Saudi Arabia and its allies are again stepping up the process of normalization with Israel. Backed by the United States, some Arab governments and the Zionist state are using their common anti-Iranian ideology as a basis for furthering cooperation, while continuing to ignore the Palestinian cause.
These efforts were on display last week at a conference, allegedly on “Peace and Security in the Middle East,” held in Warsaw, Poland. A blatant, anti-Iranian spectacle, U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and representatives of Saudi Arabia and other Arab states gathered together to pave the way for armed attack on Iran. Former New York City mayor and current lawyer to U.S. President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, who has long been fanatically promoting regime change in Tehran, entertained members of the bogus Iranian opposition group, the MEK, at the event. The MEK, which has been working with U.S. neocons to try and topple the Iranian regime, has had Giuliani on its pay roll for some time.
At the conference, Netanyahu described the increasingly open cooperation with Arab governments as a “historic change.”
There was an historic change at this conference of great importance to Israel: There were 60 foreign ministers and envoys from countries there, including Arab countries with which we do not have relations, who sat together with Israel and took the stand that we set against Iran.
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) February 17, 2019
PM: "This conference in which you have brought together some sixty foreign ministers and Arab foreign ministers with an Israeli prime minister for the first time to stand together against Iran in such clarity, such unity. I think that this is something that we deeply appreciate." pic.twitter.com/UHVc74pMWH
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) February 14, 2019
Netanyahu also openly threatened Iran with war.
— Aron Heller (@aronhellerap) February 13, 2019
— Ken Klippenstein (@kenklippenstein) February 13, 2019
An anti-Iranian extremist, Netanyahu has long centered Israel’s foreign policy and his personal political interests around Iran. In fact, his social media accounts, as well as those of the Israeli government and the IDF, are replete with absurd anti-Iranian and, at times, anti-Shiite ridicule and threats.
In his speech in Warsaw, Mike Pence relentlessly demonized Iran, as well. Talking about threats stemming from “radical Islamist terrorism,” Pence claimed that Iran is “the greatest threat to peace and security in the Middle East” as well as “the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world.” An evangelical Zionist, Pence once again evoked Jewish suffering in the Holocaust to justify the Trump administration’s strategic interests, falsely claiming that “the Iranian regime openly advocates another Holocaust and it seeks the means to achieve it.” A few days later at the Munich Security Conference, Pence passionately urged European leaders to withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran. His comments were met with awkward silence. Later that day, German chancellor Angela Merkel reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to the deal.
Unsurprisingly, Palestinian suffering was not a topic of discussion at the Warsaw conference. Indeed, the rhetoric of both Pence and Netanyahu frames all of Israel’s enemies as Iranian-funded co-conspirators. Following this logic, Palestinians are not resisting Israel because of colonization and systemic dispossession and repression, but rather because Tehran has incited them to do so. Indeed, the Middle East has increasingly become a space where the slaughter and dehumanization of Palestinians and other political opponents of Israel, as well as Saudi Arabia, is being justified under the false guise of combatting Iran.