For the past six and a half years, my personal blog The Lid has been very vocal in pointing out President Obama’s lousy policy decisions. In the interests of fairness, I have tried whenever possible to point out his successes, however rare.
On Friday, the president scored another policy victory. As Bloomber’s Eli Lake noted, Saudi Arabia and Israel are now speaking to each other publicly, and it is thanks to Obama.
Since the beginning of 2014, representatives from Israel and Saudi Arabia have had five secret meetings to discuss a common foe, Iran. On Thursday, the two countries came out of the closet by revealing this covert diplomacy at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington.
Among those who follow the Middle East closely, it’s been an open secret that Israel and Saudi Arabia have a common interest in thwarting Iran. But until Thursday, actual diplomacy between the two was never officially acknowledged. Saudi Arabia still doesn’t recognize Israel’s right to exist. Israel has yet to accept a Saudi-initiated peace offer to create a Palestinian state.
It is important to note that the two countries would have never started talking to each other if they weren’t worried that Obama was going to sell them out out to Iran with his P+5 nuclear negotiations.
The Sunni Muslim Saudis are extremely worried about the expansionist, terror-supporting Shi’a Muslims in Iran. Iran, for its part, has constantly threatened to destroy Israel. The “meeting of the minds” between Israel and Saudi Arabia is thus an accidental unintended consequence.
Cross-posted at The Lid