Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid told The Jerusalem Post this week that he is optimistic about normalizing relations with Saudi Arabia, and that if anything changes, it will be “with baby steps.”
“The Abraham Accords were an explosion and the year afterward I spent the first three months of being foreign minister on a plane, going to open embassies in places we never dreamed of opening embassies. With Saudi Arabia, if it will happen, it’ll happen with baby steps. But I think some of those steps are being taken. I think that the American administration is, in game for this process. And, and we appreciate that,” Yair Lapid told The Jerusalem Post.
In response to a question about whether the Americans were playing a greater role today than in the past, Lapid said he thought so.
“Israel has a lot to offer the world in general,” he said, explaining why countries like Saudi Arabia and others would want to normalize relations with Israel. “There’s an arc going from regional security architecture to innovation, to water and energy and so on and so forth. Israel is a superpower in some fields and we are more than willing to share those abilities.”
If a new agreement is reached between the West and Iran, Lapid says it would not apply to Israel.
It is possible to understand what this may mean from events that were attributed to Israel in the last few months. Israeli covert action includes the killing of a top IRGC officer last week, the bombing of a drone factory earlier this year, and the attack on a secret Iranian military-nuclear facility days later.
As Lapid wouldn’t comment on any of the above, he said the following when asked whether Israeli policy has changed regarding what it is willing to do against Iran.
“We have told the world we are not willing to take it anymore,” he said. “Iran says we can bring the war to your doorstep, because you will never bring it to ours. This is not going to happen. This is not how it’s going to play. I understand why they felt that this is how it worked in previous years, but it’s not going to work with this government. If the Iranians are bringing war to our doorstep, then they’re going to find war at theirs. If they want to avoid it, then we will avoid it as well.”