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May 11, 2015 4:42 pm

DC Think Tank Says Saudi Arabia is New Israeli-Style ‘Aggressor’

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Saudi airstrikes in Yemen against Houthi rebel-held areas. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

A left-wing foreign policy think tank criticized on Sunday Saudi Arabia for becoming the “Israel of the Gulf” because of its regional “aggression.”

Writing in the Huffington Post, the policy director of Just Foreign Policy, Robert Naiman, wrote that Saudi Arabia has become a “habitual aggressor in its neighborhood, enabled in its aggression by the United States,” apparently just like Israel.

The author said Saudi Arabia may actually be a “more dangerous aggressor than Israel,” because Saudi Arabia’s military action in Yemen this year and in Bahrain to assist in suppressing anti-government demonstrators in 2011 went largely without protest in the international community, perhaps unlike Syria or Iran in 2009.

Saudi Arabia has been leading a coalition of Arab countries in attacks against Shia rebels in Yemen, who Yemen claims are backed by Iran.

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Naiman said like Israel’s war last summer with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Saudi’s military objectives in Yemen have been a failure resulting in the deaths of “many human beings,” and cites a figure by Oxfam revealing 400 of the 1,400 deaths since Saudi air raids in its southern neighbor began to be civilian casualties.

The author concluded by encouraging the U.S. to support an ongoing ceasefire and a diplomatic resolution with Yemen, a policy that is also backed by Iran, which many see as backing the Shia Houthi rebels the Saudis are seeking to repel.

Israel and Saudi Arabia have no diplomatic ties, though some reports have claimed the two countries share intelligence and conduct secret diplomacy, especially regarding mutual interests against Iran’s expanding regional influence.

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