Arabs: Israel Is Not Our Enemy

by Khaled Abu Toameh

  • “Times change, everything has changed, except for the Palestinian mood that rejects anything and everything.” — Saudi writer Amal Abdel Aziz al-Hazany, Asharq al-Awsat, September 15, 2020.

A growing number of Arabs, particularly those living in the Gulf, say they finally understand that Israel is not the enemy of the Muslims and Arabs. This change of heart manifested even before the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed peace agreements with Israel during a ceremony at the White House on September 15. Pictured from left to right: UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Bahrain Foreign Minister Abdullatif al-Zayani, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump at the White House on September 15, 2020.
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The commander-in-chief of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on Saturday repeated his threat to avenge the U.S. killing of Iran’s top general Qasem Soleimani in early January, personally warning President Donald Trump a response is on its way.

“Mr. Trump! Our revenge for the martyrdom of our great general is certain. It is serious. It is real,” Major-General Hossein Salami said, according to the IRGC website.  “We will hit those who were directly or indirectly involved in the martyrdom of this great man.”

Arabs: Israel Is Not Our Enemy

  • “Palestinian leaders are the main cause for the suffering of their people. They have achieved nothing for the Palestinians. They only care about power and achieving personal and partisan gains at the expense of the Palestinian issue.” — Emirati political analyst Issa bin Arabi Albuflasah, Al Bayan, September 12, 2020.
  • “We were told that Israel’s slogan was [to expand] ‘From the Euphrates to the Nile.’ Iran, however, does not hide its expansionist ideological trend, which it is already practicing through its militias in Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen. Turkey, on the other hand, is seeking to seize new sources of energy in Libya and has sights on Africa along the Red Sea. These developments prompted the moderate Arabs to start reconsidering previous their political positions.” — Saudi writer Fahd al Degaither, Okaz, September 14, 2020.
  • “The Palestinian issue concerns the Arab peoples who want a solution, but the leaders benefit from the status quo. These leaders benefit from the problems and suffering of their people. There is no solution under corrupt leaderships.” — Saudi writer Osama Yamani, Okaz, September 11, 2020.
  • Al-Shkiran also advised the Palestinians to hold their leaders accountable on two levels: “The first is political accountability: The reasons and causes of the continued rejection of all realistic deals that were offered to them since the beginning of the problem until today. Second: Opening the files of corruption. The Palestinian has the right to ask about the billions of dollars paid by the Gulf states for the Palestinian cause. All that money has disappeared.” — Saudi writer and researcher Fahd al-Shkiran, Asharq Al-Awsat, September 16, 2020.

A growing number of Arabs, particularly those living in the Gulf, say they finally understand that Israel is not the enemy of the Muslims and Arabs. This change of heart manifested even before the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed peace agreements with Israel during a ceremony at the White House on September 15. Pictured from left to right: UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Bahrain Foreign Minister Abdullatif al-Zayani, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump at the White House on September 15, 2020. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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A growing number of Arabs, particularly those living in the Gulf, say they finally understand that Israel is not the enemy of the Muslims and Arabs. This change of heart manifested even before the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed peace agreements with Israel during a ceremony at the White House on September 15. It is the direct result of the expansionist ambitions of Iran and Turkey in the Arab world and the feeling among Arabs that those two states pose the real threat to their national security.

Until recently, it was unimaginable to see Arabs openly admitting that they had been mistaken in their belief that Israel was the enemy of the Muslims and Arabs. Now, Arabs seem to have no problem saying that they were wrong all these years about their attitude toward Israel. These Arabs now are saying out loud that Iran and its proxies in the Arab world, and not Israel, are the real enemies of Arabs and Muslims.

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