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Will the Saudi Crown Prince Risk the Monarchy’s Mystique for Israeli Normalization?

MIN READJul 25, 2022 | 20:50 GMT

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman speaks during a regional summit in Saudi Arabia's Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah on July 16, 2022. 

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman speaks during a regional summit in Saudi Arabia's Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah on July 16, 2022. 

(MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

For now, Saudi-Israeli normalization looks sure to remain slow under King Salman. But Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (commonly known as MbS) will eventually ascend to the throne once his 86-year-old father dies. And when he does, MbS’s characteristic brash approach to geopolitics could see Saudi Arabia normalize ties with Israel sooner rather than later. At stake, however, could be the legitimacy of Saudi Arabia’s monarchy, which binds together a diverse nation of some 22 million citizens under a single ruler based on the enduring belief that the royal family has Saudis’ best interests at heart. But if MbS decides to normalize with Israel upon being crowned king, he will be testing the limits of that relationship, because while the case of normalization may be in the strategic interest of the Saudi state, it’s less clear how it is in the interest of the Saudi people....

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