Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz made a remark yesterday that Israel has had intelligence sharing with Saudi Arabia for quite some time now.
While neither side has officially confirmed the statement, a working relationship between the Jewish state and the Arab kingdom have long been suspected.
While Saudi Arabia does not have formal diplomatic contacts Israel and the Sunni Kingdom officially insists that it can talk to the Jewish Neighbour only after withdrawal from Arab lands captured in the 1967 Middle East war, the threat from Iran has seem to have bought the foes together. Both Saudi Arabia and Israel view Iran as a main threat to the Middle East and increased tension between Tehran and Riyadh has fueled speculation that shared interests may push Saudi Arabia and Israel to work together.
The recent string of victories by Iran proxies in Iraq, Syria and Yemen along with its alignment with Russia must have has alarm bells ringing in both Washington and Riyadh. While Tel Aviv constantly complained about noninvolvement of Obama administration in the region, it remains one of the few countries that support Trump administration whole heartedly.
In this backdrop it should not come as a surprise that the Israeli decided to come out of closet once Washington had unquestionably sided with both the purges of Saudis and treatment of Palestinians by Israelis.
While we would link the recent erratic moves of banning Qatar, taking hardline instance against Lebanon and off course its domestic purge in response – or at least – in alignment to inputs from the Jewish nation. Again, the tacit support that Israel has been giving to Syrian revolution can also be viewed in the same light.
Iran on its part has secured break up of Turkey from the Washington led alliance. Its alliance with Russians is booming. Its non-regular forces, having defeated ISIS and much of Wester trained ‘liberators’ are now far more experienced to give IDF a headache that would last a generation. The Iranian intelligence though not as sophisticated as Mossad of Shin Bet, has had a remarkable success in recruiting impoverished Shia populations in much southern Arabian Peninsula. The actions of Tehran now reverberate around the Arab world in both intent and action. Perhaps coming together of Israel and Saudi Kingdom was more of forced arrangement than a choice.
At any rate, the Arabs on street still hate Israel more than Iran. The domestic repercussions for crown prince Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will be immense. It’s a good that he has all his potential coup plotters already lodged in house arrest, otherwise he may have been facing a revolution and not just a coup