On May 15, 1948, on the very day that Israel declared its independence from the British empire, the Arab league, comprised of the Arab states in the Middle East, declared a war whose purpose was to exterminate the nascent Jewish state.
Of the five Arab League nations that border Israel, four of these countries eventually made interim arrangements of one sort or another to put themselves on a slow path of reconciliation with Israel. Egypt and Jordan made peace treaties with Israel. Lebanon and Syria signed armistice agreements with Israel.
However, the fifth Arab nation contiguous to Israel, Saudi Arabia, now the dominant nation in the Arab League, remains in a formal state of war with Israel, having never agreed to any armistice or any semblance of a peace agreement with Israel. Instead, Saudi Arabia has consistently funded all terror groups at war with Israel, from Hamas to the 10 PLO terror factions based in Damascus.
Saudi Arabia has earned the distinction as the first nation since the Third Reich which is officially “Judenrein” – Jew free. By law, no Jew may visit or live in Saudi Arabia.
However, with the sudden encouragement of the Bush administration, Saudi Arabia has been thrust into the position of the key mediator in the Middle East conflict.
Saudi Arabia was the patron of the Mecca agreement between Fatah and Hamas, which, for the first time in modern history, aligned all Palestinian terrorist factions against the state of Israel.
The Saudis reportedly sent over $1 billion in gratuities to Fatah and Hamas to secure this new terror accord.
Zalman Shuval, former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., wrote in a leading Israeli newspaper yesterday that the special relationship of the former Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, with the Bush family was one of the key reasons for the new Saudi relationship with the U.S. government.
According to Shuval, Bander’s “close relationship with the Bush family was expressed not only in strategic understandings, but also in large arms deals… Bandar was involved in ‘nearly every step that the U.S. took in the Middle East and that… when the current President Bush started his election campaign, Ambassador Bandar came to him to brief him on Middle East matters.”
Relying on Israeli security sources, Shuval warned that Saudi Arabia has intentions of its own, “which do not always match Washington’s intentions.”
Shuval also warned that although Bush hoped that the Mecca agreement would lead to the “taming” of Hamas and to the forming of a Palestinian government on the basis of the Quartet’s conditions, “what happened was exactly the opposite… Hamas leaders hurried to announce that they would never recognize Israel or its right to exist.”
Meanwhile, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia received Iranian President Ahmadinejad this past weekend, and welcomed him in an unprecedented state visit, to dissuade any American illusion that the Saudis would form an Arab coalition against Iran.
The first practical effect of the Mecca agreement will undoubtedly be felt in Jerusalem. The Arab League, dominated by Saudi influence and Saudi funding, announced this week that it will transfer $150 million to Arab residents in Jerusalem to “aid in their struggle against Israel.” Saudi Arabia and the Arab League seem to be unlikely new mediators of peace since The Arab League declaration of war from 1948 remains in tact.
©The Evening Bulletin 2007