Israeli Media Report Netanyahu Trip To Saudi

President Donald Trump speaks with Deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman. Photo by The White House.

The Israeli media has confirmed a historic face-to-face meeting and discussion between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Sunday, but the Saudi state media deny any such visit occurred.

Jerusalem Post reports that Netanyahu traveled with his Mossad chief
Yossi Cohen to attend a meeting with bin Salman and Mike Pompeo. Alternate Prime Minister and Secretary of Defense Benny Gantz was not informed of the trip, nor was Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, a member of Gantz’ Blue and White party. Haaretz also confirmed the story. Following the reports, a member of the Saudi government confirmed the meeting to the Wall Street Journal, but the official Saudi position is that no meeting happened.

The reported discussion is the first known meeting between a head of Israel and a head of Saudi Arabia.

The action seems to be part of a push to broker a peace deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia before Trump leaves office. Any such deal would be welcome, solidifying ties between allies of the United States and following in the footsteps of other regional peace deals brokered by the Trump administration.

Two significant issues seem to be in play, both of which could reasonably hinder such efforts under a Biden administration.

First, Trump has repeatedly ignored oppressive crackdowns performed under bin Salman and even reportedly signed off on the vivisection of a journalist who was living on American soil and under our protection. At a time when Saudi oil is at its least influential, it is reasonable to suspect the Biden administration might push back against the abuses of Salman.

Second, the Trump administration has repeatedly used bribes of high-tech military equipment to convince Gulf nations to recognize Israel’s right to exist. Three weeks ago, shortly after the UAE agreed to official relations with Israel, the Trump administration announced the planned sale of 50 F-35 Lighting II warplanes to the UAE. Movement toward a Saudi deal is likely due to the authorization of $8 billion in military sales to Saudi which was given by the Trump Administration in defiance of Congress in 2019, and the suggestion of further such sales earlier this year.

Historically, sales of America’s most modern equipment have been restricted to other nations, with some exceptions made for our strongest allies and during times of active war. The idea is to avoid handing countries which have a history of disagreement with us or which contain strong anti-American elements within their society weaponry which can potentially be used against us or, equally bad, can be given or sold to our enemies who can then reverse-engineer the equipment and develop countermeasures against it.

The attempts to broker peace between countries in the Mideast may be bearing some fruit… but questions need to be asked of how secure such a peace will be if it is predicated on bribing one of the two participants, and what may be the cost in American lives due to reckless, Congress-bypassing distribution of weaponry to leaders who have demonstrated a willingness to imprison and murder reporters and peaceful dissidents.

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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.