Israel and the Persian Gulf: New Relations for a Challenging New Era

Tuesday, January 28, 2020
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
William J. Perry Conference Room
Encina Hall, Second Floor, Central, C231
616 Jane Stanford Way, Stanford, CA 94305
  • Joshua Teitelbaum

Seminar Recording:


About this Event: Israel’s relations with the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf, and particularly Saudi Arabia, have been improving for many years. Saudi King Faysal famously handed out copies of the anti-Semitic Czarist forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, to his visitors, but today the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, often make positive statements about Israel and the Jewish people. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu paid an official visit to Oman in October 2018. Unofficial meetings are reportedlyheld often with Saudi leaders. A synagogue now operates openly in Dubai, and EXPO 2020 Dubai will feature a full-blown Israeli pavilion. Qatar will likely let Israelis attend the FIFA World Cup in 2022. The Gulf countries are interested in access to Israeli technology for civil and military use. Never full-fledged supporters of the Palestinians, particularly after the Palestinian leadership supported Saddam Husayn in the Gulf War, Gulf leaders see an opportunity to cooperate with Israel against their common enemy –Iran. With doubts about US commitments to the region getting even stronger, the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf will look to increased cooperation with Israel, as well as Russia and China.


Speaker's Biography: Prof. Joshua Teitelbaum is a Visiting Scholar at CISAC. He is a leading historian and expert on the modern Middle East. Teitelbaum teaches modern Middle Eastern history in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies and is Senior Research Associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA), at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel. For many years he was a Visiting Fellow and Contributor to the Herbert and Jane Dwight Working Group on Islamism and the International Order at the Hoover Institution, a Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, and Visiting Scholar at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, all at Stanford. He has also held visiting positions at Cornell University, the University of Washington, and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. His latest book is Saudi Arabia and the New Strategic Landscape (Stanford: Hoover Press), and his latest article is "Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the Longue Durée Struggle for Islam's Holiest Places,” in The Historical Journal.