The Two Colonial Cat’s-Paws Mauling the Middle East

by Dan Sanchez
January 13, 2016

Geopolitics makes strange bedfellows. Take Israel and Saudi Arabia for instance. The two Middle Eastern powers might be expected to have zero common ground. Israel is the arch-colonizer of Arabs and Muslims, while Saudi Arabia governs the motherland of the Arabs and the two capitals of Islam, Mecca and Medina. The two do not even have formal diplomatic relations.

Yet since 2006, and especially since the 2011 Arab Spring, Israel and Saudi Arabia have been close de facto allies in what might be called the Crescent Wars: a sustained assault against the “Shia Crescent” (Iran, Syria, Yemen, Hezbollah, and to some extent Iraq) by a US-led coalition (including both Western and Sunni Muslim forces).

Today’s Israeli-Saudi axis was facilitated by the Iraq War.

Israel has long loathed any Muslim state not in the pay and orbit of its patron the US as a dangerous potential champion of the occupied Palestinians. After the overthrow of Saddam’s Sunni regime in Iraq, the two remaining intransigently independent Muslim states (Iran and Syria) happened to have Shia regimes. The new Iraqi regime is also Shia-dominated. And, in spite of its sponsorship by the US, it is pro-Iran and not pro-Israel.

Read more