How Will the Saudi Arabia and Israel Peace Initiative be achieved?

How Will the Saudi Arabia and Israel Peace Initiative be achieved?

Global Arab Network invited Dr. Raphael Nagel, Chairman of The Abrahamic Business Circle, and Dr. Frank Musmar, Middle East Politics Expert, to highlight and explain the possibility of achieving the Saudi Arabia and Israel Peace Initiative.

The American and European media are illustrating that Saudis Agree with the US on the Path to Normalizing the Kingdom’s Ties with Israel, and officials of the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia are negotiating the details of the agreement.

The general principles of the primary memorandum are that Saudi Arabia will recognise the state of Israel, and in return, Israel’s right-wing government will make concessions to the Palestinians. Also, according to the same agreement, the United States would provide Saudi Arabia with security guarantees and share technical knowledge about nuclear energy.

Diplomats say Saudi Arabia is seeking concessions from the United States, including security guarantees, support for a civilian nuclear program, and access to weapons, in return for normalising relations with Israel. Saudi officials said the Kingdom would also need a significant positive step from Israel toward the Palestinians. Saudi demands of Israel could include a halt to settlement expansion and a pledge not to annex the West Bank, which the Palestinians want as the heart of a future state.

How the mechanism of peace works:

In General, for any peace initiative to succeed, it should consider the Geopolitics of the area of interest, Political Communications and Media coverage, International Law guidelines, Economics, Business, Science, Technology, Arts, and Culture dimensions. Accordingly, the mechanism of application will be as follows:

1- Raising awareness and advocating for issues relating to peace.

2- Produce training materials considering the regional area’s culture and languages. This is a critical point to consider. For Example, The region was abuzz with slogans for the new deal (Peace for Prosperity), but nothing captured what was happening and ‘the deal of the century,’ a phrase coined by Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and extensively adopted by Arab media destroyed the Peace plan.

3- Support peace initiatives and integrate them into the regional cultures.

4- Creating culturally and geographically specific research on issues related to peacebuilding and allowing for essential follow-up and long-term support.

5- Supporting the social role in peacebuilding and supporting NGOs.

Accordingly, the Saudi approach is based on most of the points mentioned above and illustrated as follows:

1- Request from the United States to settle the arms deals that the Biden administration suspended and conduct a defense alliance, including establishing an entire nuclear program.

2- The Palestinian cause. Riyadh called Israel to start a peace process based on the two-state solution principle. Despite the clear cozying up, the Saudis still say the Israelis will have to offer the Palestinians a deal, or a variation of that, something the Saudis can build upon. The starting position should be Israeli acceptance of the Arab Peace Initiative, promoted by the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in 2002. The plan calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state on the borders of 1967.

3- Limiting threats: Saudi Arabia has made the shift to limit the threats it faces to no more than two enemies: Iran and Sunni Islamist political opposition. These happen to be seen as the two threats facing Israel as well, which brought both countries to an unlikely alliance. Iran and Saudi Arabia are already engaged in a cold war across the Middle East. Israel is rattled at the prospect of a nuclear Iran. Saudi Arabia sees combating organized Islamist opposition as a priority, especially after their Arab Spring successes. Israel shares the same concerns as the country fears a repeat of the Arab Spring could lead to Islamist governments taking over from current unpopular regimes and later gaining control of vast military resources.

4- Internal Challenges: Warming relations with Israel have also been a recognized approach for Arab regimes whenever they face internal challenges, to drum up American and Western support against local opposition by appearing ‘moderate,’ ‘open,’ and ‘tolerant’ – three words now highly valued by Arab regimes facing survival issues.

5- The Game changer: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is the biggest game changer. He is keen to make a foreign policy mark to eclipse local and international doubts about his youth, governing ability, and statesmanship. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is surrounded by advisors known for sympathetic positions towards Israel and hostility to Islamist groups such as Hamas.

6- Economic opportunities: To ease the deal’s wheels, the Saudis tout economic opportunities with the wealthy, oil-rich countries of the Gulf. Perks will include direct telecommunication, Israeli airlines flying over the airspace of the Gulf States, and no trade restrictions with Israeli companies. Israeli officials themselves estimate immediate benefits upwards of $45bn.


– Why do you think that peace must start from the economic and social dimension?

Often, social and economic stability are foundations for peace. In nations where peace is precarious, the absence of even two meals might tilt the scales towards violence. Consider Saudi Arabia and Israel, two prosperous countries that require shared interests to establish enduring bonds. Economic diplomacy becomes essential; in order for bridges to form, each side must provide something of value. When Saudi Arabia’s potential as a scaling hub is combined with Israel’s innovation, both parties stand to gain, encouraging collaboration and international success. In the end, maintaining people’s pleasure and common interests locally is crucial to long-term peace.

In practical terms, how can the economy be used to achieve the first step to peace between Arabs and Israel?

Economic cooperation and partnership can be the first step towards achieving peace between the Arabs and Israel. This entails advocating for mutually beneficial trade agreements, joint partnerships, and investment projects. Shared prosperity can be attained through promoting economic linkages, which paves the way for better relationships and initiatives to establish trust. Initiatives like people-to-people contacts and cultural exchanges can also help to close the gap and develop mutual understanding between the two parties. All things considered, using the economic aspect as a peace-promoting catalyst can open the door to more extensive diplomatic initiatives and long-lasting peacemaking.

– How will you deal with the dilemma that public opinion in Arab society has been hostile to peace with Israel for decades? What is the solution? Especially some communities may even boycott business people who have ties with Israel.

Arab society’s long-standing opposition against peace with Israel must be addressed in a variety of ways. First and first, it is essential to promote discussion and education in order to increase awareness of the advantages of peace and economic cooperation. Over time, opinions can be shifted by emphasising the concrete advantages of collaboration, such as job possibilities and economic progress. Furthermore, promoting peace and tolerance through interactions with community elders, religious leaders, and powerful personalities can aid in altering public perceptions.

Furthermore, resolving worries about boycotts and societal backlash necessitates fostering confidence and highlighting the advantages of cooperation with Israel. Reducing anxieties and promoting involvement can be accomplished by highlighting the possibility of mutual gain and promoting responsibility and openness in business dealings. Creating forums for communication and dispute resolution inside communities can also provide voice to complaints and issues. The key to the answer is to gradually normalise the situation while also taking proactive measures to resolve underlying problems and foster mutual trust among all parties involved. It’s a slow process that calls for endurance, patience, and a dedication to advancing wealth and peace for all parties.

– The Arab-Israeli peace protocols remain ink on paper. What are the chances of your initiative to avoid the same end?

The likelihood that the current Arab-Israeli peace agreement will not suffer the same fate as earlier ones depends on a number of variables, including the dedication of all sides, the degree of confidence that has been developed over time, and the efficiency of the procedures for implementation. More chances of long-lasting change arise when concrete economic cooperation and mutual benefit are prioritised over merely political agreements. Furthermore, it is imperative to have continuous communication, openness, and inclusivity in order to sustain the momentum and tackle any obstacles that may emerge. Sustained peace and cooperation are more likely when a comprehensive strategy that takes into account both the social and economic aspects is used, however success is not assured.

– The economy and mega investments in the Arab world are linked to political decisions. Do you think there is a green light to activate the economic cooperation between Arab businessmen and Israel?

The possibility of Arab businessmen and Israel engaging in commercial collaboration is contingent upon political decisions and the current geopolitical environment. Even though there have been some encouraging recent developments, such as agreements to normalise relations between Israel and some Arab nations, the degree of economic cooperation is still dependent on regional stability and continuing diplomatic relations. Political obstacles may eventually fall down, opening the door for more economic involvement motivated by shared interests and cooperative potential. But it’s crucial to carefully manage sensitivities and obstacles to make sure that economic cooperation supports more extensive diplomatic efforts to bring about peace and stability in the region.

Dr. Raphael Nagel

Dr. Raphael Nagel

Chairman at Tactical Management, focusing on carve-outs and companies in special situations. M&A and Corporate Law Consultant at Nagel & Partners. Chairman at The Abrahamic Business Circle.

Dr. Frank Musmr
Dr. Frank Musmar

Faculty| Academic Researcher | Middle East Politics Expert | Best Selling Writer | Advisory Board President | Journalist ( Member of the International Federation of Journalists)