While there might not yet be full normalization with all of them, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the major players in the Arab world no longer view the State of Israel as a pariah, or worse, as a cancer that must be eradicated.
In fact, some Arab leaders are even now going so far as to suggest they’re glad Israel is part of the Middle East family.
One of those is Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia.
Following his meeting with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken last week, the Saudi told reporters that from Riyadh’s viewpoint, Israel has “contributed to regional stability and the path toward peace.”
That’s quite the opposite of what senior Saudi officials have had to say of the Palestinian Authority in recent years. “The Palestinians have not contributed anything,” Saudi writer Abdulhameed Al-Ghobain told the BBC last year in explaining the kingdom’s increasing frustration with the Palestinian Authority. See: Saudi Arabia Turns Against the Palestinians
But Prince Faisal did go on to stress that Saudi Arabia still believes the only path to long-lasting peace and stability is for Israel and the Palestinians to reach a final status peace agreement.
“We are convinced that the only way to achieve lasting stability is to address the Palestinian issue and the issue of the Palestinian state … with Jerusalem as its capital,” he said.
The difference today is that the Saudis and other regional powers are no longer blaming Israel, at least not exclusively, for the continued stagnation of the peace process with the Palestinians. And they’re increasingly willing to move forward with their own normalization deals in the meantime. The net effect is that the Arab world begins finally to understand that Israel really does want peace.