Category Archives: Saudi Arabia


The R20 Forum in Bali: Signs of an Intriguing Partnership

by Giora ElirazNir BomsFikra Forum, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy


The Religion 20 (R20) Forum that took place in Bali last November deserves attention, if only for the fact that it was initiated and hosted by two significant Islamic actors, commonly perceived until recently as bitter ideological rivals.

Co-hosting the R20 event were the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU)—Indonesia’s largest religious movement and a key civil society partner of the current Indonesian government—and the Muslim World League (MWL)—a Mecca-based Islamic organization considered until few years ago to be Saudi’s main engagement vehicle to globally promote an exclusive Wahhabi/Salafi agenda. Perhaps this new partnership is more than symbolic, and further cooperation could represent an important step in the formation of a new theological and ideological path for the Islamic world.

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SEPADPod Special on Saudi-Israeli normalisation –


Happy to share the below conversation, a special episode of SEPADPod  where Dr. Simon Mabon from the Richardson Institute  speaks with Dr. Aziz Alghashian and myself  about Saudi-Israeli normalization. According to him, this might be the first podcast of its kind, bringing Saudi and Israeli scholars together!

 Aziz is a Fellow with SEPAD and a Saudi researcher focusing on Saudi foreign policy towards Israel. Aziz obtained his PhD in Saudi foreign policy towards Israel, from the University of Essex, where he lectured from 2019-2021. Aziz has published on Saudi political history and Discoursing sectarianism, in addition to a number of journalistic pieces with The Conversation, AGSIW and the SEPAD website. Aziz is currently working on his book project on Saudi relations with Israel. 

On this episode, Simon, Aziz and Nir talk about the Abraham Accords and prospects for Saudi-Israeli normalization. The conversation includes a discussion of existing relations, ideas of a ‘tacit security regime’, Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, the role of the US, and the importance of the Palestinian question.

SEPADPod Special on Saudi-Israeli Normalization – Richardson Institute – Podcast en iVoox





Jerusalem Studio – Saudi-Iranian crisis and its regional implication



1. Dr. Nir Boms; Research Fellow, Moshe Dayan Center – Tel Aviv University
2. Dr. Eldad Pardo; Iran Expert – Hebrew University of Jerusalem


1. Amir Oren, TV7 Analyst

On the 2nd of January, Saudi Arabia executed a prominent Muslim Shi’ite leader sending a strong message to the Shi’ite world – primarily its arch-regional rival Iran. The signal by the Saudi monarch’s, amid growing regional proxy-wars, was a claim of leadership to the Sunni Muslim world; One that has brought about a harsh response by Iran’s leaders, proclaiming the Saudi act would bring about “divine revenge” – a statement which prompted an angry Iranian mob to storm the Saudi diplomatic mission in Tehran.
These occurrences have severed the already strained relations between the Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims– with fears of the ongoing chaos in the Middle East deteriorating further to new lows.