Fraternal Enemies: Israel and the Gulf Monarchies

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Relations between Israel and the Gulf states are not anything new. In the immediate aftermath of the 1993 Oslo Accords, both Qatar and Oman established low-level yet open diplomatic ties with Israel. In 2010, Ha'aretz reported that the former Israeli foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, was on friendly terms with Shaykh Abdullah Ibn Zayed, her counterpart from the UAE, despite the absence of formal diplomatic ties between the two states. The shared suspicion towards the regional designs of Iran that undoubtedly underpinned these ties even extended, it was alleged, to a secret dialogue between Israel and Saudi Arabia, led by the late Meir Dagan, the former head of Mossad. Cooperation between Israel and Saudi Arabia in thwarting Iran's regional ambitions also casts light on Washington's lack of strategic leadership, which had previously been the totem around which Israel and the Gulf states had based regional security strategies. Jones and Guzansky contend that, at the very least, ties between Israel and many of its Gulf counterparts are now more vibrant than hitherto realised. They constitute a tacit security regime which, while based on hard power interests, does not preclude competition in other areas. Ultimately, these relations are helping shape a new regional order in the Middle East.

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C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd
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