Fraternal Enemies

Israel and the Gulf Monarchies

January 2020 9781787382121 224pp


Relations between Israel and the Gulf states are not anything new. In the immediate aftermath of the 1993 Oslo Accords, both Qatar and Oman established low-level yet open diplomatic ties with Israel. In 2010, Ha’aretz reported that the former Israeli foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, was on friendly terms with Shaykh Abdullah Ibn Zayed, her counterpart from the UAE, despite the absence of formal diplomatic ties between the two states. The shared suspicion towards the regional designs of Iran that undoubtedly underpinned these ties even extended, it was alleged, to a secret dialogue between Israel and Saudi Arabia, led by the late Meir Dagan, the former head of Mossad.

Cooperation between Israel and Saudi Arabia in thwarting Iran’s regional ambitions also casts light on Washington’s lack of strategic leadership, which had previously been the totem around which Israel and the Gulf states had based regional security strategies.

Jones and Guzansky contend that, at the very least, ties between Israel and many of its Gulf counterparts are now more vibrant than hitherto realised. They constitute a tacit security regime which, while based on hard power interests, does not preclude competition in other areas. Ultimately, these relations are helping shape a new regional order in the Middle East.


‘Thorough, detailed, and timely.’ Foreign Affairs

‘A timely contribution to Middle Eastern studies, raising more questions in the reader’s mind, in addition to providing a wide historical perspective on controversies and conflicts of interest … a highly valuable resource.’ Global Policy

‘A compact and well-written book.’ Survival

Fraternal Enemies is a must read … an excellent theoretical roadmap, reinforced by superb empirics … [this] prescient and timely account … represents a welcome addition to the shelf of policymakers and scholars seeking a nuanced realist theorisation of conflict and cooperation in the Middle East.’  LSE Review of Books

‘One could not imagine a timelier book … Jones and Guzansky offer us a very  useful guide to Israel-Gulf relations that is  well-researched, theoretically informed,  and empirically based.’ — The Middle East Journal

‘Jones and Guzansky’s study offers an insightful […] examination of the bilateral relationships that Israel has forged with some of the Sunni Arab states of the Persian Gulf. Their work clearly merits the close attention of everyone with an interest in this aspect of Israeli foreign policy.’ — Israel Affairs

‘Fresh, perceptive and extremely timely. Jones and Guzansky paint a vivid picture of the relationship between Israel and the Gulf States. A treasure trove of rich empirical data that adds much to our knowledge of an important and critical topic.’ — Mehran Kamrava, Professor and Director of the Center for International and Regional Studies at Georgetown University Qatar’s School of Foreign Service

‘A clear, succinct and very useful guide for exploring this rapidly developing topic. Jones and Guzansky set out for readers the sum of Israel-Gulf relations as they have developed historically and where they stand today.’ — Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, Fellow for the Middle East at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy

‘An impeccably sourced and rigorously analytical account of how shared hostility to Iran and Islamists has forged increasingly visible security and trade links between Israel, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other Gulf states, despite the continuing impasse in the ever-emotive Palestinian question.’ Ian Black, author of Enemies and Neighbours: Arabs and Jews in Palestine and Israel, 1917-2017

Fraternal Enemies meticulously documents the dramatic increase in high-level engagement and co-operation between Israel and the Arab Gulf monarchies… Clive Jones and Yoel Guzansky have produced a critically important framework through which to understand the complexities surrounding the new regional order. Fraternal Enemies is an essential read for anyone hoping to understand the intricacies of the evolving relationship and the latest
shift in contemporary Middle East politics.’ — Middle East Policy





Clive Jones is Professor of Regional Security at Durham University, a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and editor of, inter alia, Israel’s Clandestine Diplomacies, also published by Hurst.

Yoel Guzansky is Senior Researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies, Tel Aviv University.

Request an academic inspection copy Request a press review copy
Inspection Copy Request
Review Copy Request
Join our mailing list

Subscribers receive exclusive discounts and early access to new books from Hurst.