JERUSALEM, ISRAEL – What’s that memorable line from the classic Broadway musical, and Hollywood hit film, The Music Man?

“You’ve got trouble, my friend, you’ve got trouble right here in River City.”

Well, there is certainly trouble right now between two long-time friends, U.S. President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu.

Six months into Netanyahu being back in power, Biden still hasn’t invited the Israeli leader to the White House.

In fact, he’s downright refusing to do so.

What’s more, Biden and his team continue to sharply criticize Netanyahu for pursuing judicial reforms here in Israel that the American president strongly opposes and is telling Bibi to abandon.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu’s poll numbers have plunged over the past few months.

If an election were held today, Netanyahu and his Likud party would fall from power, likely replaced by an entirely different coalition led by former Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

And yet, behind the scenes, something very encouraging is happening that is getting very little attention by the mainstream media.

Ever since Biden was elected, I’ve been writing on ALL ISRAEL NEWS – and our sister site, ALL ARAB NEWS – that the prospect of an historic Saudi-Israeli peace deal has been steadily growing, even though the poll numbers on the topic have been steadily slipping.

Consider just a few of the articles we’ve published on this topic over the past two and a half years:

In January, ALL ISRAEL NEWS was the first to break the news that senior Saudi officials are telling American guests to Riyadh that they are finally ready to make peace with Israel.

But only if Biden will normalize relations with the Saudis.

Now, I can bring you a very important update.

In April, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican – and one of the leading voices in the GOP and Washington on foreign policy and national security – visited Saudi Arabia and met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) and other senior Saudi officials.

Then, Graham flew here to Israel and met with Prime Minister Netanyahu.


U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Prime Minister’s residence in Jerusalem, Apr. 17, 2023 (Photo: Amos Ben Gershom/ GPO)


At the time, Graham publicly confirmed the story we broke in January – that the Saudis are ready, and the Israelis are ready.

But having returned to Washington and discussed matters with the White House, Senator Graham tells ALL ISRAEL NEWS that he now believes that Biden is also finally ready to make this deal happen.

In fact, the senator told me he’s convinced that if Biden and his team works hard at this – really hard, and stays focused – that a truly historic, game-changing deal could be wrapped up and announced in just a few months.

Before the 2024 campaign gets into full swing.

This is a very significant development.

After all, Graham was a bitter opponent of MBS after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and said he could never work with MBS ever again.

Biden felt the same way, publicly denouncing Saudi Arabia under MBS’ leadership as a “pariah state.”

But things are changing – dramatically.

Graham is now bullish on MBS and ready to help him broker a deal with Biden and Bibi.

And according to the senator, Biden has changed his view, as well.

Am I certain this deal is going to get to the finish line?

No, I’m not.

But I must say that I’m more hopeful than ever.

I encourage you to read my conversation with him carefully and then commit yourself to joining me in praying faithfully for this deal to truly happen.

What a huge breakthrough for peace and prosperity in the region this would be.

The following is a transcript of Part Two of our conversation, lightly edited for clarity.

ROSENBERG: Senator, let’s shift from your views on the war between Russia and Ukraine to the modern State of Israel turning 75.

You were in Saudi Arabia last month meeting with the senior leadership. Then you came here to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu. And you went on the record here in a way that I wasn’t expecting, but I was encouraged.

You see a possibility – a realistic possibility – of a peace treaty between Israel and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Give me give a summary of that case.

SENATOR GRAHAM: I’m very excited about the possibility that the Arab-Israeli conflict, as we know it, could end in the coming months, not years.


Because Saudi Arabia has made a decision to modernize their country. I just was there. Women can drive. Women can go to dinner without a male escort. Those are steps in the right direction. I met a lot of business women. Women are now in business. The more voice a woman has in Saudi Arabia, the more modern the country will be.

The crown prince is investing about $1 trillion in apartments, resorts, cities of the future, and that investment will only work if people from the West can invest in Saudi Arabia and travel without fear.

What would be the game changer in terms of the image of Saudi Arabia in the United States and the West? If they can make peace with Israel.

It is in MBS’s interest to make this investment work over time. And the way to do that is to normalize relationships with the United States and Israel.

It’s in Bibi’s interest.

It would be an historic agreement on his watch to have an agreement with Saudi Arabia, the center of the Islamic world.

It’s also in President Biden’s interest. Biden would be able to build on the Abraham Accords.

The stars have aligned here. And as Israel turns 75, you can’t forget that it came out of the ashes of the first Holocaust – and hopefully the only Holocaust. And the Iranian nuclear threat is a threat not only to Israel but to the Arab world. So the threats that Saudi Arabia and Israel face are common and the opportunities are mutually beneficial.

That’s why I believe this can happen.

ROSENBERG: So, I’ve sat with Mohammed bin Salman twice for a total of four hours. I’ve met with multiple senior leaders there, and brought two Evangelical delegations to Saudi Arabia.

But I remember after the horrific, heinous murder of Jamal Khashoggi, you said that MBS was a “wrecking ball.”

You said you couldn’t even imagine working with Saudi Arabia if he was still in the line of succession.

I understand that anger. I was the first American to actually meet with him after that murder, as it turns out, because I’d already been invited by the crown prince to visit the Kingdom months before and the plan to meet was already set. We could have canceled our visit as Evangelicals but we decided that the future direction of Saudi Arabia – and the possibility of an Israeli-Saudi peace accord – and the future of religious freedom for Christians in Saudi was so important that we should go even though there was a global firestorm over the Khashoggi murder.

So, I have to ask you – what has changed for you? Why do you seem to be more bullish on MBS and on the future of Saudi Arabia?

SENATOR GRAHAM: What has changed is that Saudi Arabia has changed.

I met with a group of women who are entrepreneurs. Things are changing on the ground. They’re going to spend about $1 trillion modernizing their country. And that investment only works if you can have a relationship with the West. So, he’s making an effort to change.

The Biden administration would like to see if they can build on the Abraham Accords by getting a peace deal between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

ROSENBERG: You believe that? You believe that President Biden really wants it?

SENATOR GRAHAM: Yes, I do. They’ve got to work to get it. But I’m a proud Republican and I’m a proud American more than anything else. I can’t think of a more consequential agreement than Saudi Arabia and Israel making peace. It ends the Arab conflict as we know it. It allows us to focus on Iran. It would be enormously beneficial to our friends in Israel, and we have no better ally in Israel.

So, rather than looking backward, I’m looking forward.

I’m going to work with the Biden administration to give them cover and get Republicans on board for that agreement, if it makes sense, and I know Israel would like nothing better than to be able to have a normal relationship with Saudi Arabia.

We live in dangerous and historic times. And I’m trying to rise to the occasion here.

ROSENBERG: Well, I appreciate it, senator. I agree with you.

And I must say, I don’t think that Bibi is the obstacle to peace with the Saudis. I think that what the Saudis are really asking for – what I’m hearing from my sources – is normalization with Washington, with the Biden administration.

With regards to peace with Israel, I think the Saudis are ready to go. That’s my instinct from the people I talk to that have met with MBS and have traveled back and forth.

But MBS can’t normalize with Israel until he normalizes relations with Biden and Washington more broadly.

So, I’m increasingly of the mind that you and Netanyahu may need to be the marriage counselors to help repair, to heal, to strengthen what has become a very, very troubled relationship – not between the Saudis and Israel, but between Saudi Arabia and the United States of America.

SENATOR GRAHAM: I think you have a very good insight to what we’re facing here.

Look at it this way. If you had a Republican president making a defense agreement and a free trade agreement with Saudi Arabia, I think Democrats would vote “no” just because of the human rights issue.

But because you have a Democrat in the White House, I think Democrats on Capitol Hill are probably going to fall in behind Biden if he brokers this peace deal.

So, I think the time to do this is now.

The Biden administration’s going to have to find a way to engage Saudi Arabia and create a free trade agreement. Saudi Arabia wants to continue to buy weapons. They’d like some kind of defense agreement and they want to have a nuclear power program that’s peaceful.

I’m willing to work with the Biden administration to make those things happen. It’s going to be a heavy lift, but the moment is right.

And I agree with you that Israel is very keen on making normalizing relationships with Saudi Arabia.

The big test is going to be between the United States and Saudi Arabia.

So stay tuned.

And, Joel, I think you’re covering one of the most interesting beats in the world and one of the most interesting times to be there.

ROSENBERG: Well, I appreciate your insights, as always, my friend, and I look forward to having you on THE ROSENBERG REPORT show on TBN very soon.

SENATOR GRAHAM: Yeah, we’ll do it. Thanks.

ROSENBERG: Thank you, senator. God bless.

Share this article