Until recently, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was widely available and included in the education curriculum, in Saudi Arabia. Saudi leadership spurred on state-sponsored antisemitism and would frequently invite Arafat and other high-ranking terrorist leaders into the Kingdom. In a complete turnaround, King Salman’s forward-acting son, the Crown Prince & Prime Minister Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS), expressed his affinity towards Israel, not because Saudi Arabia ‘needs’ Israel but because he sees Israel as an equal in the region. MBS has noticed that Israel recognizes the West is no longer a superpower, and it has, in many instances, sided with the emerging Eastern power bloc of Russia, India, and China. In the nearly five years of MBS’ leadership, he has carried on a diplomatic ‘affair’ with Israel, all without a normalization deal. Peace pacts are to be applauded, but not at the expense of Israeli sovereignty and not ones based on antisemitic lies. Whenever the US is involved in a deal, trouble brews for the Jewish homeland.
The Oslo ‘terrorist’ Accords resulted in the theft of two-thirds of the Jewish ancestral heartland, run by a terrorist organization, the PA, and even the most pro-Israel American President, Trump, gambled greatly with offering Abbas $50 billion. Sure, intelligence was confident Abbas would decline the offer, but had Abbas been smart and accepted the original deal, it would have proved disastrous for Israel. Even during the monumental success of the Abraham Accords negotiations, Jared Kushner strong-armed Israel into dropping the embassy location request for the Abraham Accords nations, that the embassies be located in Israel’s actual capital, Jerusalem.
The history of Saudi Arabia is intertwined with the presence of Jews. Quite a number of Jews left Israel for the Arabian peninsula even before the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE; so many that the Hejaz region, which included Medina, was a protectorate of the Kingdom of Judah. Relations were excellent between the Arab tribes of the Hejaz and the newly-arrived merchant and trader class of Jews (later joined by some Bar Kokhba warriors, post revolts). It was from within those pagan Arab tribes that the Islamic prophet Muhammad emerged. He had strong friendships with his Jewish neighbors, whom he expected to then ‘convert’ to his new religion.
What is often misconstrued, especially by radical Islamists, is the severity of murder and expulsion of Jews out of Saudi Arabia under Muhammad and his army. Out of the Jewish clans that had been living in the Hejaz, three were involved in battles and those members who survived, were then expelled. What happened to the other Jewish tribes (sources range from 12 – 20 Jewish clans/tribes at the height of Jewish visible presence in the Arabian peninsula)? They mostly remained, ‘converted,’ and lived as Arabs. Rabbi Benjamin of Tudela set about finding ‘lost’ Jewish communities in the region. In the 12th century, he found Jews living even in Khaybar and Medina.
Today’s Bedouins in Israel, in the Sinai in Egypt, and in southern Jordan have been found to have high rates of Jewish DNA. They are most likely the descendants of Jews who left for Saudi Arabia and eventually made their way back home. It is no coincidence that the Bedouins in Israel helped Israel in every war since 1948 and were instrumental in the wars of 1948 and 1967. Or that the Bedouins in Egypt and Jordan are not rabidly anti-Israel; a far distinction from the majority of the populations in their respective nations.
Far more genetic Jews had remained in Saudi Arabia, the most famous of which is rumored to be the House of Saud. The Royal Family of Saudi Arabia’s Jewish roots is more than a whisper. A Saudi leader during WWI supported Zionism, but then betrayed Jews in Israel and instead embraced Wahhabism, when most Imams in the region were against the sect, citing its radicalism, to appease other Muslim leaders in the region.
It was no surprise that Saudi Arabia would often invite Arafat into Saudi schools to collect donations for his terrorist organization.
Contrary to popular belief, most Saudi citizens are actually middle-class; only the extensive Royal family are affluent. And it was the middle class that was forced to part hard-earned family money to some made-up ethnicity/group called ‘Palestinians’ – an antisemitic term conjured up the KGB in 1967, as part of Operation SIG, after Israel ‘dared’ to win the 1967 war against the USSR’s Arab-backed armies. As a result, for decades, the Saudi population had a contempt for this ‘group’ which is actually seven quite different Arab groups, including genetic Jews who were forcibly converted in Judea & Samaria, in the 11th century.
Fast forward to a nuclear Iran, decades later. On the news, we only hear how Iran threatens Israel with a nuclear weapon. Until the most recent Iran-Saudi Peace Deal (which the Saudis needed in order to quell the Shi’ite country’s threat and find an end to the war in Yemen), Iran routinely attempted to target Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf overall. In early 2022, Iran-backed Houthi rebels launched anti-ballistic missiles towards the Emirati capital of Abu Dhabi. MBS looked around the region and noticed that Israel was making moves on two fronts, actually acting tough against Iran and making inroads with the UAE, Bahrain, Oman. Israel has had stable friendships with Muslim Central Asian nations for decades. Coupled with a vision of a conflict-free region and a wish for the Middle East to join the Eastern powerhouse, a path towards peace with Israel was set in motion. And the outreach was enacted at a dizzying pace.
Within the past three years, MBS, through his reforms, nearly flushed out antisemitism from schools, mosques, and state tv. Airspace was opened up to EL-AL, and Saudi Arabia has even actively funded Israeli tech firms, indirectly through its sovereign investment arm. Just recently, the Israeli national anthem was played in Riyadh during a gaming competition, and Israeli officials were invited to participate in the latest UNESCO Heritage meeting, held in Riyadh. It is estimated that anywhere from several hundred to a few thousand Jews (depending on which rabbi familiar with the Saudi Kingdom answers), mostly businessmen and their families, live in the Kingdom under complete protection without incident. On a personal note, I visited Jeddah eight months ago on a non-Jewish tour. Our Saudi tour guide, without being prompted, explained that Jerusalem is not important to Islam and that their holy sites are located within the Kingdom. Towards that end, Saudi Arabia allowed a Twitter (now X) campaign emanating from several citizens to explain that the Temple Mount belongs to Jews. Muslim Zionists in Morocco began to re-share those tweets. On a larger scale, Israel and the Saudis have been sharing military intelligence for years.
Now that a potential deal is most certainly to materialize, major concern is emerging that the Saudis are demanding a separate ‘state’ for the Arabs under the control of the PA and Gazans; and for the eastern portion of Jerusalem, which includes the Jewish Quarter, to be its capital. Nevermind that there already exists an Arab state within the region of Palestine, and has, since Churchill stole 78% of the Jewish homeland in 1922; it is called Jordan. These unrealistic concession requests/threats have the fingerprints of self-hating Jewish groups who surround Biden (IfNotNow, Jewish Voice for Peace, JStreet) and are behind most of his antisemitic policies against Israel (refunding UNRWA, of which Hamas skims 10%, refunding the terrorist PA, which engages in pay-for-slay tactics), since occupying office, and who applauded reduced sanctions on Iran, among other anti-Israel actions.
Or, the Saudis are posturing in front of other Muslim nations on the world stage, as a front, but doubtful that the anti-Israel demands are coming from their side alone. During the Abraham Accords talks, the Saudis, who control the Gulf region, did not mention Gazans, Israeli Arabs who live under the PA, or any other Arab group lumped into the false-termed ‘Palestinians’ once. When the U.S embassy was moved to Jerusalem, the Saudis did not find fault with the action nor was there any mention of the above-named groups. When it comes to Arab culture, actions are far more important than words. For years, Arafat was lying to Westerners that he seeks peace; in reality, his actions launched deadly intifadas against Israeli Jews.
In the case of the Saudis, as of late, they are more a friend to Israel than the U.S and the EU are currently, without a deal. A formal treaty cannot be secured if an inch of Israeli territory is to be compromised, and/or if it is based on antisemitic revisionist history. A united Jerusalem remains the capital, and no terrorist ‘second’ Arab state within Israel; all of Judea & Samaria is geographically within Israel and is historically and legally upheld as Jewish land. PM Netanyahu and MBS have the relationship to engage in talks directly; adding in the U.S will lead nowhere positive for Israel if Israel caters to antisemitic demands. I still have some lingering faith in Netanyahu that he will not succumb to concessions and that a historic deal will be reached. Israel, under any leadership would greatly benefit from stepping away from U.S involvement in its future diplomatic efforts with any country. There is no need for Israel to always be pressured by the U.S to betray its Jewish indigenous roots.