Exclusive: Egypt’s counterrevolution and Syria’s civil war could herald the arrival of a new superpower coalition, an unlikely alliance between Israel and Saudi Arabia, one with great political clout and the other with vast financial wealth, together flexing their muscles across the Middle East, writes Robert Parry.
By Robert Parry
The twin crises in Syria and Egypt have marked the emergence of a new superpower coalition in the Middle East, the odd-couple alliance of Israel and Saudi Arabia, with Jordon serving as an intermediary and the Persian Gulf oil sheikdoms playing a supporting role.
The potential impact of this new coalition can barely be overstated, with Israel bringing to the table its remarkable propaganda skills and its unparalleled influence over U.S. foreign policy and Saudi Arabia tapping into its vast reservoir of petrodollars and exploiting its global financial networks. Together the two countries are now shaping international responses to the conflicts in Syria and Egypt, but that may only be the start.
Though Israel and Saudi Arabia have had historic differences – one a Jewish religious state and the other embracing the ultraconservative Wahhabi version of Sunni Islam – the two countries have found, more recently, that their interests intersect.
Both see Iran, with its Shiite rulers, as their principal regional rival. Both are leery of the populist Islamic movements unleashed by the Arab Spring. Both sided with the Egyptian military in its coup against the elected Muslim Brotherhood government, and both are pleased to see Syrian President Bashar al-Assad facing a possible military assault from the United States.
While the two countries could be accused of riding the whirlwind of chaos across the Middle East – inviting a possibility that the sectarian divisions and the political violence will redound negatively to their long-term interests – there can be little doubt that they are enjoying at least short-term gains. READ MORE