Shayndi Raice and Aaron Boxerman
WSJ, Mar. 12, 2023
“The less influence the U.S. has in the region, the worse it is for Israel.”
Saudi Arabia’s surprise agreement to renew diplomatic relations with Iran marks a significant blow to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s key foreign-policy goal: creating a regional alliance built around isolating Iran.
Mr. Netanyahu has long led the charge to garner international support for isolating Iran and halting its efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. Israel views Iran as its primary global foe because of its support for proxy militias across the Middle East that Target Israel, such as Lebanon-based Hezbollah and Gaza-based Hamas, both designated as terrorist organizations by the U.S.
Also, as part of the effort to counter Iran, Mr. Netanyahu has made normalizing relations with Saudi Arabia a central goal, with hopes of creating a security-based alliance made up of Sunni Arab countries and Israel. Normalization with Saudi Arabia—home to Islam’s two holiest sites—could also pave the way for more peace deals with other Muslim countries.
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