Saudi Arabia has yet to comment officially on any plans to normalize relations with Israel. But last month, the kingdom’s largest English-language daily, Arab News, published an editorial by the editor in chief welcoming the UAE’s new ties with Israel.
The piece contained unusually harsh criticism of Palestinian leaders. “When will they learn that every time they turn away from the negotiating table, the pie only gets smaller?” Faisal Abbas asked. He said the fault was “not all on one side” and that Israel also makes it difficult to reach a deal to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Merely the order of those paragraphs would have previously been unimaginable and provided new insights into the thinking of the country’s rulers.
Last week, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the longest-serving Saudi ambassador to Washington and an important political figure, was also sharply critical of Palestinian leaders in an interview broadcast on al-Arabiya, a Saudi-owned television station with wide viewership well beyond the kingdom.