I really do not see a substantive difference between today's rulers of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and others in the region and the late 1800s indirect rulers of the British Raj in what is now India and its neighboring countries. Eric Margolis, I believe, coined the term "American Raj" which strikes me as fitting.
But the Arab League, in reaction to Israel's refusal to make significant symbolic concessions to the Palestinians, feels pressure to respond, at least symbolicly.
"We have to study the possibility that the peace process will be a complete failure," Moussa said. "It's time to face Israel. We have to have alternative plans because the situation has reached a turning point," he said.The whole point of indirect rule, whether practiced by the British or the Americans, is symbolism. A native face of the ruler provokes less intense feelings of rebellion among, especially, the young, educated and idealistic portions of the ruled population who play an important role in organizing and orchestrating changes of leaderships.
"The peace process has entered a new stage, perhaps the last stage. We have accepted the efforts of mediators. We have accepted an open-ended peace process but that resulted in a loss of time and we did not achieve anything and allowed Israel to practice its policy for 20 years."
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has a better feel than a direct US governor would for which symbolic measures would be counter-productive affronts against local sensibilities and which measures can be quietly acquiesced to. In return for the service of preventing revolt against US rule, Abdullah lives a comfortable life aided by imported Western luxury items. He also trains his children to accept the US as the masters of his family and the country to extend the relationship into the future.
However, in no sense can Saudi Arabia, led by colonial King Abdullah, "face Israel". Instead he can coordinate with the US State Department symbolic displays of displeasure which is what we are going to see over the next year from the US-controlled countries of the region.