Ahead of U.S. President Joe Biden’s planned visit to the Middle East mid-month, it appears that Saudi Arabia is setting the stage for closer relations with Israel.
According to a report by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), intellectuals, journalists and social-media activists in Saudi Arabia have begun openly expressing a more tolerant and even positive attitude towards Israel. They see peace with Jerusalem as inevitable and vital to halting threats to the region by Iran, including a nuclear one.
Many have also directly criticized the Palestinians for not adopting a realistic policy conducive to resolving the conflict with Israel.
So says an article titled “The Fiqh [Jurisprudence] regarding al-siyasa al-shar’iyya Shari’a-based Policy and the State of Israel,” by Dr. Khalid bin Muhammad Al-Yousuf, a senior lecturer on international law at the Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University in Riyadh and the secretary-general of the university’s Supreme Council.
“We must examine these issues and [formulate] a new jurisprudence that addresses reality without deviating from the objectives and principles of the Islamic laws and while preserving the essence of Islam […],” he wrote.