi’s murder was carried out with Bin Salman’s approval.
The Biden administration has now capitulated and succumbed to the Saudi leader’s demands — unrelated to “normalisation blackmail” — by granting him immunity from prosecution for the murder of the Washington Post journalist. In doing so, Biden has had a lawsuit against Bin Salman dismissed in a US court. This is bizarre for a country which claims to uphold law and order, because it demonstrates that the American judiciary is inclined to make politically-influenced rulings in line with the wishes of the incumbent president. That the judgement is inconsistent with justice is borne out by the fact that immunity was granted despite credible allegations that Bin Salman was involved in the gruesome murder.
So while Al-Jubeir publicly “guarantees” that normalisation with Israel will happen, and his boss Bin Salman lists his demands for the US to fulfil, out pops a US judge to reward the crown prince with sovereign immunity. This suggests strongly that a back door deal has been struck by Washington to retain Riyadh within the US-Israel axis. Bin Salman has dribbled hard to reposition the kingdom as an ally of America, and is willing to normalise with the Zionist apartheid entity at the expense of the wider Muslim community’s concerns about Al-Aqsa Mosque, occupied Jerusalem and the horrendous persecution of Palestinians. Biden’s capitulation is a disaster for occupied Palestine and its oppressed people.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.