OUR friends, the Saudis?
This is the Middle East, where my enemy's enemy is often my friend. But this would have been unthinkable in this region until quite recently. A high-level Saudi delegation visited Israel on Friday, and to make sure the protests from the Arab-Muslim world aren't too loud, they said they were here to promote the Saudi peace initiative.
Former Saudi general Dr. Anwar Eshki and a group of Saudi businessmen and academics meet Friday in Jerusalem with a delegation led by MKs Ksenia Svetlova (Zionist Union), Omer Bar-Lev (Zionist Union), Esawi Frej (Meretz) and Michal Rozin (Meretz).That story makes it sound like the MK's the Saudis met were all opposition MK's (Zionist Union and Meretz both being opposition parties), but looking at this picture, I doubt that's true.
Eshki met separately with Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai in an effort to advance the Saudi Initiative, a diplomatic plan that calls for Israel to return to pre-1967 borders in return for recognition from Arab countries.
Svetlova said the meetings were important, because Eshki is close to Saudi King Salman and his son, Mohammad.
Eshki heads the independent think tank Middle East Institute, which is working on plans for the bridge between Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The delegation also visited Ramallah and met with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
met Dore Gold before.
Meanwhile, the meeting was condemned by the Hadash party, a far Left mixed Jewish-Arab party. They didn't condemn the Israelis for taking the meeting: They condemned the Saudis.
“The recent visit by Saudi personalities, including former general Anwar Eshki, and their meetings with representatives of the Netanyahu government, on the pretext of advancing a dialogue about the Arab peace initiative, were not designed to challenge Israel’s refusal strategy, but to legitimize it by giving Arab ‘sponsorship’ to voiding the initiative of any content and for eliminating the two-state solution and the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination," said a statement issued by Hadash, a faction with the Joint List of Arab parties.The thanks for these meetings go to Barack Obama. Obama has so bungled the Iranian nuclear threat as to leave 'moderate' Sunni countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt to feel that they have no choice but to join forces with Israel.
"The visit is part of the normalization of cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Israel against Iran, Syria and resistance movements in the region,” the statement continued.
Two weeks ago Hadash also condemned Egypt’s foreign minister Sameh Shoukry’s visit to Jerusalem as well as his meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu. The condemnation of both visits was issued by the Hadash secretariat without the endorsement of other members of the Arab Joint List.