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Interesting 'Zionist' View on Iran-SA Tensions

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Interesting read. I guess Israel was strategically pressured to get closer to Saudi Arabia, even though their unnatural allies. 



In a statement made in December 2015 but which gained attention last week, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdulaziz Al Sheikh, declared that chess was forbidden for Muslims. This was only one among many ignorant, bigotry-laced and extremist statements that constantly flow from the kingdom.

In December the same mufti claimed that Islamic State (IS) was actually run by Israel. On January 17 Sheikh Saud al-Shuraim, imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, claimed that Jews and Iranians were conspiring against “Muslims,” by which he meant Sunni Muslims of his flavor. “There is no surprise in the alliance of the Safavids with the Jews and Christians against the Muslims, history witnessed this. But there is surprise at minds delaying their understanding of this truth until this moment,” he wrote. Given statements like these, it may be surprising that Israel has increasingly been moving into the Saudi orbit in recent years.

It is perhaps understandable that Saudi clerics hate chess so much – they’re bad at it. In the regional conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the Saudis have been badly outplayed. The Persians, on the other hand, invented the game. Without taking the stereotype too far, chess is a game whose complexity and history have more in common with the ancient intricacies of Iran than with the monochrome ignorance of Saudi’s Wahhabi imams.

Chess is also a game that Jews have excelled at.

It’s sophistication appeals to Jewish cultural and religious heritage. In one list of the 64 greatest chess minds of all time, 31 are Jewish. Here we find Garry Kasparov, Bobby Fischer, Mikhail Tal and László Szabó.

So why are Israel’s allies in the region anchored by Saudi Arabia? Because Iran’s regime loathes Israel.

That’s the simple answer. When Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon was speaking at INSS he made an offhand comment that he “prefers IS to Iran.”

What he meant was that Israel views Iran as a more serious threat, because of its strategic depth. Unlike IS, which has only one extremist policy which has brought it into conflict with the whole world, Iran is on the march in international diplomacy and its proxy Hezbollah threatens Israel. Over the weekend, for instance, Iran held high level meetings with China and John Kerry was in Riyadh admitting that Hezbollah’s 80,000 rockets aimed at Israel had come from Iran. Another report revealed Iran had recruited 20,000 Afghan Shia to fight it’s proxy war in Syria, and that sanctions relief would bring millions of dollars to the coffers of the Revolutionary Guards, which help run the wars in Syria and Iraq.

This isn’t the situation Israel would have historically preferred. Israel has far more in common with Iran than with Saudi Arabia. Iran builds on the legacy of an ancient Middle Eastern civilization, much as the Jewish people do in Israel. It is part of the fabric of diversity of the region. The Wahhabi Islam of Saudi Arabia is a net destroyer of the region’s diversity and beauty. It abhors music, culture, dancing, pre-Islamic temples and architecture and of course chess. Wherever it is, diversity is destroyed in the name of a simplistic extremism. Localized Islamic diversity, sheikhs’ tombs, Sufi shrines or Islamic sects like the Ahmadis are all hated. Despite the extremist nature of the Iranian regime, levels of anti-Semitism in Iran are among the lowest in the region. The extremist nature of Iran’s current regime is in contrast to its history.

In the period after 1948 Israel and Iran had diplomatic relations and Iran was the second country after Turkey to recognize the Jewish state. It was a relationship based on common interests. During 1964-1975 the warm relations with Iran enabled the opening of contacts with the Kurds, who were fighting against the Iraqi regime.

Israel and pro-Israel commentators should therefore not take the Saudi opening as example of some genuine move toward friendship. There is also nothing to celebrate in having relations with Sudan, a pariah state. It is worthwhile to keep in mind that Iran, despite all the negative aspects of its regime, has a cultural heritage more in common with Israel’s in terms of preserving diversity in the region.

Israel may have wanted an Iranian ally, but due to the extremism of the 1979 Revolution, the Jewish state has ended up with the Saudis. For now that relationship may work. But the long-term strategy should be to build relations with groups like the Kurds, and others.

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I saw that article too.  Not sure what the author was smoking, but Israel is an opportunistic state that allies itself with whomever shares its political interests.  Israel's chief concern is existential security and thus they partner with whoever can protect it.  They don't care about morality or culture.  Saudi Arabia and Israel both have the common goal of opposing Iran so they are naturally partners.  

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