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Saudi Arabia Is No Ally for Israel

15 12 23

Earlier this month, Iranian President Hassan Rohani implored Iranians to curse the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia. It is no surprise coming from the Iranian regime, but it is also the latest response to the burgeoning, albeit unofficial, Israeli ties with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

No doubt these new developments are tempting, especially for the long-isolated Israel. But its once-blooming, then-sour relationship with Ugandan President Idi Amin in the 1970s offers a core lesson: rush into bed with Saudi Arabia at your own peril.

Israeli relations with Idi Amin defined his eight-year rule of Uganda, and the roots of the Amin-Israel romance run deep. Before his overthrow of Milton Obote in 1971, Amin trained with Israeli paratroopers. As a rising officer in Obote’s army, Amin helped Israelis funnel weapons to the Anyanya insurgent group in neighboring Sudan, against the wishes of Obote and with the help of Israel’s military attache.

That Israeli diplomat’s advice - that Amin build up his own army battalion - helped propel the officer to the presidency.

Amin’s relationship with the Jewish state blossomed at the outset of his presidency. His first diplomatic visit was not to the United Kingdom or the United States, but to Israel.

But things changed when Amin attempted to buy Israeli fighter jets, which he hoped to use against Obote-led forces regrouping in Tanzania. When the Israelis refused, Amin approached Libyan President Muammar Qaddafi, who stepped in where Israel would not. Qaddafi's one condition: reverse course on relations with the Jewish State.

Amin changed course with ease,........

© Haaretz