Imagine Israeli men and women shopping in the bazaars and souks of AlTaif and AlRiyadh, mingling with Saudis and other friendly Arabs. It is entirely possible that friendly interaction between both nations could occur.
In light of the growing antagonistic stance of Iran with respect to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, it is logical for KSA to establish diplomatic relations with Israel. Benefits from such a relationship would be mutually advantageous for KSA in the areas of trade and engineering improvements. Investments by Saudis in Israeli firms would take place, and Israelis would be able to invest in Saudi businesses.
Israel would benefit militarily as well as expanding its friendship with other Islamic countries in the Middle East. Jordan and Egypt have already established diplomatic ties with Israel.
Another coveted benefit for both KSA and Israel would be the interaction and sharing of physicians at King Khalid University Hospital and Tel Hashomer Hospital in Israel. Nurses and physicians could also share experiences in areas of expertise. The USA and its allies would look favorably upon a stronger military alliance against hostile Shiites and terrorists aided and abetted by Iran. World peace would be furthered by such a move, and President Trump and his administration would welcome this phenomenon in our lifetime. A strong coalition including Israel could be efficacious in forming a bastion against Iran and Syria. If a rapprochement would take place, all restrictions placed on Israelis would be lifted, as well as restrictions presently enforced on Saudi travelers.
Israelis could explore Saudi Arabia and Saudis could visit Israel from north to south, east and west. Saudis could snorkel in Eilat and use the beaches of Bat Yam. Israelis could go on excursions in the Red Sea and swim in the Arabian Gulf. Tourism would flourish and citizens of Israel and KSA would discover new vistas.
Would the other Arab nations look upon this as anathema? No, the Arab world today is disunited and weak so the KSA is free to make its own policies without being criticized from Iraq, the Maghreb, or the Arab League.
The time is right for normalization of diplomatic relations and if Israel takes the initiative and seizes the opportunity to reach out to KSA and the Emirates, perhaps Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and the Maghreb will follow suit. We know that several Islamic nations in Africa have already cemented diplomatic relations with Israel.
It is unlimited as to what could transpire if KSA and Israel establish diplomatic relations. I can foresee Sudan, the UAE, Yemen, Iraq, and Qatar as well as countries of the Maghreb eventually recognizing the Jewish State of Israel because of their historic connections with the Jewish nation over the centuries. From west to east in the Arab world, the Arab League could also consider Israel in a friendly way and could grant Israel advisor status in that organization..
Out of the realm of reality? Not at all. If people like myself who are loyal to the State of Israel and know Arabic and respect Arabs, it is not an impossibility. Who was it who stipulated that if you will it, it is no dream?
Philip Wendkos worked as an Israeli and Arabic translator for the U.S. government. After living in Atlanta for many years, Phillip and his wife Carol now live in Rockville, Maryland.