Suddenly the news of a Saudi-Israeli-Gulf states alliance is all over the news, and we’re shocked – shocked! – that such strange bedfellows have been found in bed together. Readers of Antiwar.com, however, are neither shocked nor surprised, since that breaking news broke here months if not years ago. (Thanks to Chelsea Manning, WikiLeaks published a diplomatic cable revealing the covert Israeli-Gulf states flirtation some time ago.) Now it appears that the relationship is coming out of the closet, so to speak, as the war drums in the Middle East grow louder. As I wrote in April, in a piece on the Saudi invasion of Yemen:
“[W]e are committed to giving unconditional support to Riyadh the same way we’ve been giving unquestioning allegiance to Israel – which, by the way, is hovering in the background, stoking the inter-Muslim conflict and undermining US interests at every turn.
“The idea that we have any allies in the Middle East is laughable – and, yes, that includes Israel. It’s one big snake pit, with the biggest serpents professing their eternal friendship with Washington – while biting us on the ankles when they can. What we are faced with now is a Saudi-Gulf states-Israeli alliance intent on war with Iran – with the United States directly in the crossfire.”
United by their interest in ginning up a US-led war with Iran, these two seemingly disparate – indeed, supposedly polar opposite – countries aren’t as diametrically opposed as appears on the surface. There is much to indicate that, far from being a mere alliance of convenience, one which is contingent on their shared albeit temporary interests, this conjoining has a more substantial basis.
Israel, like the Kingdom, is essentially a sectarian theocracy. Although adorned with the trappings of democracy, the Jewish state bases it legitimacy on its religious character, that is, as a sanctuary for world Jewry. This, in turn, is based on historical claims reaching back thousands of years, which imbues the land of Israel with a mystical significance and legitimizes Israeli sovereignty (at least in the eyes of its Jewish citizens).
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