A look at Saudi Arabia's news media shows that the Persian Gulf monarchy stands squarely behind Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's efforts Tuesday in Congress.
In an article in Monday's edition of the Saudi daily Al-Jazirah (no relation to the Qatar-based television network), columnist Dr. Ahmad Al-Faraj comes out strongly against U.S. President Barack Obama. "I believe that Netanyahu's conduct will serve our interests, the people of the Gulf," he writes, "much more than the foolish behavior of one of the worst American presidents."
The article was translated and disseminated to Western media by MEMRI, the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute.
Al-Faraj writes that Obama is working to sign a deal with Iran at the expense of America's longtime allies in the Gulf, and that Netanyahu's campaign against the deal is therefore justified and serves the interests of the Gulf states.
The article provides background regarding the speech and the tensions surrounding it. It states that Netanyahu "will devote his speech to expressing his firm objection to the signing of an agreement between the Obama administration and Iran on the nuclear issue. He hopes to convince the Congress members that he is right, which could delay the agreement."
It further mocks Obama for his behavior, saying he is "clearly furious – not because Netanyahu is intervening in an important matter that Obama hopes will bring him personal glory, but because House Speaker [John Boehner] did not consult with Obama before inviting Netanyahu, and Obama considers this a breach of established protocol…"
The Saudi columnist's main conclusion minces no words: "Since Obama is the godfather of the prefabricated revolutions in the Arab world, and since he is the ally of political Islam, [which is] the caring mother of [all] the terrorist organizations, and since he is working to sign an agreement with Iran that will come at the expense of the U.S.'s longtime allies in the Gulf, I am very glad of Netanyahu's firm stance and [his decision] to speak against the nuclear agreement at the American Congress despite the Obama administration's anger and fury. I believe that Netanyahu's conduct will serve our interests, the people of the Gulf, much more than the foolish behavior of one of the worst American presidents. Do you agree with me?"
The pressure-cooker of tensions between Saudi Arabia and the Obama Administration has been simmering for a while. A New York Times article of a year ago states that Saudi leaders were vexed already then at Obama "for failing to throw America’s military might behind their proxy war with Tehran in Syria… And the Saudis were flabbergasted last year when Mr. Obama reversed course at the last minute, calling off missile strikes against the Assad government for its use of chemical weapons."
The paper quoted a commentator for the Saudi-owned news network Al Arabiya as having written that Obama “has got it all wrong when it comes to Iran.” He accused the president of having a “new fondness” for the Iranians, calling this “the heart of the problem” in his relations with the Saudis.