QUESTION #4: Where does the newly forming Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel and the United States alliance fit into the picture of the unrest in the Middle East?
“…The Iranians have created tremendous amounts of instability in the Middle East. The Shia Muslims have always been at odds with the Sunni Muslims. The Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt alliance are all Sunnis. Iran and Syria are Shia. That’s a natural non-affinity. Jordan and Egypt and Saudi Arabia are responding to the direct threat that Iran, with Russia’s backing, is creating in that neighborhood. That forms a natural affinity towards anyone who can help defend them against that existential threat, and that right now is the United States and by proxy Israel.
Believe it or not, Jordan and Israel and Egypt for many years have had a very non-open, very behind, backdoor-channel cooperation militarily, and that is coming out in the open. When we saw the presidential meeting with el-Sisi from Egypt and King Abdullah from Jordan, there was, and I’m going to paraphrase this, we’re no longer satisfied with the status quo, the situation is unacceptable, and the Palestinians, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Iran are simply going to have to negotiate for peace. The situation as it currently stands is no longer acceptable. When Jordan and Egypt both said that they were willing to commit military troops for this initiative, that was astonishing.
Saudi Arabia was not involved in this because the House of Saud has always been very private. They have strongly preferred to do their diplomacy and their initiatives behind the scenes, but they’re the ones that are driving this alliance and providing the majority of the funding for it. They have made it very clear that the threat posed by Iran and Hezbollah is simply unacceptable going forward, and they’re now willing, they’re motivated to find a way to work with anyone that can re-institute stability and adult leadership into the Middle East. They have been profoundly impacted by America’s withdrawal from the region and our avocation of our leadership position in the Middle East, and they strongly desire someone to come back in who can reestablish that peace and security.
They also made the comment, and King Abdullah made this comment directly, “We believe that President Trump is the individual who can work with everyone to bring about this peace initiative and to issue in a period of peace with Israel.” That was a direct quote. That has never been said publicly in my lifetime, and it just shows the degree of frustration that they have with the current situation, and it shows the motivation that they have to reestablish alliances, reestablish leadership, and take action that’s going to generate this sense of security that their governments need, their people need, their economies need.”