Topic:

Saudi Arabia

The Hajj and the Struggle for Islamic Hegemony

The ethnic Sunni-Shiite rift parallels the Saudi-Iranian political rift, the Wahhabi-Muslim Brotherhood ideological rift, and the historic rift between Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Tensions over Islamic hegemony arising from these rifts are likely to come to a boil at the 2017 Hajj.kecar

Suggestion to the New Saudi Crown Prince

| August 25, 2017

It is unlikely that the new heir to the Saudi throne, Prince Mohammed bin Salman – who will be the first of King ibn Saud’s grandchildren to come to power – will stop the private Saudi program of promoting Salafism. Salafism is the radical form of Islam practiced by the Saudis, and their export of their beliefs has been a major cause of the Muslim world’s move towards radicalism over the last nearly 40 years. But the Saudi leadership might respond to a US suggestion that they begin to omit Indonesia and India from their program. This would protect a critical quarter of the world’s Muslim population from moving from moderate to radical Islam.

A New “Arab Spring” in the Persian Gulf?

| July 13, 2017

The winds of war blowing between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as well as Iranian subversion, are destabilizing the Persian Gulf principalities. To make matters worse, the economic situation, which has worsened in recent years because of ill-advised decisions, is stoking fears of popular uprisings and widespread disturbances. These internal crises could lead to a new “Arab Spring” in which some of the Gulf monarchies might fall. The main winner would be Tehran, for which the current crisis, along with the boycott imposed on Qatar, has opened a path to a takeover of Bahrain – and Iran has already, in effect, taken over Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut, and Sana’a.

A Young, Determined Saudi Heir

The Saudi royal family is undergoing a period of change, a process that gathered steam after the recent visit by US President Donald Trump. The visit demonstrated to the Saudis that they have the support of the US, something they did not get from the last president. The naming of the king’s son as the new heir to the throne represents both the reform process itself and its growing momentum.

Saudi Arabia, the Gulf and the New Regional Landscape

| August 26, 2016

In June, experts from Belgium, Bahrain, France, Germany, India, the UK, US and Israel convened at the BESA Center and at Haifa’s National Security Studies Center for a two-day international conference to study developments in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.

A Covenant of Shadows

The growing ties between Israel and the region’s Sunni Arab states are a result of instability fueled by the growing power of Iran and Islamic State, and by US retrenchment. But unhindered public cooperation between Israel and these Arab states will necessitate an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Sailing through the Straits: The Meaning for Israel of Restored Saudi Sovereignty over Tiran and Sanafir Islands

The fact that Saudi Arabia has now undertaken to uphold in practice the obligations assumed by Egypt under its peace treaty with Israel, means that Israel’s place in the region is no longer perceived by Arab leader Saudi Arabia as an anomaly to be corrected. This is a far cry from normalization of Saudi relations with Israel, but it is nevertheless a welcome ray of light, demonstrating the benefits of cooperation and coordination in a region beset by violence.

Domestic and Regional Implications of Escalated Saudi-Iran Conflict

| January 10, 2016

By executing a prominent Shiite leader, the Saudi King and his son the Deputy Crown Prince sent a strong signal to Iran, to the kingdom’s beleaguered Shiite minority, and to the world. To its Iranian Shiite rival, Sunni Riyadh was saying that it would absolutely not tolerate intervention in its internal affairs. It was telling its own Shiites that it would not allow “Arab Spring”-like dissent. And to the world, Salman and Muhammad were signaling that the Saudis were growing into their new role as a defender and leader of the Sunni Muslim countries; especially since the Obama administration appears to be siding with Iran.

Saudi Succession: The Sudayris Return

| January 26, 2015

The passing of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and the smooth accession of King Salman marks the return of the Sudaryi family to leadership and the eventual rise of the grandchildren of founder King Abd al-Aziz

Is the GCC in Peril?

| March 12, 2014

Tension over Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood has damaged relations between Doha and its Gulf neighbors. The days of the GCC may be numbered.