For years Ted, Waild, and I have been warning that the House of Saud is similar to the infamous House of Ussher of Poe- that the Saud family is living on borrowed time, they know it, and there is a tremendous amount of fighting in the family as to how to stay alive and prevent themselves from becoming human-popsicle decorations in the front of the, for all practical purposes, royal palace that Erdogan has ready in preparation to crown himself sultan of a new Ottoman Empire. The Saud family owes its existence to the Americans, whose addiction to oil as extracted and imported through the Saudi Arabian-American Oil Company (ARAMOCO) provides military protection from her enemies. If lifted, Saudi Arabia could be overrun by Turkey, with the support of the other Islamic nations, and the family would be annihilated- Turkey would see to that fully.
A curious point that we have noted is that there seems to be a lot of serious fighting that is taking place in the family between the younger and older generations. Mohammed bin Salman, known as MbS, wants to take a more liberal approach to his neighbors and try to “modernize” Saudi Arabia as well as make her more attractive in the eyes of the world so to gain support and discourage Turkish action. However, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, who is older, and his supporters believe that a more aggressive path is necessary, and that MbS doesn’t know what he is doing. This is what I speculated may have happened with the Jamal Khashoggi murder, as it was an attempt to raise his own faction to power, destroy the credibility of MbS, and strike a blow at Turkey in the same move, and it seems to have worked.
However, this does not mean that Abdulaziz can rest safe in his power, for if history is a guide, many things could happen. In what is an interesting event, it has been claimed by the times of Israel that Israeli President Netanyahu’s meeting with Mohammed bin Salman was not known by Abdulaziz.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman was reportedly kept out of the loop about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s secretive trip to the kingdom this week for talks with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
Quoting a Saudi source and a foreign diplomat in Riyadh, Reuters reported Friday that normalization with Israel appeared off the table as long as the Saudi monarch is alive — an analysis also made Thursday by a senior Israeli source cited by Israeli TV.
King Salman, 84, is reported to oppose normalization without the establishment of a Palestinian state, while his son, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, is considered more open to warming ties with Israel.
The diplomat cited by Reuters also suggested that the prospect of normalization was greater under the incoming Biden administration, with the US president-elect having threatened to make Saudi Arabia a “pariah” over its human rights violations.
“Normalization… is a carrot to get [Biden’s] focus away from other issues, especially human rights,” the diplomat said.
The comments by the Saudi source and diplomat echoed a report Thursday on Israeli television. An unnamed senior Israeli source told Channel 12 news that there would be no progress on normalization as long as King Salman is on the throne.
“Israel understands that there will not be a breakthrough with the Saudis in the near future” because King Salman “takes a diametrically opposite stance” on the matter of normalization with Israel to that of his son, the report said.
Despite that, “cooperation against the joint enemy Iran” will increase, as will bilateral trade between the two nations. The source also said Netanyahu and the Saudi crown prince had a “very warm meeting” on Sunday. (source)
The truth is, we do not know what happened outside of the fact that the meeting happened. There are only two possibilities that we can deduce from this:
-MbS met in secret with Netanyahu and Abdulaziz did NOT know
-MbS met Netanyahu and Abdulaziz DID know but is faking ignorance
There is not enough information that has been publicly made available right now to confirm what is happening, and both possibilities are potentially true in so much as one cannot right now be favored over the other. It is absolutely true that MbS wants to take a “friendlier” approach, including building relationships with nations such as Israel, and it is true that Abdulaziz is more hostile. Likewise, it is also true both could be conspiring together as part of a larger plot to present a favorable image of Saudi Arabia before the world at a time of rising Turkish power combined with increasing global instability.
What one can say is that Netanyahu’s visit means something is going on, and it will be important to see what Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the US do, as the trend of change in the nation has been for a while something to watch and this recent event and the many questions that surround it may be a sign of more things to come in the future, for good or for bad.