Israeli-Saudi normalization is at the crux of a new regional order, speaking the language of ‘peace’ at the price of people like Khashoggi and Abu Akleh.

By Iyad el-Baghdadi, +972 Magazine

Much fanfare has been made about President Joe Biden’s visit last week to Israel and Saudi Arabia, particularly the U-turn his administration has taken in re-engaging with the kingdom four years after the notorious murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Palestinian women attend a rally against the recent visit of the US president to Israel, in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, on July 17, 2022.

Amidst various speculations of its main purpose, many observers have seen the trip as a bid by Biden to curb rising energy prices — a result of the international fallout over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — by convincing the Saudis to increase oil production.

Biden, however, has been more cautious on this issue, insisting last month that oil was not the reason for his trip. Energy experts have themselves assessed that even if the Saudis complied, it would not lower prices substantially for Americans and Europeans. French President Emannuel Macron was also reported to have advised Biden that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates do not have the excess capacity to increase supply, even if they wanted to.

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