Biden Pushing Pipe-Dream Of Israel-Saudi Mega Deal Based On Palestinian State Recognition

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Apr 18, 2024 - 10:40 PM

The Biden administration is keeping its dream of seeing Saudi-Israeli diplomatic normalization achieved (or rather, what is in fact originally Trump's dream set in motion via the Abraham Accords).

But Biden is dangling something before Netanyahu that the Israeli leader is unlikely to be very attracted by. "The Biden administration is pushing for a long-shot diplomatic deal in coming months that presses Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept a new commitment to Palestinian statehood in exchange for diplomatic recognition by Riyadh, U.S. and Saudi officials said," writes The Wall Street Journal Thursday.

This is not the first time the plan has been floated or was leaked to the media. Last year, for example, Saudi Arabia asked the US for help with developing a "civilian nuclear program" and for fewer restrictions on arms purchases in exchange for normalizing ties with Israel, as the New York Times previously reported.

The only thing that has changed is there are even bigger hurdles at this moment of a post-Oct.7 Middle East, including a still impending Israeli ground offensive on Rafah, and the specter of a major Iran-Israel war in the wake of the Saturday Iranian drone and ballistic missile attack on Israel.

"As inducements to recognize Israel, the White House is offering Riyadh a more formal defense relationship with Washington, assistance in acquiring civil nuclear power and a renewed push for a Palestinian state—a package that U.S. officials say they are in the final stages of negotiating," continues the WSJ.

Admin officials speaking to the Journal also claimed that the major weekend attack out of Iran could hasten broader Arab Gulf and Israeli rapprochement:

U.S. officials say the successful multicountry effort to shoot down Iranian missiles and drones on Saturday should make it clear to Israel that its security against threats from Tehran can be enhanced through closer integration with Saudi Arabia.

However, as we underscored in featuring this Wednesday analysisUS Push For A 'Middle East NATO' Failed To Emerge During Iran Strikes, the reality is that in the end, the oil-rich Gulf states downplayed any involvement and left the heavy lifting of fighting off Iran’s attack to the US and its western allies and Jordan, the resource-poor Hashemite Kingdom dependent on US financial assistance.

On Friday the UN Security Council is expected to vote on an Algerian-proposed draft resolution to recognize a Palestinian state, which would give the Palestinian representatives full membership status at the United Nations.

The US position has long been that a Palestinian state must be born out direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, and not accomplished superficially within an external forum like the UN. The US has already said, via a State Department statement, that it will vote down the measure.

Israel for its part has clearly rejected that it will allow for a Palestinian state so long as Hamas still exists, and PM Netanyahu has even linked the more secular-leaning Palestinian Authority in the West Bank to 'terrorism'. He has also rejected a prior US call to allow the PA to take over and administer the Gaza Strip. The reality is that the current Gaza war makes the prospect of achieving a Palestinian state more distant than ever.

And the prospect of Palestinian statehood resulting from some kind of Israel-Saudi normalization agreement - which US media reports previously dubbed the 'deal of the century' - also seems a pipe dream at this point.