Kuwait’s stance on Israel has long been a topic of interest in Middle Eastern geopolitics. This article delves deep into the nuances of Kuwait’s position, exploring historical context, current policies, and future prospects for Kuwait-Israel relations.

Kuwait’s Official Position on Israel: A Firm Stance

Kuwait has consistently maintained a strong position against normalizing relations with Israel. The country’s leadership has repeatedly emphasized its support for Palestinian rights and statehood.

Key points:

  • Kuwait does not recognize Israel as a state
  • The country boycotts Israeli products and services
  • Kuwait prohibits its citizens from visiting Israel

In 2020, when several Gulf states signed the Abraham Accords to normalize relations with Israel, Kuwait stood firm in its rejection. Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah stated, “Our position toward Israel is fixed and will not change.”

Historical Context: Kuwait and the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Kuwait’s stance on Israel is deeply rooted in its historical support for the Palestinian cause.

Timeline of key events:

Year Event
1948-1967 Kuwait actively supported Arab efforts against Israel
1990-1991 Gulf War strained Kuwait-Palestinian relations
2000s-present Kuwait maintains its anti-normalization stance

The 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait led to a temporary cooling of Kuwait-Palestinian relations, as the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) initially supported Saddam Hussein. However, Kuwait has since rekindled its support for Palestinians while maintaining its position on Israel.

Kuwait’s Actions in International Forums

Kuwait consistently uses its voice in international organizations to advocate for Palestinian rights and criticize Israeli actions.


  • At the UN General Assembly, Kuwait regularly votes in favor of resolutions supporting Palestinian statehood
  • Kuwait has called for UN investigations into Israeli actions in Gaza
  • In the Arab League, Kuwait supports resolutions condemning Israeli settlements

Economic Ties: Does Kuwait Have Any Trade Relations with Israel?

Unlike some of its Gulf neighbors, Kuwait maintains a strict economic boycott of Israel.

Country Trade with Israel
UAE Yes (since 2020)
Bahrain Yes (since 2020)
Saudi Arabia No (but informal ties exist)
Kuwait No

Kuwait’s parliament has passed laws reinforcing the boycott, making it illegal for Kuwaiti companies to do business with Israeli firms or their subsidiaries.

Kuwait’s Stance on the Abraham Accords

The 2020 Abraham Accords, which saw the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan normalize relations with Israel, highlighted Kuwait’s unwavering position.

Kuwait’s response:

  • Reaffirmed its commitment to the Palestinian cause
  • Emphasized the need for a two-state solution
  • Criticized the trend of normalization without Israeli concessions

Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah stated, “Kuwait will be the last country to normalize with Israel.”

Public Opinion in Kuwait Regarding Israel

Kuwaiti public opinion largely aligns with the government’s stance on Israel. A strong sense of Arab solidarity and support for Palestinian rights permeates Kuwaiti society.

Factors influencing public opinion:

  • Historical ties to the Palestinian cause
  • Religious and cultural connections to Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque
  • Media coverage emphasizing Israeli actions in Gaza and the West Bank

A 2020 survey found that over 88% of Kuwaitis opposed normalizing relations with Israel under any circumstances.

Kuwait’s Treatment of Palestinians: A Paradox?

While Kuwait strongly supports the Palestinian cause diplomatically, its treatment of Palestinian residents has been complex.

Historical context:

Period Palestinian Community in Kuwait
Pre-1990 Large Palestinian community (400,000+)
1991 Mass expulsion following the Gulf War
Present Smaller Palestinian community (under 80,000)

Despite the expulsions in 1991, Kuwait has maintained its pro-Palestinian stance in international forums and continues to provide aid to Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.

The Future of Kuwait-Israel Relations

Given Kuwait’s firm stance and public opinion, a dramatic shift in Kuwait-Israel relations seems unlikely in the near future. However, regional dynamics could influence Kuwait’s position over time.

Factors that could impact future relations:

  1. Progress in Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations
  2. Changes in leadership or public opinion within Kuwait
  3. Shifting regional alliances and pressures

While Kuwait remains steadfast in its current position, the rapidly changing Middle East landscape means that nothing can be ruled out entirely.

Conclusion: Does Kuwait Support Israel?

In conclusion, Kuwait does not support Israel in any official capacity. The country maintains a firm stance against normalization, rooted in its historical support for the Palestinian cause and reinforced by public opinion. While regional dynamics are shifting, Kuwait’s position on Israel remains one of the most uncompromising in the Arab world.

As the Middle East continues to evolve, Kuwait’s stance will be an important factor in regional politics and any future peace initiatives. For now, Kuwait stands as a reminder of the complexities and deep-seated issues that continue to shape Arab-Israeli relations.

FAQs: Does Kuwait Support Israel?

No, Kuwait does not support Israel. Kuwait rejects normalization with Israel and has a long-standing history of supporting the Palestinian cause.

What is the trend of Kuwait’s stance towards Israel?

Kuwait has consistently expressed solidarity with the Palestinian community and other Arab states in their rejection of ties with Israel.

Are there any specific political actions Kuwait has taken in relation to Israel?

Kuwait boycotted and refused to establish ties with Israel, showcasing its strong stance on the Palestinian issue and national sovereignty.

Who are some key figures in Kuwait associated with the stance against Israel?

Figures such as Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and Marzouq Al-Ghanim have been vocal in their opposition to any normalization with Israel.

How does the Kuwaiti public perceive Israel?

The public support in Kuwait for the Palestinian cause and rejection of Israeli actions in the Palestinian territory is high.

What are some of the consequences for countries normalizing relations with Israel according to Kuwait’s perspective?

Kuwait believes that the establishment of an independent Palestinian state should be a priority before any normalization with Israel to avoid betrayal of the Palestinian cause.

How does Kuwait’s stance on Israel align with other Arab states?

Kuwait’s rejection of normalization with Israel is in solidarity with many other Arab countries that support the Palestinian cause and oppose Zionist actions.