Israeli defense officials have told several media outlets that Israel is planning to push Joe Biden to go easy on Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt, three states the Biden administration could change policy on over human rights abuses.
Israeli defense sources told Walla News that Israel particularly fears that the Biden administration will take action against Saudi Arabia over the war in Yemen. Israel’s concern suggests that it might push Biden to continue supporting the war in Yemen, something Biden has vowed to end.
The news comes after the Trump administration announced it is designating Yemen’s Houthis as a terror organization. The designation has grave implications for Yemen’s civilian population that is facing famine due to the US-backed Saudi-led war that has been raging since 2015.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt have all welcomed the designation. Israel has stayed quiet on the designation but has been warning of Iranian attacks that could come from Yemen and falsely conflating the Houthis with Iran, like the US and its allies often do.
The Israelis see Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the UAE as a united front against Tehran. Israeli officials told Axios that Israel sees its “security and intelligence relationships with the three countries as central to its strategy to counter Iran.”
An Israeli source told The Jerusalem Post that Israel and its Arab allies are on the “same page” when it comes to pressuring Biden on Iran. Israel has made it clear they are opposed to Biden returning to the 2015 nuclear deal. Some officials have even threatened to take military action if the accord is revived.