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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Israel bombs Syria, Houthis rocket Saudi

by our Arab Affairs correspondent

ISRAELI warplanes targeted alleged Iranian military bases in Syria on Tuesday in another turbulent week that saw the Israeli leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, make a less than covert trip to Saudi Arabia for talks whilst the feudal Arab kingdom reeled back from yet another Yemeni Houthi rocket attack on its west coast oil installations.

The Saudis say no such meeting took place but Trita Parsi, executive vice president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a US think-tank, said: “It is quite predictable that the Saudis would deny it, particularly mindful of the tensions within the royal family as to whether there is wisdom in such a move. From Netanyahu’s perspective, to be able to show that the major Arab powers no longer have a problem with the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory is something that vindicates his strategy.”

Despite Saudi denials, an Israeli government minister has confirmed that Prime Minister Benjamin ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu met with the Saudi Crown Prince and outgoing US secretary of state Mike Pompeo last week. The Zionist leader flew to Neom, a megacity development on the Red Sea coast, to join Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for talks on Sunday.

Although there’s no doubt the meeting took place, what was actually discussed remains top secret. Israel and Saudi Arabia are American protectorates that were robustly supported by the Trump regime. Now they both face an unpredictable future under the Biden administration. Biden is expected to continue where Barack Obama left off in the Middle East by restoring token US humanitarian aid to the Palestinians and paying lip-service to the ‘two-state’ solution whilst keeping Israel going and continuing to prop up America’s feudal Arab vassals.

This isn’t a problem for the House of Saud, which has been tied to US imperialism and the big oil corporations since the 1920s. But it is a dilemma for Netanyahu, who knows that his bitter rival General Benny Gantz is waiting in the wings to topple him. The corruption scandals and the COVID-19 lockdowns that have sent unemployment soaring to near the million mark, some 25 per cent of the entire working population, have added to his woes.

Thousands of Israelis are continuing to protest against Netanyahu. Now in their 22nd week, Yariv Ben-Eliezer, the grandson of Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, is telling crowds “Fuck Netanyahu, and long live Israel”, whilst others chant “Trump’s out and Bibi’s next”.

The rabid Zionist threat to unilaterally take out Iran’s nuclear facilities means nothing without US support, which wasn’t forthcoming from Trump. Nor is it likely to be endorsed by Biden, who publicly said he’s in favour of returning to the Iran nuclear deal that Trump wilfully tore up.

Netanyahu had also hoped the Saudis would follow Sudan, Bahrain and the Emiratis in normalising relations with Israel – but that didn’t happen under Trump and it’s certainly not going to during the US presidential hand-over.

Former Israeli Chief of Staff General Gadi Eisenkot once said Israel was ready to share intelligence with Riyadh in order to “face Iran” but the Saudis can’t even cope with the conflict they started in support of a puppet regime in Yemen.

This week the Yemeni Houthis launched a cruise missile attack on a Saudi Aramco oil company distribution station in the Red Sea port of Jeddah. The Houthi-led government that controls north Yemen has now warned foreign companies and residents in Saudi Arabia to avoid the military and oil infrastructure of Saudi Arabia because “operations will continue”.

The Houthis have repeatedly hit the airport in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, and in September 2019 they knocked out almost half of the Saudi oil infrastructure when they rocketed targets on the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia.