Netanyahu and the Saudis
Netanyahu and the SaudisY. Kirschen

Binyamin Netanyahu’s time for confirmation as Israel’s next Prime Minister runs out on 21 December after six weeks of the tail wagging the dog - parties with few Knesset members using their small but strategic numbers to try to extract rightist concessions from Netanyahu for their support - that Netanyahu has been resisting and, at the same time, accommodating.

Faced with this looming reality – Netanyahu has been forced to move early on his election promise made to Israeli voters on 22 October:

“I think the big prize is peace with Saudi Arabia, which I intend to achieve if I go back into office… The rise of Israeli power facilitated the Abraham Accords, and the continual nurturing of Israeli power will also nurture a broader peace with Saudi Arabia and nearly all of the rest of the Arab world. I intend to bring the Arab-Israeli conflict to a close.”

In an extraordinary 52 minute interview on Saudi Government-controlled Al Arabiya TV on 15 December – Netanyahu pointed out for the benefit of those Israeli political party leaders who are his main stumbling blocks to becoming Prime Minister - the opportunity Israel would miss to end the 100 years-old Arab-Jewish conflict - if Netanyahu is not Israel’s next Prime Minister.

He warned them:

“The other parties are joining me. I’m not joining them”

Netanyahu –repeating his election promise - told Al Arabiya:

“I think the peace with Saudi Arabia will serve two purposes: It will be a quantum leap for an overall peace between Israel and the Arab world, it will change our region in ways that are unimaginable and I think it will facilitate, ultimately, a Palestinian-Israeli peace. I believe in that. I intend to pursue it.”

Netanyahu continued:

“The reason we’ve not had an Israeli-Palestinian peace is because the Palestinian… leadership for the last century has refused to do what is finally happening in the rest of the Arab world -- and that is to recognize that the State of Israel is here to stay.”

A new solution to achieve an Israeli-Palestinian peace authored by Ali Shihabi - a close confidant of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and Prime Minister - Mohammed Bin Salman - was published by Al Arabiya news on 8 June 2022 – but has amazingly received virtually no mention or scrutiny in the international media or at the United Nations in the six months since its release.

The plan recognises:

“Israel is a reality firmly implanted on the ground that has to be accepted ...“

The plan calls for the merger of Jordan, Gaza and part of Judea and Samaria (West Bank) into one territorial entity to be called The Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine with unrestricted citizenship being offered to the Arab populations of Jordan, Gaza, the 'West Bank' and the refugee camps located in Syria and Lebanon.

Netanyahu – significantly –told Al Arabiya viewers:

“I think coming to a solution with the Palestinians will require out of the box thinking, will require new thinking.”

The Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine solution is certainly the most creative plan ever proposed to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – its author declaring:

“The Palestinian problem can only be solved today if it is redefined. The issue in this day and age for people should be not so much the ownership of ancestral land but more the critical need to have a legal identity—a globally respected citizenship that allows a person to operate in the modern world.”

Netanyahu is offering his potential coalition partners a choice: Drop demands Bibi cannot accept and back him in as Prime Minister or miss this best opportunity ever to end the unresolved 100 years-old Jewish-Arab conflict.

21 December is Israel’s Judgement Day.


Please join my Facebook Page: “Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine supporters”

Author’s note: The cartoon — commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators — whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades.