Intelligence insiders see Israeli alliance with Gulf States as ‘biggest change in decades’

Marc PolymeropoulosIntelligence insiders, including a former senior Central Intelligence Agency operations officer who spent decades in the Middle East, have described the establishment of official relations between Israel and some Gulf States as “the biggest change in the region in decades”.

The former CIA official, Marc Polymeropoulos, who worked closely with both Israel and the Palestinians in his 26-year career, told SpyTalk’s Jeff Stein and Jonathan Broder that secret intelligence links between Israel and some Arab countries are nothing new. However, “this [new] overt alliance is the biggest change in the region in decades”, said Polymeropoulos. He added that these intelligence links will only deepen now that official diplomatic relations have been established between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

In their analysis, Stein and Broder explain that these historic developments in the Middle East were initially forged “in secret political interactions” facilitated in the intelligence domain. These were led by the Mossad, which has been tasked by the Israeli leadership with creating a regional alliance against Iran. These efforts have intensified in recent years, especially after the administration of United States Donald Trump annulled the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran, which effectively signaled the resumption of Tehran’s nuclear program.

The end of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and the deepening polarization between Sunni and Shia populations in the Middle East, were the context in which the Israeli outreach to Arab states took shape. This context essentially convinced Arab leaders that their populations are sufficiently concerned about Iran to “stomach an alliance with Israel” Polymeropoulos told SpyTalk.

What’s next in this process? Stein and Broder suggest that Mossad officials will continue to reach out to their Arab counterparts, in secret, in the coming months, as part of Israel’s effort to build an alliance against Iran. These efforts will be crucially amplified by the White House, which recently sent US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Sudan in order to pressure the country’s new government to recognize Israel. In the meantime, say Stein and Broder, Mossad will become a lot more active in the Emirates and Bahrain.

Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 15 September 2020 | Permalink

2 Responses to Intelligence insiders see Israeli alliance with Gulf States as ‘biggest change in decades’

  1. Avner Barnea says:

    Dear Joseph, I have read the following report, and I would lie to comment on it.

    Unfortunately, the picture presented by Marc Polymeropoulos is partial and no cover the situation. It looks to me as being biased. Israel has a representation the Emirates for more than 20 years. We had also a diplomatic delegation in Qatar until 2009, which was closed as a result of Israel’s military operation in Gaza strip. All this is a result of initiatives of the time of Rabin and Peres as Prime Ministers in Israel ( yes – we had a history before Netanyahu became a PM!). For many years, Israel supports the security of many Gulf States, not just the Emirates is well known to every country in the Middle East. Israel’s defense export to the Emirates was in 2019 more than 1 billion $. So I do not see what will be changed in this matter regarding our secret relationship? It is also known and has been published that Israel has secret relations with other Arab/ Muslim states – like Saudi Arabia and Sudan. The Mossad is active in these moves for years, but until recently it was kept a secret until the head of the Mossad started to behave like a politician and not as a head of a clandestine organization, backed by Netanyahu, who seems to see him as his successor.

    So to summaries – I find it hard to share the opinion expressed in this report.

    Best, Avner Barnea

    Avner Barnea, Ph.D. (Brig. General, ISA. Ret.)

    Counter Intelligence scholar & academic lecturer

    Research Fellow, the National Security Studies Center, the University of Haifa

    http://nssc.haifa.ac.il/index.php/en/nssc-staff/academic-staff

    Tel: + (972) 52 2498639, E-mail: avnerpro@netvision.net.il

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-avner-barnea-90055/

  2. iconoclast123 says:

    “These efforts have intensified in recent years, especially after the administration of United States Donald Trump annulled the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran, *which effectively signaled the resumption of Tehran’s nuclear program*.”

    Seriously?

    Are you kidding?

    The only thing that pulling out of the JCPOA signalled was that the US wasn’t going to pretend any more that Iran had stopped its nuclear program one iota.

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