Tuesday, December 19, 2017

A Saudi Look at Jerusalem

While the United Nations Security Council was trying to condemn America’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, one Saudi Arabian academic struck a different chord.

The world’s leaders have so thoroughly bought into the Palestinian narrative of an oppressed people yearning to breathe free that they cannot let it go. So many of the world’s intellectual and political elites have spent so much time and effort working within this narrative they cannot give it up.

Or else, they are all so terrified of terrorism that they prefer appeasement to confrontation.

One understands that Saudi Arabian academics do not just express personal opinions. If the academic in question spoke out, he must have had at least the acquiescence of the powers that be-- that would be the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Jerusalem Post reports the story:

A Saudi academic has voiced backing for US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and called on Arabs to recognize the city's sanctity to Jews.

Abdulhameed Hakeem, head of the Middle East Center for Strategic and Legal Studies in Jedda told US-based al-Hurra television station on Saturday that Trump's move, which set off protests across the Muslim world from Tunisia to Indonesia, constitutes a "positive shock" to the peace process.

Hakeem added: "We as Arabs must come to an understanding with the other party and know what its demands are so that we can succeed in peace negotiation efforts so that negotiations not be futile. We must recognize and realize that Jerusalem is a religious symbol to Jews and sacred to them as Mecca and Medina is to Muslims."

Hakeem, who in a March article for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy stressed that Israel and Saudi Arabia face a common Nazi-like threat in Iran, said that the "Arab mind must liberate itself from the legacy of [former Egyptian President] Gamal Abdul-Nasser and the legacy of both the Sunni and Shii sects, which has instilled for political interests the culture of Jew hatred and denial of their historic right in the region."

Considering that Saudi Arabia has been promulgating anti-Semitism for decades now, it is worth noting when the kingdom turns away from past errors and starts working to change the Arab mindset. Obviously, this is not going to happen overnight. And yet, it is happening with more speed than most of us would have imagined possible. 

True enough, it is provoking a local backlash, but an autocratic regime can control such outbursts. We note, as a general rule, that when you have habituated people in Jew hatred, they will not change their way of thinking from one day to the next.

And that’s not all, folks. Israel and its Arab neighbors have been pursuing other avenues of diplomatic contact. Again, the Jerusalem Post reports:

Hakeem's statements come after Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz revealed earlier this month that there are covert Israeli-Saudi contacts. The Saudi website Elaph, meanwhile, has broken a taboo by publishing interviews with chief of staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot and Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz.

Last week, a delegation from Bahrain - a close Saudi ally - made an unprecedented visit to Jerusalem as guests of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which is also organizing a trip to the tiny Gulf kingdom by a group of Israeli businessmen for next month.

While all eyes are fixed with quivering trepidation at the so-called Arab street, other, more important contacts are being established. It’s always good to look at all the facts.


Sam L. said...

Another encouraging sign.

sestamibi said...

Oceania is at war with Eurasia. Oceania has ALWAYS been at war with Eurasia.

Ares Olympus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.