It is an undeniable truth that the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi at the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Turkey’s Istanbul overshadowed U.S.-Saudi relations. As a result of the “Khashoggi Murder” there were suggestions made in U.S. Congress to impose sanctions on Saudi Arabia and to halt the logistic support Washington had been providing in Yemen. However, the Trump administration declared that they may impose sanctions to the extent that did not damage their strategic alliance with Riyadh. Hence, Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced that the U.S. will stop airborne refueling support to Saudi Arabia for its war in Yemen. In this statement, Mattis declared that the coalition powers, led by Saudi Arabia, now have the ability to conduct the procedure on their own, and this was striking.
The keystone of the U.S.’s strategic alliance with Riyadh is the interests of Israel. The other members of this alliance are the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt. These three actors are supposedly the key elements of Trump’s so-called “Middle East Peace Plan.” Trump’s support of the Netanyahu government encouraged the increase of illegal settlements in Israel, which approved approximately 800 new housing units in the illegal settlements in East Jerusalem. This initiative, which completely disregards international law, went unpunished once again. The fact that their unlawful acts go unpunished every single time is the sole reason why Israel has become a significant problem in the Middle East.
Netanyahu’s government tops the list of those who expect favors from the “U.S.-Saudi alliance.” “Evangelical Christian-Zionists” are also taking steps to sustain the alliance. At the end of October, an American Christian Evangelical delegation including Trump’s religious advisors Jerry Evans and former Congress member Michele Bachmann visited Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed and Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman. It was obvious that this visit, which was organized by well-known American Evangelical activist and author Joel Rosenberg, who currently lives in Israel, was to give morale to the Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman. According to Rosenberg, who is the head of “The Joshua Fund” which arranged the American Christian-Zionists visit to Israel, the delegation was invited by the two princes. The members of the delegation said that they discussed with the White House whether to cancel the visit, which they claim was planned before the “Khashoggi Murder.”
The Christian-Zionist Evangelicals believe that the territories of Palestine, which are under Israeli occupation, are promised to the Jews by God. The Evangelicals will never accept a two-state solution. That is why for Israel, the support of the Evangelicals, who have a major influence over U.S. politics, is a great blessing. The American Evangelicals, on the other hand, reached the peak of influence with the Trump administration.
What was discussed between the Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman and the Evangelical delegation, however, was not clearly shared with the public. In the statement they delivered, they defended that Salman has no connection to the “Khashoggi Murder.” During the meeting, in addition to “Iran” and the “Muslim Brotherhood,” regional actors like “Turkey” and “Russia” were also discussed. Joel Rosenberg said they also talked about the Israel-Palestine conflict and the rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Israel. Interestingly enough, Salman did not want the part about the Israel-Palestine conflict to be made public. Commentaries claim that the Christian-Zionists’ visit was planned to give a message to the Senate, which placed pressure on the White House to impose sanctions on Saudi Arabia.
Details of the U.S.’s “deal of the century” would be revealed soon, Trump’s Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt told an assembly of the London branch of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces. Trump, on the other hand, told Israeli President Netanyahu during a meeting in New York on Oct. 26 told that the plan would be made public within two to four months. Once the so-called Peace Plan is unveiled, the roles of Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed, Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman and Egypt’s dictator General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will become clearer.