Netanyahu tells UN that Israel is ‘at the cusp’ of a historic agreement with Saudi Arabia

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the U.N. General Assembly on Friday that Israel is “at the cusp” of a historic breakthrough leading to a peace agreement with Saudi Arabia, without outlining a clear path over the significant obstacles facing such an accord.

He struck an optimistic tone throughout his roughly 25-minute address — and, once again, used a visual aid. He displayed contrasting maps showing Israel’s isolation at the time of its creation in 1948 and the six countries that have normalized relations with it, including four that did so in 2020 in the so-called Abraham Accords.

“There’s no question the Abraham Accords heralded the dawn of a new age of peace. But I believe that we are at the cusp of an even more dramatic breakthrough, an historic peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia,” Netanyahu said. “Peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia will truly create a new Middle East.”

There are several hurdles in the way of such an agreement, including the Saudis’ demand for progress in the creation of a Palestinian state — a hard sell for Netanyahu’s government, the most religious and nationalist in Israel’s history.

By Nadeem Faisal Baiga