After decades of diplomatic isolation, Israel’s Middle Eastern neighbors are finally thawing.
“Saudi crown prince says in rare interview ‘every day we get closer’ to normalization with Israel,” Will Weissert reported the blockbuster news for the Associated Press this week. “Saudi Arabia is discussing a major agreement with the United States to normalize relations with Israel in exchange for a U.S. defense pact and aid in developing its own civilian nuclear program.”
In a rare, candid interview with Bret Baier for FOX News, the Saudi Crown Prince’s comments on normalization with Israel sent shockwaves through the foreign policy community.
It’s great news for Israel; more good news was to come.
“‘Six or seven’ Muslim nations to make peace with Israel after Saudis — FM,” reported the Jerusalem Post editorial board on September 22, 2023.
“Six or seven Muslim nations will join Saudi Arabia in making peace with Israel following the conclusion of the long-sought normalization deal with the Saudis, Foreign Minister Eli Cohen revealed in an interview with KAN News on Friday afternoon,” continued the Jerusalem Post.
“It’s important to restate what the prime minister said, peace with Saudi Arabia is also peace between Jews and the Muslim world,” Israeli Prime Minister Eli Cohen told the press this week. “Six or seven nations from Africa and Asia will join the peace deal with the Saudis. I’m telling you, I have met with several officials from Muslim nations with which Israel does not share formal ties.”
Libya is not likely to be one of them.
“Last month, Cohen caused a diplomatic crisis by leaking his conversation with his Libyan counterpart Najla Mangoush,” according to the Jerusalem Post. “She was fired for holding that meeting, forced to flee her country, and is now under investigation. After reports of the meeting broke, Libyans began rioting in the streets before Prime Minister Abdulhamid al-Dbeibeh said Libya ‘completely rejects’ any notion of Israeli normalization.”
For his part, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was on a sort of victory tour this week, touting a new era in the Middle East.