News Analysis |
The Monarch of Saudi Arabia, King Salman bin Abdul Aziz and his heir, Mohammed bin Salman, seem to be playing good cop, bad cop with Israel over the long-standing conflict of Palestine, that has gained prominence once again after the decision of Donald Trump to relocate US embassy to Jerusalem.
The 82-year-old monarch went hard against the Israeli regime as he addressed the Arab summit on Sunday, clarifying in clear remarks that East Jerusalem was an integral part of the Palestinian territories. King Salman also reiterated the rejection of the US decision on Jerusalem and explained that he had named current year’s meeting as the ‘Jerusalem summit’ so that ‘the entire world knows Palestine and its people remain at the heart of Arab concerns’.
As seventeen heads of state from across the Arab world assembled in Dhahran, the Saudi ruler announced a $150 million donation for the maintenance of Islamic heritage in East Jerusalem. On the other hand, the opinion of King Salman contradicts the opinions of his son, Crown Prince Salman.
Kushner’s suspicious role was exposed when it was reported that he was the man who called the then FBI director Michael Flynn to bag support to delay or vote against the resolution that condemned the Israeli settlements.
The 33-year-old Crown Prince, in an interview with US magazine, The Atlantic, on April 2nd, clarified that Israel had a ‘right’ to a homeland, signaling a shift in the hard policy of oil-rich kingdom against its long-term rival, Israel.
Mohammad bin Salman, known by the initials MBS, was answering point-blank queries by Jeffrey Goldberg, editor-in-chief of The Atlantic, last month, when he opined that he believed ‘each people, anywhere, has a right to live in their peaceful nation and Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land’.
Prince Mohammed also hastened to add that they (Saudis) had religious concerns about the fate of the holy mosque in Jerusalem and about the rights of the Palestinian people.
The 32-year-old aspiring King – in a visible display of his good cop manners with Israel – went further and expressed that if there is peace, there would be a lot of interest between Israel and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and countries like Egypt and Jordan. The blunt remarks of Saudi Crown Prince were taken in bad taste by the ‘bad cop’, King Salman, who affirmed support for Palestinians during a telephone call to US President Donald Trump, just a day after MBS remarks.
According to official Saudi Press Agency, King Salman ‘reaffirmed the kingdom’s steadfast position towards the Palestinian issue and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.’ The good cop, MBS, not only handed over liberty to Israel over the Palestinian land, but also met leaders from a number of right-wing Jewish organizations, during his tour of the United States.
The 82-year-old monarch went hard against the Israeli regime as he addressed the Arab summit on Sunday, clarifying in clear remarks that East Jerusalem was an integral part of the Palestinian territories.
According to a leaked copy of Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman met with leaders from the Conference of Presidents, B’nai B’rith and the American Jewish Committee (AJC).
The groups have targeted BDS (the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) non-violent movement, which seeks to economically put pressure on Israel for providing equal rights and a right of return to Palestinians and MBS huddle with leaders of the groups’ signals that he might be willing to change a hard-line stance of the Holy Kingdom, over the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Moreover, what implies the cementing of ties between Saudi Arabia and pro-Israel groups is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s March 2018 comment that Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law, was “in his pocket.” MBS frank interaction with Kushner is of crucial importance as Kushner Companies, the real estate empire founded in 1985 by Jared Kushner’s father Charles Kushner, has reportedly been involved in $7 billion worth of acquisitions over the past decade, with some Israeli connections.
Moreover, Kushner’s suspicious role was exposed when it was reported that he was the man who called the then FBI director Michael Flynn to bag support to delay or vote against the resolution that condemned the Israeli settlements.
Though Saudi Arabia does not officially recognize Israel, even then the overtures by King Salman and the tentative next king Mohammed bin Salman imply that the oil-rich state was playing good cop, bad cop with Israel, while walking a legal tightrope to appease the rivals and fellows alike. Recently King Salman also sealed a staggering $350 billion over 10 years with the United States, a close ally of Israel.