U.S. Continues Push for Saudi-Israel Ties Even as War With Hamas Begins

U.S. Continues Push for Saudi-Israel Ties Even as War With Hamas Begins


The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas has not deterred the United States from its efforts to foster diplomatic relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia. Despite the escalation of violence, the Biden administration remains committed to promoting regional peace and stability through the normalization of ties between these two nations. This article delves into the complexities surrounding the push for Saudi-Israel diplomatic relations amid the backdrop of the Israel-Gaza war, exploring the potential benefits and challenges involved.

The Importance of Normalization

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken has emphasized the significance of normalizing diplomatic ties between Israel and Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia. By broadening relations with Arab countries, the United States aims to transform the regional landscape and foster long-term stability. This approach seeks to counter the influence of groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran, which oppose any form of normalization with Israel. While the Biden administration acknowledges the importance of a two-state solution, they recognize the inability to make significant progress on this front in recent decades.

The Theory Behind Normalization Efforts

Promoting normalization between Israel and Arab nations, as seen in the Abraham Accords, has been viewed by some American, Israeli, and Arab officials as a means to suppress the Palestinian issue. The hope is that by isolating the Palestinian problem, progress can be made in establishing broader regional integration. However, critics argue that this approach ignores the deep-seated anti-Israel sentiment among Palestinians and the wider Arab and Muslim populations. The recent Hamas attack on Israel has brought the question of Palestine back to the forefront, challenging the assumptions that underpinned U.S. policy towards the Middle East.

The Impact of the Hamas Attack

The Hamas attack on Israel has reignited anti-Israel sentiment in the region, with large crowds in Gaza celebrating the actions of the militant group. This highlights the extent of hostility towards Israel among Palestinians, which has been downplayed in the pursuit of normalization efforts. Experts suggest that the attack has upended previous agreements and forced the question of Palestine back onto the regional and global agenda. The Biden administration now faces the challenge of reconciling the pursuit of normalization with the need to address the legitimate concerns of the Palestinians.

The Role of Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia, as the most powerful Sunni Muslim nation in the region, plays a crucial role in the push for normalization. President Biden and his top aides have been engaged in negotiations with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to solidify diplomatic ties with Israel. However, the recent outbreak of war has complicated these efforts. The Saudi government’s response to the Hamas attack, which laid the blame on Israel, surprised and angered American officials who have been supportive of the normalization process. The Biden administration is closely monitoring Saudi reactions and assessing whether Prince Mohammed’s stance may change in light of potential civilian casualties in Gaza.

The Uncertain Path Forward

The future of the normalization process between Saudi Arabia and Israel remains uncertain. Factors such as the number of casualties, the outcome of Israel’s military response, and the overall atmosphere in the region will shape the Saudi leadership’s decision. It is likely that the ongoing conflict and the resulting images of Israeli offensive actions will exacerbate anger in the Arab world, including Saudi Arabia. This presents a challenge for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has been leading efforts towards rapprochement with Israel.

The Need for Palestinian Involvement

While the normalization efforts have largely excluded Palestinian officials and representatives, some experts argue that progress cannot be made without addressing the Palestinian issue. The enmity towards Israel among Arabs will persist as long as the Palestinian question remains unresolved. The current extreme right-wing government in Israel is also seen as an obstacle to achieving a lasting peace agreement. Without a genuine commitment to meeting Palestinian needs, any normalization agreements are unlikely to achieve true regional integration.

Reflection on U.S. Approach

Critics of the U.S. approach to normalization argue that it prioritizes dealing with autocratic regimes for the sake of stability. Rather than addressing the underlying issues that have plagued the region for decades. While the Abraham Accords may provide short-term benefits. They risk entrenching an alliance of dictatorships and perpetuating the marginalization of Palestinians. The Biden administration must reflect on its strategy. And consider alternative approaches that prioritize a just and comprehensive resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Potential Implications for the Biden Administration

The ongoing conflict and the challenges in the normalization process have significant implications for the Biden administration’s foreign policy agenda. The push for Saudi-Israel ties, despite the war with Hamas, demonstrates a commitment to regional stability and long-term peace. However, the administration must navigate the delicate balance between promoting normalization and addressing the legitimate concerns of the Palestinians. The outcome of the conflict and the subsequent reactions of Arab nations. Including Saudi Arabia, will shape the future of U.S.-Saudi relations and the broader Middle East peace process.


The U.S. continues its efforts to foster diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel. Even in the midst of the Israel-Gaza war. While the recent Hamas attack has highlighted the deep-rooted hostility towards Israel among Palestinians. The Biden administration remains committed to the idea that regional peace can be achieved through normalization. The path forward, however, is complex and uncertain, with the need to address the Palestinian question and engage all stakeholders. As the conflict unfolds, the Biden administration must carefully navigate the challenges. And opportunities that lie ahead in pursuit of a lasting resolution.

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