Though the relationship between Israel and the Arab Gulf States is often alluded to, it is seldom fully discussed. This infographic seeks to categorize and explain the major areas of interaction between the two. Each of the three subcategories, glowing in gray, is clickable, and links to an article or website detailing that area of cooperation.
Israel and the Arab Gulf states face many of the same enemies, including radical Islamist insurgents and ambitious Shi'ism. They cooperate to combat them via security and intelligence coordination and tacit support for U.S. military funding.
Despite having no official diplomatic contact with Israel, the Gulf States play an important role in leading Arab efforts to reach a two-state solution. They also collaborate with Israel when it comes to renewable energy, and include Israeli representatives in an annual
conference in Abu Dhabi. Israel, in turn, has established a virtual embassy to connect with Gulf citizens.
The relationship between Israel and the Arab Gulf States is fraught with tension. In particular, it is limited by the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the consequent Arab League boycott of Israeli companies, which limits economic interaction, and the
the Gulf States' support for various terrorist and anti-Israel groups in the region.
Edyt Dickstein is a summer intern in FPRI's Program on the Middle East. She is a junior at Harvard College, where she is studying government and the Middle East.
Israel and the Arab Gulf States cooperate primarily behind-the-scenes in economic affairs, and conduct business deals through third parties. Though Israel had a trade office in Doha until 2009, direct contact today is minimal, and--like the unregistered flight between Israel
and the UAE--is often kept secret. One exception is in the field of renewable energy and desalination, where they cooperate to develop new technologies and possible agreements.