Nothing will help the Obama administration put together the former American Middle East coalition that was once grounded in a solid Saudi-American partnership. Too much distrust has been injected into the relationship for it to be salvaged. Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia is a poor attempt in public relations damage control.
When Obama was sworn in on January 20th 2009, hopes ran high that a new type of American paradigm would be played out across the globe. Pundits didn’t actually believe Obama really looked at the world the way he said, but Barack Hussein Obama has proven to be true to his word. Obama has refashioned the Middle East by essentially burning down bridges between long term American Allies in the Sunni world and the USA government. The idea was to spur real democratic change reflected through tolerance for the Muslim Brotherhood and rapprochement with Iran in a mad attempt to instill some sort of amiability in the Muslim street.
Instead of winning over Iran and the Sunni street, Iran openly pivoted to Russia and the Sunni street grew antagonistic towards the Muslim Brotherhood.
What Does this Mean for Israel
It is no secret that the Saudis and other Gulf States have grown closer to a strategic partnership with Israel. This has become so open that some Gulf leaders have suggested to drop the “Palestinian Issue.” With plummeting oil prices and an encroaching Iran, Israel is beginning to play a far more constructive role in the Middle East when it comes to its once erstwhile foes.
However promising Israel’s new found position is, a long term partnership with the Saudis and their Gulf allies is not close to becoming solidified due to a variety of diverging interests. For one, Israel is at war with Radical Islam and the Saudis happen to be one of the biggest bank rollers for many of these terror groups. The Saudis are also a primitive society, whose social morays are stuck in an Islam that has never climbed out of the Middle Ages. Israelis not only don’t connect to this sort of culture, there is broad antagonism from all quarters in Israel against the Saudi and Gulf state expression of Islam and Shariah Law.
Israel’s continued pivot to the East and their behind the scenes relationship with the Kurds and now burgeoning partnership with East Africa paints a very different path into Israel’s future than what will be a short lived relationship with the Sunni Gulf States.
One thing Obama can be credited for, is that his policies in the Middle East has caused Israel to chart its own course and one that is far more natural and promises to be built on mutual respect and advancement.