Historic meeting in the heart of New York City: Netanyahu’s Game-changing diplomacy with Saudi Arabia
On the memorable evening of September 25th, an unexpected echo filled with boundless possibilities reverberated through the elegant and magnificent halls of New York’s Crystal Palace. Benjamin Netanyahu, carrying the weight of Israel’s voice with pride and responsibility, unveiled before the world something that could, without exaggeration, reshape the entire political and social landscape of the Middle East: an unprecedented rapprochement with Saudi Arabia. But this glimmer of hope, shared with President Joe Biden, is just the tip of the iceberg in a series of events laden with conditions, expectations, and unquestionably, challenges.
This potential breakthrough is not a matter to be taken lightly. Let’s delve into history, which narrates how these two nations, for decades and for multifarious reasons, kept a certain distance, often displaying not only different but frequently opposing stances. However, in a stunning twist of events, it appears they are on the brink of crossing a threshold that could lead them to forge a historic pact. Yet, an imminent question arises: at what cost? What is sacrificed, and what is gained in such dealings?
Joe Biden, ever true to his direct yet considerate style, has laid out a path with clear and precise conditions. Mere promises and empty words won’t suffice: Israel, if it genuinely seeks this pact with Riyadh, must demonstrate concrete, tangible, and significant actions that make a palpable difference in the daily lives of the region’s inhabitants.
Thomas Friedman, the illustrious New York Times journalist and multiple-time Pulitzer Prize winner, has been at the forefront, meticulously documenting and unraveling every step of this intricate process. Through his reliable sources, he has revealed that Biden, while projecting a conciliatory and amiable facade in front of the cameras, has very firm expectations in private meetings. These include drastically curtailing settlements in the West Bank and seeking substantial improvements in the quality of life for Palestinians, with a clear goal in mind: advancing toward a fair and equitable two-state solution.
Nonetheless, Israel isn’t the only one under scrutiny. Under the leadership and vision of Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia faces its own set of challenges. Embracing and approaching Israel, a nation deeply intertwined with two of Islam’s most revered sites, is no easy task. Such an approach would not only reshape the political map but also have profound repercussions on the region’s religious and cultural fabric.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu grapples with dilemmas of his own. Within Israel, his government coalition leans heavily toward the annexation of the West Bank, a position directly at odds with Biden’s conditions. Friedman, with his sharp analysis, suggests that the U.S. President, in a delicate balance between friendship and diplomacy, might be encouraging Netanyahu to consider reshaping his coalition, perhaps seeking a more unified and centered front.