US Disengages from Israel-Saudi Normalisation Due to Hamas Attack

Washington – The terrorist attacks and kidnappings in Israel that Hamas began carrying out on Saturday appear to have put on hold, at least temporarily, the United States’ months-long public effort to mediate an Israeli-Saudi normalization accord that would shift long-standing Mideast rivalries and alliances.

When Secretary of State Antony Blinken was asked about the United States mediation attempt during a series of appearances on Sunday talk shows in the United States, he responded by saying that the Biden administration is not currently focused on it.

Where exactly are we in the normalization process?

As of right now, the immediate priority is on providing assistance to Israel so that it can deal with this attack from Hamas. Blinken stated this to the audience of NBC’s Meet the Press program. “That’s what we’re focused on,”

John Kirby, a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, shared that opinion in comments he made to reporters on Monday. However, he added that it was “too soon to say that we hit the brakes” on mediation because of the progress that has been made.

In a phone conference with reporters on September 29, Kirby shared the news that efforts towards normalising relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia had been successful.

“All sides have hammered out, I think, a basic framework for what we might be able to drive at,” Kirby told reporters at the time. “However, as is the case in any complicated organisation, as this unavoidably will be, everybody is going to be responsible for something. “And everyone is going to be required to make some concessions,” he continued to say.

During a news event at the State Department on October 4, the Biden administration revised the wording it had previously used regarding this development.

“many of the key elements of a pathway towards normalization are now on the table, and there is broad understanding of those elements,” said the deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel. The specifics of these diplomatic contacts will not be discussed in public by any stretch of the imagination.

Riyadh hosted visits by two Israeli government ministers in late September and early October in order for them to participate in international conferences at the same time as the United States made their declarations, which corresponded with some of the most conspicuous evidence of that progress thus far. These trips marked the first time Israeli officials from the Cabinet had been seen in public in Saudi Arabia.

How Iran is reacting to the progress made towards normalisation

Iran’s Islamist rulers, who often advocate for the annihilation of Israel, have, for a very long time, been hostile to other Arab and Muslim states establishing diplomatic ties with the Jewish state.

An article that was published on October 3 by Iran’s state-run Press TV outlet quoted Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as saying that states that seek normalisation with Israel are “making a mistake and… betting on a losing horse.” Khamenei was speaking at an Islamic conference in Tehran.

In comments that were broadcast on Press TV on Monday, Khamenei’s top advisor Ali Akbar Velayati delivered a more dire warning. He stated that “certain governments in the region” should learn a lesson from Hamas’ attack on Israel, which he hailed as a victory and said should educate “certain governments in the region” what happens to those who follow in Israel’s footsteps.

Notably, neither Velayati nor Khamenei mentioned Saudi Arabia by name in their statements. After a pause of seven years in diplomatic connections, both Riyadh and Tehran reopened their embassies in their respective capitals earlier this year, marking the beginning of the normalisation of relations between the two cities.

What the United States thinks the return to normalcy will accomplish

During his appearance on a talk show on Sunday, Blinken recognised, without going into further detail, that the United States faced a number of “challenging” and “difficult” issues to settle in its endeavour to mediate.

Blinken suggested to NBC that there could be two primary advantages to a successful normalisation arrangement between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

One, according to him, would be “a much different path for the region and for the future – a path of greater stability, of greater integration, of people working together to better their lives.”

Blinken stated that the other party would be working to promote and support the possibility of Israelis and Palestinians reaching an agreement to settle their issues. “It’s imperative that [normalisation] not be a substitute [for that resolution],” stated the politician.

Reasons Why Saudi Arabia Is Trying to Restore Normalcy

Riyadh has emphasised that a normalisation deal with Israel should include measures to better the lives of Palestinians living under Hamas control in Gaza and in the West Bank under a decades-long Israeli occupation and an administration run by Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas, Hamas’ opponent. These Palestinians live in areas that are currently occupied by Israel.

In an interview that was broadcast on Fox News in the United States on September 20th, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was asked about the Palestinian situation. “For us, the Palestinian issue is very important,” he said.

In reference to discussions on a normalisation deal, he stated, “every day, we get closer” and voiced his optimism that talks will “reach a place, that it will ease the life of the Palestinians [and] get Israel [to be] a player in the Middle East.” He was referring to the talks on a normalisation deal.

When asked by Fox News what would happen if Iran had a nuclear weapon, which Western nations suspect it pursues despite Iran’s denials, Prince Mohammad responded, “we will have to get one” as well. This was in response to the question of what would happen if Iran obtained a nuclear weapon. He did not provide any clarification as to whether or not this matter is being discussed in the normalisation negotiations with the United States and Israel.

Riyadh has not made any public comments about the question of whether or not the conflict between Israel and Hamas will change the manner in which it approaches the negotiations.

How Israel perceives the ongoing efforts towards normalisation

On Sunday, Israel gave the impression that it does not want there to be any sort of break in the ongoing negotiations to establish a normalisation arrangement.

According to comments that Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan made to reporters, “We don’t see any reason that it should be off the table.”

During his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on September 22, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented an upbeat appraisal of the ongoing efforts to normalise relations. He stated that his country was “on the verge” of achieving peace with Saudi Arabia, which would pave the way for “a new Middle East.”

“Such a settlement will make a significant contribution towards putting an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict. It will urge other Arab states to normalise their relations with Israel, which is something that will encourage other Arab states. The chances of achieving peace with the Palestinians will improve as a result of this. Netanyahu believes that this will pave the way for a deeper and more widespread reconciliation between Judaism and Islam.

However, he also admitted that there is a possibility that, as he put it, “the fanatics ruling Iran will do everything they can to thwart this historic peace.” He said this.

Noting that Iran has long been arming Palestinian proxies such as Hamas, he asked the international community to “stop the curse of a nuclear Iran and roll back its fanaticism and aggression.” He made this statement in light of the fact that Iran has been arming Palestinian proxies for a long time.

As part of the normalisation process, Israel has not provided any indication of the measures that it might take to enhance the living conditions of Palestinians. Since Israel’s current priority is to win the war against Hamas, neither its government nor its primary opposition parties have publicly broached the subject of making any such compr

This content was originally published here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *