The Financial Times published an article written by David Gardner on the reports of a secret meeting between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, after Joe Biden was confirmed winning the presidency in the United States.
Gardner says, “The meeting that gathered, on Sunday, in Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a precedent, but it is not a historic meeting,” as he put it.
It is noteworthy that the late Jordanian monarch, King Hussein, held 45 secret meetings with the Israelis over a period of thirty years, before he signed a peace agreement with them in 1994.
The writer adds that Netanyahu avoided declaring that the meeting took place, but allowed his allies to leak the news, but the Saudi Foreign Minister, Faisal bin Farhan, denied this completely.
Gardner believes that bin Salman’s move at this time is not understood, despite his raising the slogan of heading to the future in managing the country’s affairs.
And he notes that Saudi sources reported that when the crown prince saw Donald Trump on his way to losing the presidential elections, he started looking for a hand to support him in facing the problems that the Biden government might raise with him.
The president-elect had previously pledged to reassess US-Saudi relations, which he described as a “rogue” country after the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 at his country’s consulate in Istanbul by a group the CIA believes is taking orders from the crown prince.
The writer believes that the ambiguity surrounding the meeting may mean that Saudi Arabia does not want to proceed with any diplomatic step until after Biden takes office officially. But the meeting was arranged and attended by Mike Pompeo, Trump’s secretary of state, who the Biden team sees as a troublemaker rather than a diplomatic.
It seems, according to the author, that Pompeo is seeking, through his recent visit to the Middle East, to obstruct any move by Biden to change US policy in the region. The president-elect intends to return to the nuclear deal with Iran, which Trump has abandoned.
Gardner says that bin Salman and Netanyahu are pegging in their policy on Trump, and it seems that today they are forming an alliance to prevent his successor from reversing the decisions he made in the Middle East.
Sources indicate that bin Salman believes that Netanyahu may defend him in the White House, through his influence in Congress.
Guardianship of Al-Aqsa Mosque
The Guardian newspaper published an article written by Martin Chulov and Michael Safi, in which they talk about Jordan’s fear that the rapprochement between Israel and Saudi Arabia will weaken its custody of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The two writers say that Jordan is finding it difficult to prove its guardianship over the Al-Aqsa Mosque after the meeting, which is believed to have brought together Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Oman fears that the normalization of relations between the two countries will lead to Israel’s annexation of the mosque, especially since the Trump administration seeks, in the remaining time for it, to leave a legacy for it in the Middle East.
The Jordanian Foreign Ministry expressed these concerns in a statement issued Wednesday objecting to “changing the status of the mosque,” saying that “the Kingdom will continue its efforts to protect the mosque and establish it, and to preserve the right of all Muslims in it, in accordance with the Hashemite guardianship of Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem.”
Officials in Jordan fear that Trump and his Secretary of State Pompeo, along with Netanyahu, will change the status of the Al-Aqsa Mosque by granting guardianship over it to Saudi Arabia in exchange for Riyadh normalizing relations with Israel. This agreement, if it takes place, limits Israel’s agreements with the UAE and Bahrain.
Biden’s fight within his party
The Times newspaper published an article written by Justin Webb, in which he says that the US president-elect, Joe Biden, has a battle with wings within the Democratic Party.
Webb says that the leftist movement in the Democratic Party is calling for the president to embody radical ideas and positions in his administration, and they do not want to return to an administration resembling the rule of Barack Obama.
The writer believes that the appointments announced by Biden in his administration focused on diversity, as he appointed the first woman Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen, and Alejandro Mayorcas will be the first Minister of Homeland Security of Latin origin. But he asks where is the diversity in the background among these? Where is the diversity in the experiences.
In the end, he indicates that all of them belong to the elite, regardless of their origins. In his opinion, Biden appointed his administration as its predecessors from the upper social classes, with graduates from major universities.
Webb recalls that the losing Democratic primary candidate Bernie Sanders warned that the party continues to lose more supporters in the working class, most of them leaning toward Trump.
If the Democrats want to restore the confidence and support of the working class, they have to rely less on elite politicians.
Sanders called directly on the president-elect to confront the powerful people who had declared it decades of war against the country’s working class.
Many Democrats believe, according to the writer, that Biden is wrong as he thought he was able to calmly return the country’s affairs, “but rather, he should fight Trump’s ideas the same way Trump fought liberalism in the country.”