US President Donald Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the White House. (AP/Evan Vucci)
On Monday, The New Yorker published a lengthy feature purportedly presenting the strategy with which “President [Trump], Israel, and the Gulf states plan to fight Iran — and leave the Palestinians and the Obama years behind.”
The piece, titled “Donald Trump’s New World Order,” was researched and written by Adam Entous, a Washington Post correspondent specializing in national security, foreign policy and intelligence. It has already generated considerable attention in Israel based on new facts about the relationship between leaders from the US, Israel, and the Arab world. The piece also offers up a bevy of information about officials in the Obama and Trump eras.
Among the piece’s observations is that, “Trump’s team appears unfazed by the feeling among Palestinians that they are being cast aside.” The piece also appears to confirm deep animosity within the Obama administration toward Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, including the obscene epithets that Obama and his advisers allegedly used to describe the Israeli premier.
According the article, the bad blood in the Obama administration went beyond name-calling, with Israeli officials maintaining that “intelligence reports submitted to Netanyahu showed that Obama and his team were secretly orchestrating UN resolutions—a charge that the Americans later denied.” Eventually, the United Nations Security Council passed an anti-settlements resolution due to an unprecedented, Obama-directed abstention during a UNSC vote.
In addition to chronicling the Obama administration’s antipathy for Netanyahu, the New Yorker piece also addresses the Iranian threat, and the shift in strategy that occurred after Trump took office. Notably, the piece reveals the secret relationship between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which dates back to Bill Clinton’s first term, in addition to the burgeoning alliance between the Jewish state and Saudi Arabia.
“Israeli and Emirati officials didn’t agree on the Palestinian issue, but they shared a perspective on the emerging Iranian threat, which was becoming a bigger priority for leaders in both countries,” explains Entous.
Iran threat overshadows Palestinian situation
The piece goes on to detail the Saudis eventual adoption of a similar position, painting it as part of a larger picture in which Palestinian interests play an increasingly minor role in a geopolitical climate dominated by the threat of a nuclear Iran, whose terror proxies and militia maintain outposts throughout the region, in Lebanon, Israel, Syria and Yemen.
The article also details Saudi Arabia’s willingness to “have a full relationship with Israel,” which has apparently been expressed behind closed doors on multiple occasions. According to the piece, Trump adviser Jared Kushner and Saudi Crown Prince bin Salman “had agreed on the outlines of what they called a Middle East strategic alliance,” with Israel serving as a “silent partner” and the US standing firm against Iran,
The article contains a quote from the Saudi prince, who told the magazine, “I’m going to deliver the Palestinians,” while Trump “is going to deliver the Israelis.”
In addition to revelations about secret alliances in the Middle East, the article also details Trump’s aversion to Mahmoud Abbas’ anti-Semitic rhetoric, in addition to the president’s dismay at the Palestinian Authority’s refusal to stop paying salaries to terrorists and the families of those killed while committing deadly attacks.