When Israeli and Saudi officials publicly acknowledged their quiet thawing of relations in 2015, the U.S. and other Western allies were encouraged. Yes, the Middle East was unraveling elsewhere, but two longtime foes were making common cause against Iran.

This cold peace has its benefits. But in the last year, a darker side has come into focus.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.