Israeli media: Saudi Arabia greatest winner from Biden's trip
Israeli media discusses how the Israeli government exaggerated the US President's trip to West Asia when the real winner was Saudi Arabia.
A day prior to the arrival of US President Joe Biden to Ben Gurion, an Israeli official told reporters, on Tuesday, that Biden’s trip to the region is an “unprecedented opportunity to change dynamics in the Middle East.”
However, a senior research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies in "Tel Aviv," Yoel Guzansky, said otherwise by stating that “The bigger the expectations, the bigger the disappointment.”
The announcement that "Israel" had been waiting for, which eventually surfaced hours before Biden took off for Jeddah, on Friday, is that the Civil Aviation Authority of Saudi Arabia stated that all commercial aviation carriers could now fly across the nation. Israeli Prime Minister, Yair Lapid, referred to the Saudi statement as "the first official step in normalization with Saudi Arabia" despite the fact that it made no mention of "Israel."
Biden called the step from SA “a big deal… the first tangible step on the path of what I hope will eventually be a broader normalization of relations.”
The Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, on the other hand, immediately cast doubt on such assumptions stating “This has nothing to do with diplomatic ties with Israel.”
Despite the exaggerated messages emanating from official Israeli sources, it ought to have been obvious to everyone that Biden's visit wasn't really about us.
Israeli authorities nonetheless made every effort to exaggerate the significance of the visit to "Israel" despite this. The "Jerusalem Declaration", which Lapid and Biden signed while in "Israel," was described to journalists by a senior Israeli official as "a historic statement... that shows the unique nature of what we have between our countries."
Furthermore, according to the Times of Israel, Lapid had the document framed and hung it himself in the cabinet meeting room on Sunday. That is despite the fact that the document did not offer any new initiatives whatsoever.
Guzansky said that the exaggerated hype by Israeli government officials over the little steps in the Israeli-Saudi relations could have caused “Israel” more harm than good.
“I think Israel caused damage here,” Guzansky said. He even argued that the Israeli government “inflated the Saudi issue with all sorts of leaks and briefings. It wasn’t historic, not in Israel and not in the Saudi aspect,” adding that “I think it reflects a lack of understanding in Israel about where the Saudis stand, what their sensitivities are, what their interests are."
In agreement with Guzansky, Moran Zaga, an expert on the Gulf region at the Mitvim Institute, said that Riyadh has no justification at the moment to provide "Israel" or the US for that matter, any concessions. Any overtures that were made came as a condition of striking a tough deal with the US. Following the conflict in Yemen and the consequences of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, Saudi Arabia tried to reclaim its position as the Arab world's leader and was able to do so during Biden's visit making it the greatest winner of the trip.
Based on what was written in the Times of Israel, the present relationship between “Israel” and Saudi Arabia is not comparable to that of "Israel's" relations with the Emirati prior to the so-called "Abraham Accords," despite intelligence collaboration and shared goals. Israelis were present in multilateral conferences and international contests as the UAE positioned itself as a premier international hub of culture and trade.