Apr. 15, 2016
Israel Is Less Isolated than the U.S. – Jennifer Rubin
The return of the islands of Tiran and Sanafir in the Gulf of Aqaba to Saudi Arabia by Egypt “is very significant. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is agreeing, according to press reports, to abide by the Egypt-Israel peace treaty,” Elliott Abrams, former U.S. deputy national security adviser, tells me.
“When that treaty was signed in 1979, the Saudis denounced it and broke relations with Egypt. Now they are formally accepting it, and that means they acknowledge and will respect Israel’s rights to use the Gulf of Aqaba and pass through what are formally Saudi waters.”
“Moreover, all three parties – Egypt, Israel, and Saudi Arabia – are acting like neighbors, agreeing (though there are still no open and direct Saudi-Israeli diplomatic contacts) on not only the islands and the Gulf but also a bridge to be built across the Gulf between Egypt and Saudi Arabia….It is a remarkable demonstration of how the attitude of Arab states toward Israel is changing.”
There are several takeaways here. First, the notion that Israel had to solve the Palestinian problem before getting along with its neighbors (“linkage”) has proved to be utterly false. Second, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom the Obama administration portrays as some kind of diplomatic oaf, has better relations with the Saudis and Egyptians than the administration does. (Washington Post)