The file photo shows former Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani (R) shaking hands with Tzipi Livni, Israel’s ex-minister for foreign affairs.
Suspicions have been growing for years about a growing behind-the-scenes relationship between Israel and members of the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council. The name that has come up a lot over the years is Qatar, with which the Israeli relationship is a lot more open and has spanned trade to even face-to-face meetings and handshakes between high-level officials.
The past numbers of years, though, have consistently brought forth two names in the more secretive relationship between Israel and the Persian Gulf Arab monarchies: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The most recent example of a blurring of lines between Israeli and Saudi policies, for example, is Saudi media’s ‘tacit’ support for Netanyahu’s much derided speech at the US Congress in opposition to essentially any deal between the West and Iran over a falsely-hyped nuclear issue.
In fact, Saudi media attacks on Obama, and in support of Netanyahu, had already begun in the lead-up to the Israeli PM’s US Congress address.
It may be an understatement for us to say that for the Saudi establishment to quite openly ask, ‘Who could believe that Netanyahu has taken a better stand than Obama with regard to the Iranian nuclear file?’ is ‘tacit’ support. This is an especially pertinent sentiment when seen in line with recent reports about the likely Saudi approval of Israeli flyovers over its territory in the hypothetical case of an Israeli attack on Iran…