It has been widely reported that, in late November of 2020, the Israeli prime minister secretly flew to Saudi Arabia for a meeting with the kingdom’s crown prince. That these two leaders met at all is noteworthy; that they might have discussed the possibility of normalizing relations between the Jewish state and the wealthiest and most influential Arab country is momentous.

It is easy to see what Israel stands to gain from peace with the Saudis. But what’s in it for Saudi Arabia? What would they gain, and what would they risk losing?

Richard Goldberg, a Middle East expert and a senior advisor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies tackles these question in his Mosaic piece, “What Saudi Arabia is Thinking.” In this podcast, he joins Mosaic Editor Jonathan Silver to discuss what brought the Middle East to this current moment, how the upcoming change at the White House is affecting Saudi thinking, and whether Israeli-Saudi normalization is truly on the horizon.

Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble.

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  1. colleenb Member

    I had not put together the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt situation for one of the reasons why Saudi Arabia would be turning towards Israel. It would be great if everything turns out. Will the Biden administration mess all this up?

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