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The New Arab Staff

Biden will help Saudi normalisation, predicts Gulf-allied rabbi

Biden will not abandon normalisation, a Gulf-allied Rabbi predicted [Getty]

Date of publication: 12 November, 2020

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Mark Schneier, a rabbi close to Gulf states, predicted that Joe Biden will continue Trump's process of normalisation.

An American rabbi close to Gulf leaders said Joe Biden's victory will not hinder Arab states normalisation with Israel but could in fact accelerate the process, particularly in regards to Saudi Arabia.

In an interview with Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, Mark Schneier said Biden's policies towards Palestine and Israel are closer to the official policies of the Gulf states than current US President Donald Trump's.

He said that Biden's approach to the issue is more muted than Trump's, who broke international protocol on issues such as Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the status of Jerusalem during his term in office.

"Biden's election may contribute to expanding the prospects for continuing negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians after the change of administration in the United States," Schneier said.

Read also: Biden as president: Winners and losers in the Gulf

"Biden is a person whom the Palestinians respect, and they have good experience with him, and they feel that he understands their point of view when it comes to peace talks with Israel", he added.

He said the normalisation process will continue, but it will be a much smoother process as the Palestinian leadership has more respect for Biden than his predecessor.

"With Biden's victory, Palestinians feel that they have a president who cares about their interests, and there is a great opportunity here to bring them back to the negotiating table. Soon after that we will see the Saudis normalise relations with Israel. Biden's influence will be gradual, and we will see the rest of the Gulf countries follow suit," Schneier predicted.

Schneier is an advisor to the King of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa. Newsweek magazine recognised him as one of the "50 Most Influential Rabbis in the United States".

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