Houthis Threaten Saudi Arabia: Don’t ‘Disgrace’ Country by Befriending Israel

Published June 15, 2024

The leader of the Iran-backed Yemeni terrorist group Ansarallah, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, warned neighboring Saudi Arabia on Thursday that any normalization deal would “disgrace” the country, implying his terrorists would consider the Saudis a legitimate target.

Ansarallah, known commonly as the “Houthis” after the family that runs the organization, has been embroiled in a bloody civil war with the legitimate government of Yemen since 2014. The Saudi government backed the legitimate Yemeni government against the Houthis for years, turning the civil war into a proxy war with Iran. The Houthis responded by directly targeting Saudi territory for years, bombing oil depots and other civilian facilities in the country.

Those attacks largely stopped after peace talks in September 2023. The Houthis have since redirected their ire towards Israel, supporting fellow Iran-backed jihadist organization Hamas’s siege of Israel on October 7 with a war declaration and a campaign of attacking commercial ships in the Red Sea. The Houthis claim they only target ships with ties to Israel and top allies America and Britain, but have routinely attacked ships with no obvious ties to any of those countries and, in some cases, attacked ships associated with allies such as Iran and China.

Al-Houthi expressed disgust with longstanding rumors of a potential normalization in ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel in his weekly address to Yemenis on Thursday. According to al-Khabar al-Yemeni, an Arabic-language site associated with the Houthis, Houthi addressed some of his comments to Muslim-majority Arab nations generally, not just Saudi Arabia – which would include nations that have already normalized relations with Israel such as the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

“We do not have any hostile intentions towards any Arab country, but we will not accept any Arab regime causing harm to our people in service of Israel and obedience to America,” the Houthi-linked outlet quoted the leader as saying. “Any Saudi position against our people at this time is definitely serving the Israeli enemy and supporting it in obedience to America.”

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SOURCE: www.breitbart.com

RELATED: Saudi Arabia’s Quest For Peace With Israel – OpEd

Published June 13, 2024

Saudi Arabia has always sought peace with Israel, although it dreaded the consequences of publicizing its intent. In 1965, the Arab public ridiculed Tunisian President Habib Bourguiba when he proposed to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict based on the United Nations’ 1947 partition plan. Given the slow-paced and cautious Saudi foreign policy and its aversion to making dramatic decisions, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman realized the need to prepare the Saudi people for active peace with Israel after decades of vilifying Jews and condemning Israel’s existence. He delegated the task of re-socializing the population to the local media, invariably reflecting and rationalizing official foreign policy shifts.

This paper traces the origins of Saudi peace endeavors with Israel even before the state’s establishment in 1948 and MBS’ hopes for normalization. It then sheds light on the Saudi people’s opposition to peace with Israel, which mandated the government’s decision to use the local media to convince them of the merits of peace, given the Saudi royals’ traditional emphasis on securing broad consensus before making consequential decisions.

Saudi Peace Track Palestine caught the attention of Ibn Saud amid the rising strife between Arabs and Jews in the 1930s. However, given his preoccupation with consolidating his rule in Arabia and maintaining relations with Britain and the United States, he was uninterested in what happened there. Despite Ibn Saud’s Wahhabi legacy and its blatant hostility not only to Christians and Jews but also to other Islamic groups, he determined his position on the Jews and Zionism based on protecting the strategic interests of his kingdom in the Arabian Peninsula, as he had no ambitions to expand the scope of his rule outside it. Palestine did not mean a lot to him. One of the essential principles of Ibn Saud’s policy was cooperation with Britain and the United States to ensure that the balance of power in the Middle East would not tilt in favor of his Hashemite rivals in Iraq and Jordan at the expense of his fledgling kingdom. Ibn Saud resisted making any sacrifices on behalf of the Palestinians that might harm Saudi Arabia, and his aid to the Palestinians consisted of minimal money and weapons, which he sent secretly to them. Ibn Saud believed in the possibility of coexistence between Arabs and Jews with the help of Britain, which was responsible for regional security. In the 1940s, Ibn Saud worked within the Arab League to reject proposals that would harm the interests of the United States and Britain, avoided commitments to provide significant aid to the Palestinians, and opposed war against the Jews.

In 1948, when Israel declared its independence and the Arab League armies invaded Palestine, Ibn Saud contented himself with symbolic participation by sending a small, untrained contingent under Egyptian command, which contributed little to the Arab war effort. The dramatic regional developments after the defeat of the Arab armies prompted Ibn Saud to cease interference in the Arab-Israeli conflict. The Saudi leadership subtly welcomed Egypt’s signing of the Camp David Peace Accords with Israel in 1978.

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SOURCE: www.eurasiareview.com

RELATED: IS ISRAELI-SAUDI NORMALIZATION END OR MEANS?

Biden is delaying Saudi normalization with Israel until the region is fixed, mistakenly making peace the end game

Published June 13, 2024

The path to a peace treaty between Israel and Saudi Arabia is fraught with prerequisites unrelated to Israel or peace.

Quoting Biden officials, the Wall Street Journal reported that Israel must first help rally US Senate support for an American-Saudi defense treaty that ensures Saudi security and American interests — including distancing Riyadh from Beijing.

Next, Israel must concede territory for Palestinian self-determination even before Hamas, which pledges to annihilate the Jewish state, is eradicated. Only then will Saudi Arabia normalize ties with Israel – and, even then, solely on its own behalf, not representing the Arab League or the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

In January 2023, when Saudi Arabia first floated the idea of bilateral peace with Israel regardless of the Palestinian track, Riyadh did so in line with a shift in Riyadh’s foreign policy that had started with the accession of Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman (MBS) in 2016. Riyadh started prioritizing “Saudi First” over leadership in the Arab and Muslim worlds.

Along similar lines, the kingdom minimized its intervention in Lebanon and Syria, among other places, deeming these countries strategically insignificant.

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SOURCE: www.fdd.org

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Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
Contact Cherry at: cherrymtimbol@newscats.org or timbolcherrymay@gmail.com
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