Israel — Trouble at Home, No Problems with the Neighbors?

  • Netanyahu wants Arab support against Iran
  • The Israel unified emergency government may be dissolved
  • The Palestinian Authority has normalized relations with Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made an unannounced visit to Saudi to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the beginning of the week. The Prime Minister did not inform his partner in the government, Benny Gantz, that he was making this trip abroad.

Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (colloquially known as MBS) is the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and Deputy Prime Minister. He has been described as the power behind the throne of his father, King Salman.

The reason for this visit with MBS and Mike Pompeo was an attempt to bring Saudi Arabia into the peace process, called the Abraham Accords, between Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Israel. Saudi Arabia was still not willing to make a commitment, but for sure, Saudi Arabia, like Israel, is against Iran becoming a nuclear power in the Middle East.

U.S. President Donald Trump cancelled the nuclear agreement, which former President Barack Obama had made with Iran. The visit of Prime Minister Netanyahu to Saudi Arabia was to strengthen the opposition against Iran, which is a threat to peace in the Middle East.

With the help of President Trump, Israel advanced its relations with Arab nations in the Middle East, which is just a beginning of a complete stabilization and return to normalcy of the whole region.

President Trump may be replaced by Joe Biden very soon, and Prime Minister Netanyahu is making sure that Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the Arab nations will pressure the former Vice President to continue sanctions and political pressures on Iran.

Saudi Arabia refused to officially join the UAE and Bahrain. They are very close to normalization of relations with Israel despite their cultural differences. Iran and Saudi Arabia are enemies, especially after the drone attack on Saudi oil reserves connected to the war in Yemen.

It will be difficult for Mr. Biden to completely change American policy toward Iran. Under pressure from America, Iran has opened up the way for normalization of the region. Mr. Biden has already stated that his administration will not be a third term of President Obama.

Stabilization of the Middle East may be easier than stabilizing politics in Israel. After three elections this year, Israel formed a unified government between Likud, led by Prime Minster Netanyahu, and Blue and White, led by Benny Gantz.

They made an agreement that the two sides would be united in an emergency government to deal with the complications of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Part of the agreement was that Mr. Netanyahu would continue to be Prime Minister for 18 months, to be replaced by Mr. Gantz.

is an Israeli soldier and politician serving as Alternate Prime Minister of Israel and Minister of Defense since 2020. He served as the 20th Chief of General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) from 2011 to 2015 and the 17th Speaker of the Knesset from 26 March 2020 to 17 May 2020.

In the middle this period, they would draw up a budget together. Until today, Prime Minister Netanyahu has not agreed to make a budget. The previous deadline date for making the budget was postponed to the middle of December.

Gideon Saar, who was second to Prime Minister Netanyahu in Likud’s primary election, said that the government is performing poorly, and predicted Israel was heading for elections.

Blue and White and Likud have not been able to come together on a budget. Israel Katz, the Minister of Finance, wants another extension until February. Mr. Gantz wants the budget to be drawn up in December, according to the initial agreement, when the unified government was formed. Likud is blaming Blue and White for not being able to write the budget. Blue and White blame Likud.

The Palestinian Authority is now ready to resume negotiations with Israel, which they had cancelled during the Trump administration. While Mr. Trump is still President, Israel continues to take the opportunity to bomb Iranian military locations in Syria.

Syria, Hezbollah, and Iran threaten to retaliate. Israel has strengthened its presence in the north in preparation for a potential attack from Syria.

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David Wexelman

Author of 5 books on the internet on topics of Jewish mysticism, managing two websites.

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