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The Challenge of Saudi-Israeli Intelligence-Sharing



November 28, 2017

By Emile Nakhleh

• Saudi-Israeli relations, especially between their intelligence services, started several years back under the direction of Bandar bin Sultan, a former Saudi ambassador to Washington and a former director of the Saudi national security council.

These relations, however, accelerated significantly during the P5+1 negotiations over the Iran nuclear deal, and especially since Muhammad bin Salman (MbS) became the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia and Israel joined forces in a vigorous lobbying campaign in Washington to thwart the nuclear deal, to no avail. Despite failing to derail it, they have since collaborated closely to undermine the agreement and demonise Iran. Their claims that Iran has violated the conditions imposed on it under the deal have not been recognised by international observers or the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

With MbS’ dramatic rise to power, bellicose attitude towards Iran and more recently Hezbollah, along with the failing war in Yemen, and his unabashed power grab in the kingdom under the guise of fighting corruption, he once again has joined forces with the Israelis to halt the spread of a “Shia Crescent” in the Middle East.

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Unfortunately actions of the few brainless leaders in the ME bound to further destabilize the region and cause more chaotic situations to arise!

One of main Trump’s ambition is to be remembered as the president who solved the Israel-Palestinian decades old conflict. He has given a carte blanche to Jewish Jared Kushner to work it out with the Arab MbS. He is giving to both all the support he can.

By apparently insignificant actions, Trump is weakening all the parties in the conflict ( Iran, Isreal, Lebanon, Turkey etc..) help the duo to succeed in imposing a deal. For both he is a father figure and they count on his support. Obviously Kushner and MbS are amateurs so they believe that bullying all the parties will force them to jump into an agreement.

MbS has bullied Yemen and Lebanon with negative results. There is no reason why bullying the Palestinians, the Iranians and the Israelis will result in any progress. They want Abbas out, Netanyahu out and fresh leaders more ready to make serious compromises. Trump is waiting for results.

We do not know when he is expecting to see them. Until now it is not very promising. If the duo do not provide it then he will have to switch to another strategy or forget the whole issue.



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