Friends of Saudi Arabia will both encourage their reforms & respectfully speak the truth. My latest column for The Jerusalem Post.


(Denver, Colorado) — The Jerusalem Post has just published a new column that I’ve written for them. It is drawn from a blog I wrote last week on recent reforms in Saudi Arabia, but expanded and a bit more detailed.

To read the full column, please click here.

Here are a few excerpts:

• Cutting the Saudis loose – or insisting MBS step down – is not the way forward. We live in an imperfect world. We have to make imperfect choices and work with imperfect allies. But we always can and should urge our friends and allies to do better.

• The White House and US State Department should, therefore, continue publicly standing side-by-side with the Saudis while privately but clearly telling the king and crown prince the truth…..

• Justice must be done in the Khashoggi affair….

• Innocent Saudis who have been unfairly and unnecessarily imprisoned should be released promptly….

• Reforms to dramatically improve social, economic and religious freedom for all Saudis should be accelerated, consistent with Vision 2030 objectives….

• Riyadh would also be wise to take specific, tangible steps towards peace with Israel, consistent with their own national interests.

• Allowing Israeli airlines to fly to and over the kingdom would be a good next step.

• Inviting Israeli journalists to Riyadh to interview senior Saudi officials would also be useful.

• Indeed, inviting a delegation of Jewish leaders from both the US and Israel to meet with Saudi royals would be a very encouraging move, just as they invited me last year to bring the first-ever delegation of Evangelical leaders to meet with MBS and other senior officials.

• Given the growing Iran threat, and the importance of fighting terrorism and making regional peace, the US-Saudi alliance must be strengthened. This will be immensely easier to accomplish if Americans see Riyadh making far more progress on the reform front….