July 5, 2009

A Sunni-Israeli Alliance?

In the current issue of The Atlantic, the indispensible Jeffrey Goldberg wonders if a tacit alliance of sorts might develop between Israelis and Sunni Arabs against the Persian Islamic Republic regime in Iran.

If Tehran’s government is overthrown, of course, a very different relationship would likely develop between Israel and Iran. In the meantime, though, Goldberg may be correct. According to the Times of London, Saudi Arabia has quietly given Israel permission to use its airspace on the way to Iranian nuclear weapons facilities.

UPDATE: The Saudi government officially denies the Times story, which was expected. The Israeli government also denies it, however.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at July 5, 2009 2:33 PM
Comments

I take that Times article with a huge grain of salt because Uzi Mahnaimi has been so sensationally wrong so often. There is a logic to it; still, I wouldn't be surprised if the Saudi hatred of Israel and her Jews trumps even a tacit alliance of convenience.

Posted by: Li'l Mamzer Author Profile Page at July 5, 2009 3:47 PM

I read the Goldberg piece, which is interesting enough but rather thin on substance, seemingly based around some after dinner chit chat he once had with some ex-PLO types in Ramallah... and the age old Middle Eastern adage "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."

As for the Sunday Times "exclusive," Netanyahu's office itself described the story as "fundamentally wrong and baseless..." But as Lil'Mamzer notes it certainly wouldn't be the first time Mahnaimi attempts at journalism achieved such an accolade.

Posted by: Microraptor Author Profile Page at July 6, 2009 5:13 AM

'Netanyahu's office itself described the story as "fundamentally wrong and baseless..."'

I wouldn't believe anything unless it had been thoroughly denied by the government in question.

Posted by: Leauki Author Profile Page at July 6, 2009 7:26 AM

Update added.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at July 6, 2009 10:37 AM

Goldberg's article, based largely on a single dinner conversation, seems rather lightweight. Had he sought out additional corroborative opinions among non-Marxist Arabs it would be more meaningful.

Posted by: Solomon2 Author Profile Page at July 6, 2009 12:55 PM

Mamzer;

That would depend on who the Saudis consider to be more offensive - Israeli Jews or Persian Shiites. My money is on the Persians. It's a dislike that's far far older.

Posted by: Boojum Author Profile Page at July 7, 2009 7:18 AM

A Sunni-Israeli Alliance?

It would never happen.

Posted by: beeaar Author Profile Page at July 7, 2009 6:23 PM
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