In the Middle East, there are two types of diplomacy: one in the sunlight, another behind the scenes. That’s nothing new, but it has never been as obvious as it is now, when enemy countries and allies are learned to share the same goals. The case of Israel and Saudi Arabia is a good example.
A couple of days ago, there were rumors that the heir to the Saudi throne, the mighty Prince Mohammed bin Salman, visited Israel in secret to discuss common strategies in Syria and against the “enemy” Iran. The first reporter who broadcast the indiscretion, which was never officially confirmed, was Simon Aran of Radio Israel. Aran did not go beyond a hazily defined “Saudi prince has come to Israel,” but the Arab media have called into question Mohammed bin Salman himself.
The visit was immediately condemned by newspapers connected to Qatar, ready to add the indiscretion to the crisis between Doha and Riyadh, which began three months ago with a Saudi blockade of its tiny neighbor. Saudi Arabia responded in the Elaph newspaper denying everything and adding that, actually, it was a Qatari prince, not a Saudi one, who spent two days in Tel Aviv.