Decide what it is you want the Kingdom to say. You can’t say both. You can’t swear allegiance to the Palestinians and give a nod and a wink to their killers.
And are the kingdom’s dealings with Israel really “limited to bring about a plan for peace”? You are privy to the cables, Mr Ambassador. Tell us what passed between Prince Bandar and the Mossad director Tamir Pardo at that hotel in Aqaba in November last year. The Jordanians leaked it to an Israeli newspaper in Eilat. Were Bandar and Pardo: 1. soaking up the winter sun 2. talking about the Arab Peace Initiative or 3. plotting how to bomb Iran?
And why are your new friends the Israelis being so loquacious? Why, to take the latest example, did Dan Gillerman, Israeli ambassador to the UN 2003-08, say at the weekend that “representatives from the Gulf states told us to finish the job in Gaza time and again”. Finish the job? Killing over 1000 Palestinians, most of them civilian. Is that you meant when you said “we will never do anything to harm them”?
The carnage in Gaza at least gives the world clear sight of the protagonists. The wonder of it is that all are American allies, three have US bases on their soil and a fourth is a member of Nato. America’s problems in the Middle East are more to do with their sworn allies than their sworn enemies.
On one side, stands Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates and Jordan. They consider themselves the voice of reason and moderation, but their methods are violent - the military coup in Egypt and the attack on Gaza have all happened in the space of 12 months. On the other, stands Turkey, Qatar, the Muslim Brotherhood and its affliate Hamas.
We should ,however, talk of governments rather people, because one reason why the government of Saudi Arabia has such an extreme position on Hamas and the Brotherhood in general, is that it knows full well that its own people don’t share their view.
Saudi Arabia’s leading pollster Rakeen found that 95% out of a representative sample of 2000 Saudis supported the continuation of the Palestinian resistance factions. Only three per cent did not. 82% supported the firing of rockets into Israel and 14 % opposed it. The kingdom’s hatred of Islamism stems not from the fact that it presents a rival interpretation of Islam. It is that it presents to a believer, a democratic alternative. That is what really scares the monarchy.
The proof of all those secret Saudi-Israeli meetings is to be seen in the behaviour of Egypt. It is impossible to believe that its new president Abdel Fattah al Sisi could act towards Hamas in Gaza independently of his paymasters in Riyadh. He who pays the piper - $5bn after the coup, $20bn now - calls the tune.
Saudi Arabia is treading a fine line. According to my sources, Netanyahu’s rejection of Kerry’s peace initiative over the weekend was due in part to the full support of its Arab allies. Saudi Arabia’s active support is keeping this brutal war going .