Executive Intelligence Review
This article appears in the November 1, 2013 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
AN OPEN SECRET:

The Saudi-Israel Pact vs.
the Palestinians and Iran

by Ramtanu Maitra

[PDF version of this article]

What we want is not a united Arabia but a disunited Arabia split into principalities under our suzerainty.

      —1st Earl of Crewe, Britain's Secretary of State for
           the Colonies (1914)

His Majesty's Government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

      —Arthur James Balfour, British Foreign Secretary, in
         his   letter to Lord Rothschild (1917)

Imperialist Britain called for forming a higher committee of seven European countries. The report submitted in 1907 to British Prime Minister Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman emphasized that the Arab countries and the Muslim-Arab people living in the Ottoman Empire presented a very real threat to European countries, and it recommended the following actions:

  1. To promote disintegration, division, and separation in the region.

  2. To establish artificial political entities that would be under the authority of the imperialist countries.

  3. To fight any kind of unity—whether intellectual, religious or historical—and take practical measures to divide the region's inhabitants.

  4. To achieve this, it was proposed that a "buffer state" be established in Palestine, populated by a strong, foreign presence that would be hostile to its neighbors and friendly to European countries and their interests.

               —From the Report to Campbell-Bannerman
                   (1907)

Oct 25—The recent round of talks between Iran and the P5+1 nations—Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States, plus Germany—has raised hopes in some quarters that after decades of isolation, Iran, a nation with a long history and a vital link between Central Asia and the Middle East, will be able to play a significant role at a time when the entire Arab world is mired with hostilities and bloodshed. Although such expectation is decidedly premature considering the financial and military strength of the anti-Iran lobby, what is nonetheless a certainty is that any further efforts to develop a rapprochement between Iran and the aforesaid six nations will be fought tooth-and-nail by the West's two close allies, Saudi Arabia and Israel, both created by the colonial powers in the 20th Century. Both these countries claim that the price for accommodation will be paid in the currency of their core interests.

Saudis Sulk...

The P5+1's recent talks took place at a time when Saudi Arabia, a vassal state of Britain that wields a lot of clout in London, Paris, and Washington because of its oil reserves and money power to bribe and buy, was smarting from the West's unwillingness to invade Syria to take down the al-Assad regime. The House of Saud, along with the House of al-Thani of Qatar and the House of al-Saba of Kuwait, have invested a great deal over the last two years in arming and funding the Wahhabi-Salafi jihadis, and have pushed them into Syria, with the help of the subservient Jordan and Turkey, who dream of re-establishing the Ottoman Empire. Its plan had almost succeeded, but due to effective opposition from the saner forces within the United States and Britain, and a timely intervention by Russia, Riyadh's efforts to further undermine Syria, and to give Iran a black eye, have been stalled.

Facing this adversity, Riyadh has resorted to throwing tantrums. First, on Oct. 1, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal cancelled his scheduled address to the UN General Assembly. Although Riyadh has not made known its reason for the snub, some observers claim that it reflects the kingdom's dissatisfaction with the position of the UN on the Syrian crisis.

The House of Saud is actively subverting rapprochement with Iran by bringing together Wahhabi and Salafi killers to wage proxy wars, particularly in Syria. "Saudi Arabia would be using 'unlimited resources' to win the battle," Marc Lynch argues in Foreign Policy Oct. 15. "The Saudis are always willing to fight Iran to the last dead American (or Syrian).' "

A second exhibition of Riyadh's discontent was dished out on Oct. 17 when Saudi Arabia, after having lobbied to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the first time, did a stunning about-face, and rejected the seat, denouncing the world body for failing to resolve global conflicts such as the Syrian civil war. Subsequently, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Saudi intelligence director Prince Bandar bin Sultan criticized American policy while hosting a group of European diplomats. Bandar railed against Washington's decision not to bomb Syria last month and its wavering support for Sunni insurgents against President Bashar al-Assad; he also groused about the thawing of relations with the Saudis' old foe Iran.

Yet, it is unlikely that the Saudis can do much more than complain. There is no question that the Kingdom would pursue its "Islamic" mission, i.e., to convert all Sunni Muslims to Wahhabism and eliminate the "apostates" such as the Shi'as, Ahmediyyas, and other non-Sunni Muslims. Nonetheless, the Saudi royals and other ruling families in the Gulf region will have to remain latched onto the Western powers who brought them into existence and have protected them over the decades.

Saudi discontent over Washington's policy is nothing new. When Reza Shah Pahlavi was on the Iranian throne (1941-79), backed by the United States to stop the "Red tide" flowing into Arabia from the Soviet Union, the Saudis could do little. F. Gregory Gause III, a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Doha Center, pointed out in a recent article that the episodic crises, both real and imagined, between Riyadh and Washington are, in fact, baked in the cake. "They are the result of two enduring elements of the relationship: 1) the structural fact that the Saudis are the much weaker party in the partnership, and 2) the mistaken belief of many, more in the U.S. than in Saudi Arabia, that the de facto alliance is built on a complete complementarity of interests," Gause wrote. In fact, the more it seems that Washington is reconciling with Iran, the more important maintaining the American security tie will be to the Saudis.

...While Netanyahu Fumes

While the Saudis are funding and arming Wahhabi-Salafi terrorists to pull down those regimes that associate with Iran and that remain unwilling to usher in a sectarian bloodbath in these Muslim-majority Arab countries, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is clinging to the British Secretary of State for Colonies, First Earl of Crewe's "good" words. Netanyahu recognizes the Iranian influence in many Arab countries, including Iraq and Syria. As a result, he is bent upon isolating Iran and, in the process, is willing to join Saudi Arabia in this murderous colonial venture.

Addressing the UN General Assembly on Oct. 1, Netanyahu said:

"[former Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad was a wolf in wolf's clothing, [Iran's new President Hassan] Rouhani is a wolf in sheep's clothing. A wolf who thinks he can pull the wool over the eyes of the international community. But like everyone else, I wish we could believe Rouhani's words, but we must focus on Iran's actions."

Armed with Israel's undeclared and hidden nuclear arsenal, Netanyahu told the UN General Assembly that the threat of a nuclear Iran posed a risk to the State of Israel:

"We are an ancient people; we date back nearly 4,000 years. We've overcome adversity, and established a state in our ancestral homeland. Today our hope for a future is challenged by a nuclear Iran."

Netanyahu's latest outbursts are directly related to two major factors, and these are the same ones that led the Saudis to throw their recent temper tantrums. To begin with, Netanyahu, but not Israel as a whole, wanted the United States and the West to launch an attack on the Iran-influenced Syria. When that project stalled, and the P5+1 talks were revived to allow Iran to present its case on its nuclear-power development, Netanyahu, like his Saudi collaborator, Prince Bandar, went ballistic, hoping to generate support among the American and colonial neo-cons who still follow the doctrines laid down by the First Earl of Crewe, Arthur Balfour, and Henry Campbell-Bannerman.

A Joint Venture?

The core interests of Wahhabi Saudis and Israeli Zionists coincide, in keeping Iran isolated, if not dismantled. These interests, however, converge from two different directions. In the case of Saudi Arabia, the only nation in the world named after the family that runs it, the Iranians, in particular, pose a challenge to its "supremacy" in the Islamic world. With the help of the colonial British, the al-Sauds, belonging to one of the nomadic Bedouin tribes in the arid wasteland of Arabia, drove out the Hashemites, who trace their ancestry from Hashim ibn 'Abd Manaf (died c. 510 AD), the great-grandfather of the Prophet Muhammad, and embraced the killing doctrines of Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Wahhab to become the "Keeper of the Two Holy Mosques" of Mecca and Medina.

In order to establish this supremacy, the House of al-Saud promoted Wahhabism, which calls for elimination of all Shi'as, and labels the ancient nation of Iran, which is overwhelmingly majority Shi'a, a nation of apostates. In order to remain the primus inter pares among the Islamic nations, the House of Saud unabashedly joined hands with the colonials and their creation—Israel.

The Zionists of Israel may not like the Wahhabis, but they also hate Iran as intensely as the Saudis do. Having acquired possession of the Promised Land, the Zionists' objective was to grind the Palestinians into the dust. While the Saudis, and their fellow Sunni Salafis whimpered protests from time to time, it was Iran that began organizing against the Zionist policy on behalf of the Palestinians.

Even today, the House of Saud's allegiance to the Zionists remains intact. That is why the House of Saud deploys its Wahhabi-indoctrinated terrorists against the Shi'a Muslims as their prime target. While it is true that the orthodox Sunnis of the extreme variety do not accept the Shi'as as genuine Muslims (and hence, they ostensibly do not violate the Prophet Mohammad's prohibition against the killing of Muslims), there may be another reason why the Shi'as are targeted: Their British patrons have had their own problems with Iran, a civilization that would not kowtow to the British Empire the way the Bedouins did. Secondly, after Iraq was virtually decimated by the Bush-Cheney-Obama crowd following 9/11, Iran has remained the only active backer of the Palestinians.

Israeli Zionists, with whom Netanyahu has made his bed, became particularly incensed when the Iran-backed and -funded Hezbollah Shi'as of Lebanon gave the much-vaunted Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) a bloody nose in 2006, during a 34-day military conflict in Lebanon, northern Israel, and the Golan Heights. Netanyahu and his fellow Zionists realize that their objective of grinding the Palestinians to dust could be attained only if Iran were weakened severely and kept isolated from the rest of the Islamic world. In this mission, the modern-day Zionists found an ally—Saudi Arabia, or rather the House of Saud—the progeny of nomadic Bedouins.

The collaboration between the two Iran-haters is no secret. In fact, an associate of Netanyahu leaked to the press that Israel is coordinating policies with Saudi and Gulf representatives to prevent the U.S. from easing-up on Iran's nuclear program. ("Israel and Saudi Arabia: Best frenemies forever?" Russia Today, Oct. 10).

It is likely that Netanyahu is aware, but as a student of the geopolitical exigencies that bind the British and French colonials to the Wahhabis, does not acknowledge that the actual seeds of Wahhabism came from a 13th-Century sheikh, Ibn Taymiyya. He was the first holy leader who interpreted jihad as a "holy war." According to Ibn Tamiyya, and the Wahhabis like the Saudis, there were four enemies of Islam. The first were the infidels (which included, presumably Christians, Jews and pagans). The other three were: Muslims who had "fallen away" and must be fought and killed if they did not return to the true path (these are Shi'as and other members of various Islamic sects); Muslims who said they were practicing the faith, but practiced Islam improperly were to be killed without mercy; and those people who had left Islam, but who still called themselves Muslim. Ibn Taymiyya said that all these people should be given no quarter.

A British Spy Sanctifies the Union

Following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the British were looking to increase their sphere of influence in Arabia, and saw in Ibn Saud the savage warrior they were looking for to control Arabia for them, and financed and protected him. By ousting the Hashemites and crowning a Bedouin as the "Keeper of the Two Holy Mosques," Britain bought itself a horde of serfs. And Ibn Saud delivered quickly, by welcoming the Zionists to the Arab world!

The groundwork for determining the destiny of Ibn Saud, and of the House—or rather the Tent—of Saud, was prepared by the intrepid British intelligence officer Gertrude Bell. In 1919, at the Paris Conference ending World War I, Bell argued for the establishment of independent Arab emirates for the area previously covered by the Ottoman Empire. The Arab delegation, which was actually under Bell's control, was led by Faisal Saeed al-Ismaily, a Bedouin Sunni steeped in the orthodox version of the religion, born in Taif (now, Saudi Arabia), the third son of the Grand Sharif of Mecca.

On Jan. 3, 1919, Faisal and Chaim Weizmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, signed the Faisal-Weizmann Agreement for Arab-Jewish cooperation, in which Faisal conditionally accepted the Balfour Declaration, based on the fulfillment of British wartime promises of development of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, on which subject he made the following statement:

"We Arabs ... look with the deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement. Our deputation here in Paris is fully acquainted with the proposals submitted yesterday by the Zionist Organization to the Peace Conference, and we regard them as moderate and proper. We will do our best, in so far as we are concerned, to help them through; we will wish the Jews a most hearty welcome home.... I look forward, and my people with me look forward, to a future in which we will help you and you will help us, so that the countries in which we are mutually interested may once again take their places in the community of the civilized people of the world."[1]

Since Gertrude Bell brought about this unholy union, the House of Saud has remained steadfast in its service to the Zionists. "The potential impact of such an unlikely union can't be overestimated," RT's Paula Slier reported from East Jerusalem Oct. 10, referring to the current developments. "Israel brings to the party excellent propaganda skills; Saudi Arabia—on the other hand—is able to tap into vast reservoirs of petrol dollars."

Thanks to the colonial powers and the Americans, who have, at their own peril, embraced as their allies Israel and Saudi Arabia, the goings-on between the State of Israel and the Saudi royal family have remained clandestine and known only to the most conservative of all Arab monarchs.

The Bond Strengthened

Since 1948, Saudi efforts to undermine the Palestinian cause have continued through secret meetings and communications between Saudi government officials and princes, and the Israelis. According to senior military officers, and former intelligence officers, the former Saudi ambassador to the United States and the present Saudi Intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, has maintained regular contact with Israel since at least 1990. Moreover, evidence indicates that such contacts occurred much earlier; for example, in 1976, the Saudi government secretly sent a letter to Israel, via Tunisian Foreign Minister Mohammed Masmoudi, offering a large sum of money in return for withdrawing from the occupied territories (C. Schwartz, "Saudi-Israeli alliance not new," Jan. 15, 2008, Transatlantic Institute, Brussels).

Saudi efforts to destroy the Palestinian cause even entailed military plans. Accordingly, in 2009, when the Israeli attack on Gaza occurred, Saudi Arabia was in support of Israel, and repeatedly met the chief of the Israeli intelligence to plan an attack on Iran, the main supporter of Hamas, the most influential anti-Israeli movement in the Occupied Territory. During the conflict along the Israel-Lebanon border in 2006, the Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot reported that contacts had begun during the 34-day war in Lebanon between Israel and the Shi'ite militant group Hezbollah. Asked whether there were secret talks going on with Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was quoted as saying: "I don't have to answer every question." "I am very impressed with King Abdullah's insight and sense of responsibility," he added, when asked about whether he regarded a Saudi peace initiative favorably ("Secret contacts between Israel, Saudi Arabia," pakistanidefence.com, Sept. 22, 2006).

It appears, then, that while Hezbollah was fighting for the interests of both Lebanon and Palestine—and for all Arab countries—the Saudis were conspiring against it by collaborating with Israel. (Haytham A.K. Radwan, "Saudi Arabia, Zionism, Peace and the Palestinian Cause," intifada-palestine.com, July 12, 2011)

In July 2010, WorldNetDaily reported that Mossad chief Meir Dagan visited Saudi Arabia sometime in July, where he discussed Iran and its nuclear program. The account on WorldNetDaily follows a number of reports on increasing secret cooperation between Israel and the Saudis, including defense coordination on matters related to possible military action. Arab and Iranian media outlets have also reported Israeli Air Force planes and helicopters landing in Saudi Arabia for the purposes of positioning equipment there (Anshel Pfeffer, "Mossad chief reportedly visited Saudi Arabia for talks on Iran," WorldNetDaily, July 26, 2010).

It is likely that since then, clandestine contact between the two countries has been stepped up significantly. According to the website of the Palestinian newspaper Al-Manar, a meeting "was held between Prince Bandar bin Sultan and a number of intelligence officials of Gulf and Western countries, a few days before he [Bandar] occupied his new post as head of Saudi intelligence." Participants discussed "many important issues in the region, including the Syrian crisis," the paper reported, adding that it was decided "to prevent the nomination of Prince Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz as head of Saudi intelligence. At the end of the meeting Prince Bandar was appointed head of Saudi intelligence." The meeting was held at a secure hotel in Switzerland, Al-Manar noted.


[1] Ramtanu Maitra, "The House of Saud: British-Programmed Killer of Muslims," EIR, Sept. 28, 2012.

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