The Islamic extremist Hamas attack on Israel took place at a pivotal moment. The Jewish state was forging unprecedented ties with Saudi Arabia, which has never had official diplomatic relations with Israel. John Hannah explains why this dynamic is so crucial. He’s a former national security adviser who’s worked for both Democrat and Republican administrations.
The following is a transcript of a report from “Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson.” Watch the video by clicking the link at the end of the page.
Sharyl: Was one reason behind the timing of the Hamas attack, the idea that Israel seemed to be forging a closer relationship to Saudi Arabia, putting a threat to maybe the idea that Israel was alone and sort of isolated in the Mideast?
John Hannah: Oh, I think no question that, for Iran and all of its allies in the rejectionist camp, the thought of having the world’s only Jewish state forging an open relationship of peace with the world’s most influential Arab and Muslim state, that would’ve been a dagger at the heart of their entire raison d’être for that regime in Tehran. It would’ve completely undermined the legitimacy of their ideology, which stands at the core of the revolution to destroy the state of Israel, eliminate the Zionist entity. So the timing of this, for me, is absolutely no accident. The hope of derailing and disrupting that peace train that, only a month ago, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia said is moving closer and closer every day — that really set off the alarm bells in Tehran and Beirut and all of those terrorist proxies that the Iranians control.
Sharyl: Did Hamas indeed derail the progress between Israel and Saudi Arabia?
Hannah: We’ll see. In part that depends on us and how this war plays out. They’ve hit the pause button in the Arab world because, like everyone else, I think on October the 7th, the earth moved under their feet. We are in a new day in the Middle East in which Israeli and American deterrence has been laid low. Iran and its proxies look ascendant, and they look like they have the power to reach out and touch and harm even their most powerful adversary in the region, the state of Israel. You can only imagine what the weaker states in the Gulf, the Saudis, Emiratis, and others must be thinking, what the Iranians would be capable of doing to them. But I can assure you that behind the scenes, these Arab leaders are hoping that Israel and the Israeli Defense Forces finish this job as completely and quickly as possible and deliver a major body blow to Iran and the so-called Axis of Resistance around the Middle East.
Sharyl: Do you have any doubt that Israel ends up surviving and winning?
Hannah: I have no doubt that Israel’s going to survive and continue to thrive for another 75 years. I feel confident about that. It’s absolutely crucial for all of us that Israel win this fight, and Israel’s not looking to anybody else to win this fight against Iran in this genocidal terrorist group. It only asked for American material support and for American diplomatic cover to give their boys and girls the time and space they need to get this job done once and for all, instead of just simply returning to a status quo before October the 7th that has played out for the last 20 years, that has only led now to five wars, each one more deadly and worse than the one before it. Allowing that to happen would be a very bad ending to this war, not only for Israel, but for the United States and all freedom-loving friends around the world.
Sharyl (on-camera): The Biden administration says Saudi Arabia has offered assurances that it’s still interested in normalizing relations with Israel — but after the war in Gaza ends.
Watch story here.
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