Today, for the first time ever, two former Saudi and Israeli intelligence chiefs appeared together at a public meeting in Brussels.
The former Israeli Military Intelligence (MI) chief was Amos Yadlin. The former Saudi intelligence chief was Prince Turki al-Faisal, who headed Saudi Arabia’s General Intelligence Directorate for 24 years
They took part in a panel, mediated by Washington Post columnist David Ignatius.
This is a historic event.
My two cents:
Short term implications
In the immediate future, Israelis (especially) owe a big thank you to Iran for putting the Saudis on the same side as Israel.
I mean when a former
Saudi intelligence chief agrees to meet with a former Israeli military intelligence chief overtly, can you imagine how many times they must have met covertly?
I think what we saw today is a possible indication of the extensive contacts between the two sides, and how these days they (the Saudis) feel so comfortable that they are now willing to go public.
This could have only happened because of the Iranian regime’s behaviour towards both countries. This is a tremendous achievement for Israel.
Long term implications
We in Israel will be fooling ourselves if we think no one cares about the Palestinian issue. No, solving it will not solve every problem in this region but as long as we are the ones being perceived as rejecting peace (and currently we are), we will continue to pay a heavy price for our policies of occupation.
An occupation which is more related to religious zeal and political bullying of a weaker people (the Palestinians) than anything security related.
I am still waiting to hear a valid security argument for building Israeli homes full of civilians in middle of occupied Palestine territory. Unless you believe in creating and using human shields, it makes no security sense.
Here is a video of the two former intelligence chiefs, talking and at one funny moment, sharing a glass of water.