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From a UPSC perspective, understanding the dynamics of international relations and how they shape the geopolitical landscape is crucial. One such significant development in recent times is the growing 'normalisation' process between Saudi Arabia and Israel. However, it is essential to explore a hypothetical scenario where a war might disrupt this initiation of diplomatic ties. This article delves into the potential consequences and implications of such an event.

Understanding Saudi-Israel 'Normalisation'

The Saudi-Israel normalisation process refers to the ongoing efforts by both nations to establish diplomatic relations openly. Historically, Saudi Arabia maintained a strict policy of non-recognition of Israel due to its support for the Palestinian cause. However, recent geopolitical shifts have prompted Saudi Arabia to reconsider its stance. The potential benefits of diplomatic engagement with Israel include regional security cooperation, intelligence sharing, economic ties, and countering common regional adversaries.

The War that Alters the Course

In our hypothetical scenario, a confluence of events sparks a full-fledged war in the region involving Saudi Arabia and Israel. This conflict, whether triggered by external aggression or internal complexities, transforms the strategic calculus for both nations. It has profound implications for their evolving normalisation process as diplomatic relations take a backseat amid the chaos of war.

Implications for Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Arabian government now faces a critical dilemma on how to navigate the conflict while simultaneously continuing its engagement with Israel. With the outbreak of war, the Saudi domestic agenda shifts to focus on national security, mobilization of resources, and maintaining public support. Domestic priorities overshadow the importance of normalisation as Saudi Arabia rallies for war.

Implications for Israel

For Israel, engaging in a war with a regional power like Saudi Arabia will test its military capabilities and alliances. With its attention diverted to the conflict, its focus on normalisation and reaping the benefits of diplomatic engagement with Saudi Arabia diminishes. However, Israel might seek support and assistance from its traditional allies and intelligence-sharing partners to maintain its strategic interests.

Regional Dynamics

A war between Saudi Arabia and Israel would inevitably have a ripple effect across the Middle East. It could disrupt the precarious balance of power in the region and increase tensions among other nations. Proxy conflicts might intensify, with other actors in the region taking sides. The war would redefine alliances and potentially lead to a polarized Middle East, making normalisation efforts even more challenging to revive.

International Response

A conflict of this magnitude would draw significant attention from the international community. World powers and regional actors would have a vested interest in supporting their respective allies, leading to complex diplomatic maneuvers. International diplomatic efforts to mediate and mitigate the conflict's impact on the normalisation process become crucial to prevent further escalation or long-term damage to regional stability.


The Saudi-Israel 'normalisation' process has the potential to reshape the dynamics of the Middle East. However, in a hypothetical scenario where a war disrupts this process, the consequences would be far-reaching. From domestic priorities to regional dynamics and international responses, the impacts would be widespread. Understanding these dynamics from a UPSC perspective is crucial in grasping the nuances of international relations and regional developments.