Will Netanyahu’s meeting with MBS Saudi Arabia take place after elections?

Prior to the Israeli elections, there were reports that Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman was willing to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The meeting did not take place in March. Although a secret meeting was held in November 2020, no public meeting was held. This is despite rumors about a possible peace deal with Riyadh or other forms of movement towards relations.

Saudi Arabia has proposed a peace campaign for Yemen after six years of war. The goal is to end a costly war in which Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have focused more on Saudi Arabia’s energy infrastructure. Riyadh’s campaign is also an attempt to call the Tehran bluff, because if the Houthis continue to invade Saudi Arabia, this kingdom may appear as evidence to the U.S. that the Houthis are terrorizing the Saudis.

The bigger picture is that Israel and Saudi Arabia share concerns about Iran’s agents and their threats, as well as the long-range missiles and drones. Article in Globes This week with INSS and Tel Aviv University expert Yoal Guzansky suggested that Israel supports Saudi Arabia’s defense against various threats. This is a prime example of how the Jewish state speaks openly about the kingdom and how important Riyadh is to Israel. A symbol of that importance is the meeting between Netanyahu and MBS.
Prior to the elections, such a meeting could be interpreted as a kind of public relations picture. After the elections it could show support for stability in the region if Netanyahu is able to form a coalition. This would encourage Netanyahu to form a stable government, rather than move towards more elections as a result of his inability to reach a coalition a few years ago.
To shed some light on this, MBS, like the Saudi crown prince, rose to power completely at the time of Netanyahu. Netanyahu is against Israel in Saudi Arabia. As the kingdom has moved and as it became concerned about Washington’s Washington Deal in 2015, it moved with Israel because Israel was also concerned about Iran’s rise in the region. Saudi Arabia also moved to get past financiers and embrace economic reform. In many ways this links to Israel ‘s own economic achievements and also Israel’ s understanding of the potential danger to organizations such as Hamas. It should be remembered that, when Hamas first appeared decades ago, it was not seen as a threat to later life.

Saudi Arabia has long offered Israel an offer of peace with the region, which was based on the state of Palestine. It is unclear whether the goal posts can move on this and accept Israel more without some sort of move on the Palestinian issue. Elections undoubtedly provide another opportunity for Netanyahu to shift his views on the Palestinians. It has reached out to Arab voters. Last year he broke the bond and joined the UAE. But Netanyahu is the last status quo politician. While he does not want more conflict with Hamas, he also does not want a Palestinian state to emerge – and he cannot oppose the far right in Israel, which would be necessary for such a thing. of motion on the Palestinian case.
MBS seems to have risen to a power that is willing to move forward from many status quo issues in Saudi Arabia and fundamentally change the kingdom. His support for the Abraham Accords was crucial. But Riyadh has been increasingly criticized by Washington over its policies. This is made more remote in the West. In some ways, this naturally moves him closer to Israel over shared concerns. His full path is not clear, however: Will Riyadh be able to rebuild its image in the West or will it quickly move to the East? Will he try to return to victory in the region, in terms of Syria or Lebanon and Iraq, or has that ship sailed? Turkey, Qatar and Russia have recently been talking about the future of Syria. This seems to reflect the Saudi Arabian side. He also withdrew Israel from talks over key concerns about Syria. These are all key questions for Riyadh as to how a post – election meeting with Netanyahu – if the prime minister forms a government – could come to fruition.

So far the Saudi Arabian media has been largely on Israeli elections, taking a wait-and-see approach.