The Enemy of My Enemy is Still Not My Friend

Neither Iranian nuclear aspirations nor other Iranian provocations are pushing Saudi Arabia closer to Israel out of mutual self-interest, said Thomas Lippman, award-winning author, journalist, and Middle East expert, Monday. “One of the most sort of appealing fantasies that I encounter in the American policy community is . . . the old idea that the enemy of my enemy is my friend [and] the Saudis and the Israelis will do business against the Iranians. Not gonna happen,” said Lippman during his June 4 speech on Saudi Arabia that AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Airpower Studies hosted in Arlington, Va. Lippman said Saudi Arabia is locked in a global contest with the Iranians for supremacy in Islam. “You can’t win that contest by getting into strategic bed with the Israelis,” he asserted. He noted that one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest challenges is managing its limited water resources. Yet, the Saudis will not even turn to Israel for help in that area despite Israel having “the greatest reservoir of water management knowledge and technology within 5,000 miles of Saudi Arabia.”