Saudi-Israeli Relations: Progress, Risks and Opportunities

Chelsi Mueller has published an article in the Transatlantic Policy Quarterly on the history and changes in Saudi-Israeli foreign relations.

"The primary strategic driver of normalization has been the rise of Iran in the regional power equation. Israel views the Islamic Republic of Iran as an existential threat, while Saudi Arabia views Iran as a revisionist state whose goal of regional dominance would come at the expense of Saudi Arabia; moreover, Iran’s methods of achieving its goals undermine Saudi Arabia’s position in the region as well as its domestic security. Open collaboration between Israel and Saudi Arabia dates from June 2015, when former Saudi general bin Majed bin Anwar Eshki and former Israeli ambassador Dore Gold, shared a stage at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington to discuss their countries' shared concerns about Iran."

"It is likely that Mohammad bin Salman also envisions other avenues of Saudi-Israeli cooperation to give his planned city the best chance of success...For Mohammad bin Salman, growing relations with Israel have been part of a complex, multi-purpose and highly adaptable scheme which have already borne fruit in several areas...For any Israeli government, a public ceremony and exchange of ambassadors with Saudi Arabia would be a crowning foreign policy achievement."