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HomeGeopolitical CompassThe LevantWhat Would Happen If Israel and Saudi Arabia Established Official Relations?

What Would Happen If Israel and Saudi Arabia Established Official Relations?

Author: Yasmine Farouk 

Affiliation: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Organization/Publisher: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Date/Place: October 15, 2020/Washington, D.C., USA

Type of Literature: Commentary

Word Count: 2280


Keywords: Saudi Arabia, Normalization, Israel.


The author reveals that normalizing the relationships between Israel and Saudi Arabia is questionable. She details six theses showing how normalization would be tricky and risky, especially for Saudis. Firstly, she argues that normalization will neither promote peace nor stability in the Middle East since none of the current normalization treaties—including a possible Israeli-Saudi one—would tackle and challenge the sources of violence and instability in the region. Secondly, she claims that normalization will not always favour the US’ interests in the Middle East. Thirdly, normalization will neither improve moderation nor liberalization in Saudi Arabia since Saudi activists are demanding reforms and fighting corruption, not demanding normalizing Israel’s relationships. Fourthly, she maintains that peace will not be warm as the two nations will not be friends. Fifthly, she contends that the normalization will not repair the current damaged relationships between the US and Saudi Arabia. Lastly, she holds that normalization will complicate Saudi domestic politics and weaken Saudi influence on the regional and Islamic levels.  

By: Fadi Zatari, CIGA Senior Research Associate



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