Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

Keith Preston: Trump went off-script, exposed Saudi-Israel alliance

Press TV. Listen here.

US President Donald Trump’s remarks on Saudi Arabia’s importance for Israel prove right longtime speculation about Riyadh’s secret alliance with Tel Aviv, American political analyst Keith Preston says.

Faced with international pressure to hold Riyadh responsible for murdering dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Trump has argued that punishing the kingdom hurts the US more as it would alienate the key Middle East ally and jeopardize billions of dollars in arms sales.

But the biggest reason, as he told reporters on Thursday, was the risk that losing Saudi Arabia’s services would pose to Israel.

“Israel would be in big trouble without Saudi Arabia,” Trump said after a Thanksgiving Day telephone call with military personnel from his Mar-a-Lago resort home in Florida.

“If you look at Israel, Israel would be in big trouble without Saudi Arabia,” he added. “So what does that mean, Israel is going to leave? You want Israel to leave? We have a very strong ally in Saudi Arabia.”

The President said the Saudis were “tremendously helpful” in the region as they also helped keep oil prices down.

Preston, chief editor of, said the remarks corroborated previous reports about growing ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

“Trump is unusual for an American president in that he frequently goes off-script and says things that are unusually candid,” Preston told Press TV on Friday.

The analyst said while many people seemed to think that Riyadh and Tel Aviv were enemies, Trump’s statement proves that they are not.

“The relationship between the Americans, the Israelis and the Saudis as a triangle is very well established and the common objective of all three powers is for the triangular alliance to dominate the Middle East and doing so by attacking other forces in the Middle East that pose a challenge to that kind of hegemony,” he added.

What makes Saudi Arabia essential for Israel’s existence is the Saudi regime’s “destabilizing” role in the region, Preston said.

It’s “true that the instability that the Saudis have helped to create has also served the interests of Israel by attempting to undermine rival countries such as Iran, Syria and also Iraq,” he argued.

But those policies served the limited interests of the American elite and hurt the US national interests in general, he added.

“What we actually see happening is the Saudi state, the Israeli state are aligned with elements in the United States and the American government… that have a vested interest in either destabilizing the Middle East so that the Israelis and the Saudis could exercise further domination in the Middle East or simply in eliminating” rivaling forces, he noted.

“That doesn’t really serve the interests of the United States as a nation… it serves the interests of the US ruling class.”

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