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The Saudi Question

Reader comment on item: Morocco and Israel

Submitted by Nicholas (United Kingdom), Feb 15, 2022 at 23:53

Dear Dr Pipes,

I hope you are doing well.

Israeli PM's recent visits to UAE (Herzog went there too) and to Bahrain (the PM even had a meeting with the small Jewish community there) have, I feel, been contributing to a very positive landscape change and have given me much excitement.

My focus is on Saudi Arabia at the moment. You've spoken reasonably favorably of MBS, I believe you have more faith in him however than I do as I remain deeply sceptical of his ability to defeat Wahhabism. You may have read Dore Gold's book many years back re: Saudi Arabia which I still pretty much agree with.

On the Saudi note, could you please check out the article below - do you agree with everything in the article and if not may I ask for your input on the Saudi/Israeli prospects and the more general points brought up in it?

https://www.jns.org/saudi-professor-to-jns-israel-saudi-peace-could-be-bridge-to-entire-muslim-world/

Thank you as always for your incredible insights, your expert knowledge is second to none.

Best Regards,

Nicholas

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

Thank you for the compliment. I have met Dr. Najat AlSaied, she has spoken for the Middle East Forum, I admire her courage and her judgment; best of all, I agree with her analysis.

Feb. 19, 2022 update: Dr. AlSaied has responded to the above comment:

The reader is still clinging to the ideas in Dore Gold's book written after 9/11. Things are changed now. I think if Gold wrote a book now about Saudi Arabia it would be totally different. The main difference between Saudi Arabia and UAE is that UAE was consistent in its development and modernity path, while Saudi Arabia's development especially socially was impeded by the "Sahwa" Islamic movement, which distorted its global image. Now it needs to work so hard to build a new state branding identity and market that globally. MBS is trying his best to move beyond this period that lasted for more than four decades, but its impact on outsiders will not be easy to change. That's another reason why normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia will take more time.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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