Survey: “Israelis” Favor Normalization with Saudi Arabia Next
By Staff, Agencies
A survey published Wednesday by the “Israeli” Institute for Regional Foreign Policies found that “Israelis” want Tel Aviv to pursue rapprochement with Riyadh more than with any other country in the region.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday urged Saudi Arabia to consider normalizing relations with the “Israeli” entity as he met with the Gulf country's foreign minister.
Pompeo said he raised the Abraham Accords, a US-brokered agreement to normalize diplomatic ties with the entity, with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud at a meeting at the US State Department.
"We hope Saudi Arabia will consider normalizing its relationships as well, and we want to thank them for the assistance they've had in the success of the Abraham Accords so far," Pompeo said, adding that he hopes the nation will encourage Palestinian leaders or the Palestinian Authority to return to negotiations with the “Israeli” entity.
"They reflect a changing dynamic in the region, in which countries rightly recognize the need for regional cooperation to counter Iranian influence and generate prosperity," Pompeo said.
Riyadh has quietly acquiesced to the UAE and Bahrain deals – though it has stopped short of endorsing them – and has signaled it is not ready to take action itself.
The survey by the “Israeli” Institute for Regional Foreign Policies found that 67% of “Israelis” believe that the entity must capitalize on the momentum created by the Abraham Accords and reach similar agreements with other Arab countries, while 24% said it is to try to resolve the conflict with the Palestinians.
Among Arabs, 29% said the “Israeli” entity should pursue normalization deals with other Arab states, while 48% preferred the Palestinians.
Some 40% said they believed the treaty with the UAE did not impact the prospects of striking peace with the Palestinians peace; 34% said it increased chances for a deal with the PA and 12% said it decreased them.
About 24% of respondents said pursuing ties with Saudi Arabia was "most important" for the “Israeli” entity. Another 12% said the entity should focus on developing its ties with Egypt, followed by the United Arab Emirates [11%] and Jordan [4%].
Still, 28% of respondents said the entity should not pursue normalization with any Arab country.
Other findings show that the UAE is the country the most “Israelis” would like to visit [23%], followed by Lebanon [7%]. Here, too, most “Israelis” – 42% – said "no Arab country". Some 44% said that economic, tourism, and trade ties should be a priority when pursuing ties with the UAE, followed by security [24%], diplomacy [16%] and civil-cultural ties, at 5%.