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Is a US-Brokered Deal Between Israel and Saudi Arabia Possible? A ROPES webinar
August 30 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
It is widely reported in the U.S. media that the administration of President Joseph R. Biden Jr. is pursuing a triangular grand bargain with Israel and Saudi Arabia, with U.S. officials “cautiously optimistic” that terms can be agreed upon within 10 months or less.
Saudi Arabia is reportedly seeking formal security guarantees from the United States, assistance with civilian nuclear energy development, and easier access to the most sophisticated U.S. weapons. In return, Riyadh would agree to normalize relations with Israel, encourage other Arab and Muslim-majority states to do the same, and distance itself from China. But Saudi Arabia has made it clear in recent years that serious concessions on the occupation and toward Palestinians will be required for it to normalize relations with Israel, possibly including a pledge not to annex any additional occupied Palestinian lands. But are the parties really ready for such a dramatic and groundbreaking agreement?
Is Congress likely to approve new defense obligations in the Middle East and for Saudi Arabia? Can the nuclear issue be settled without a standard “123” oversight process? And, above all, is Israel ready to exchange concessions on occupied lands, settlements, and annexation in return for normalizing relations with the most influential Arab and Muslim country?
Could a new Israeli Cabinet be formed to accept these terms and secure a historic diplomatic breakthrough, or is Israel unwilling to budge on the occupation no matter the prize?