By Gary Grappo for Gulf State Analytics
The Arab Peace Initiative, presented in 2002 by then-Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, promised Arab recognition of and normalization of relations with Israel once the Jewish state accepted a just and comprehensive solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including recognition of the 1967 borders for an independent and sovereign Palestinian state.
With prospects for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the traditional way (i.e., direct talks between the two sides) currently negligible, a new approach toward fulfilling King Abdullah’s ambitious initiative is necessary. The Arab states, most especially Saudi Arabia, can jump start the normalization process by taking one enormously significant step – security cooperation with Israel. Such cooperation would not only address the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Israel’s shared security concerns in the increasingly unstable Middle East, but also begin creating a climate of mutual trust necessary for an eventual resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Since the creation of Israel in 1948, there has been no more opportune time for Arab-Israeli security cooperation. Across the region, Israel and so-called “moderate” Arab states – the GCC, Egypt, Morocco, and Jordan – face the same multiple threats. All cry out for a collective approach.
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