Saudis ready to sacrifice Palestine for Israel ties: Ex-Netanyahu aide
A former adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Saudi Arabia is ready to sacrifice Palestinians and their demands for closer ties with Israel.
Yaacov Nagel, who stepped down as the premier’s internal security advisor earlier this year, said the kingdom would approve of almost any agreement between Israel and the Palestinians to further “normalize” relations with Israel, The Telegraph reported on Saturday.
“They don’t like [the Palestinians] more than us or less than us. They need to say that there is an agreement in order to take next steps [toward normalization]. So this is still an obstacle,” Nagel said.
Egypt and Jordan are the only two Arab governments that have official diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv and host Israeli missions. The rest of the Arab governments have no open diplomatic relations with the Israeli regime, and have been trying to portray themselves as Tel Aviv’s traditional adversaries and upholders of the Palestinian cause of ending the Israeli occupation.
Netanyahu has, however, admitted that his regime had ties with the Arab world, and that the relations were improving.
And in historical comments, Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said on November 19 that Tel Aviv had had covert contacts with Saudi Arabia.
“We have ties that are indeed partly covert with many Muslim and Arab countries, and usually [we are] the party that is not ashamed,” he said in an interview on Army Radio.
Israeli officials have, meanwhile, made no secret about their affinity with the Saudis and their allies being mostly about establishing a single front against Iran.
Avigdor Lieberman wrote on his Facebook page on November 18 that the Middle East region now required an anti-Iran coalition.
Nagel likewise said Riyadh was so keen to begin open cooperation with Israel against Iran that it “doesn’t care” what kind of deal is reached with the Palestinians, the paper reported. “They (the Saudis) don’t give a damn about what will be in the agreement,” he noted.