Highlighting common interests with Israel, Saudi commentator Abdulhameed AlHakeem says Saudi Arabia needs to “eradicate the culture of hatred for Jews in the Arab world,” by establishing full diplomatic ties with Israel, leading to the opening of embassies in Riyadh and Jerusalem.
By Israel Hayom Staff
A senior Saudi commentator has called for establishing “peace with Israel” and ending the hatred of Jews in the Arab world, the Middle East Media Research Institute reported Thursday.
In a series of recent tweets, Abdulhameed AlHakeem, until recently the director of the Middle East Center for Strategic and Legal Studies in the Saudi port city of Jeddah, expressed support for Israel’s right to exist, congratulated the Jewish state on its 70th anniversary and acknowledged Israel’s historical link to Jerusalem.
He also called on Saudi Arabia and Israel to establish full diplomatic ties and open embassies in Riyadh and Jerusalem, creating the hashtag (in Arabic) “#we_want_Israeli_Embassy_in_Riyadh.”
AlHakeem said Israel is a buffer against Iranian hostility in the Middle East, and called for the eradication of the culture of hatred for Jews in the Arab world, including by amending school curricula.
The demonstrations in Gaza broke out on orders from Tehran, as a message to the U.S. about the decision to withdraw from the nuclear agreement.
”What is the significance of opening an Israeli embassy in Riyadh and a Saudi embassy in Jerusalem? It means announcing the death of the Iranian plan that spread chaos [in the Middle East] via political Shiite Islam, and also the death of Sunni political Islam and the creation of a new and better Middle East for the peoples of the region. History will remember that [Saudi Crown Prince] Mohammed Bin Salman was the one who saved the region,” he tweeted.
In an April interview with U.S. magazine The Atlantic, the crown prince said Israelis “are entitled to live peacefully on their own land.”
In previous comments, AlHakeem stressed the common interests shared by Israel and the Arab world in light of the Iranian threat.
In response to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s April 30 press conference at which he exposed a trove of Iranian documents proving Tehran had deceived the world about the true nature of its nuclear program, AlHakeem wrote, “Israel acquired details of the nuclear program of Iran, Saudi Arabia’s most dangerous enemy.
“The Saudi citizen, at this historic juncture, [must] choose between an alliance with the Turkish plan, which aims to subjugate [Saudi Arabia] – either in the guise of a caliphate or [under the banner of] nationalism, whose failure has been proved – and peace with Israel so as to contend with [the] Iranian enemy and grant his homeland a leading role. The choice of peace with Israel first and foremost serves the interests of his homeland.”
A second tweet that evening said, “Message to societies in the Gulf: Who stands with us now as one man to confront the Iranian ambitions? Certainly not the weak, unaware Arabs, and certainly not Turkey, which has strategic interests with Iran and which does not place our issues at the top of its agenda. The one who stands with us and even blocks the Iranian regime’s aggression is Israel. Let us establish peace with Israel, for our Gulf is in danger.”
In a tweet on April 19, AlHakeem congratulated Israel on its 70th Independence Day, writing, “I congratulate the Israeli public on the occasion of Independence Day and take this opportunity to say to the Arab public: The Jews have a historical right to the State of Israel, as proved by the monotheistic scriptures and the history of the region. In 70 years, Israel has become a First World country. You will gain nothing by denying their right other than weakness and sectarian wars orchestrated by the Iranian regime – your true enemy.”
MEMRI quoted another controversial tweet, posted on May 14, in which AlHakeem congratulated Israel on the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, a step that infuriated the Palestinians and the Arab world.
”I congratulate the people and the government in the State of Israel on this historic occasion. When I visited Jerusalem, I found a First World city and I observed that Israeli society respects its holy capital and the culture of freedom of worship within it. I thanked God that Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem are all under the management of regimes that respect the sanctity of these cities and have transformed them into some of the most beautiful cities in the world.”
AlHakeem visited Israel in July 2016 as part of a Saudi delegation headed by Maj. Gen. (ret.) Anwar Eshki, chairman of the Middle East Center for Strategic and Legal Studies. The delegation of businessmen and academics sought to promote the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, also known as the Saudi initiative.
While in Israel, Eshki met separately with then-Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold and Coordinator of Government Activities for the Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai.
In December 2017, after U.S. President Donald Trump’s historic recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, AlHakeem tweeted, “Let us be logical and clarify: Jerusalem is a holy city to the Jews and they have a historical right to it, just as Mecca and Medina are holy to Muslims. It is better that Jerusalem be administered by Israel, which allows Muslims to visit Al-Aqsa, than it be under Arab administration, which will transform it into a floundering Third World city. The achievement of peace and the cessation of bloodshed are more precious to us than stones and territories.”
Most recently, AlHakeem expressed support for Israel in its conflict with the Palestinians, while leveling criticism at Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.
In an April 30 tweet responding to a tweet by the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson that condemned the PA’s glorification of terrorists, AlHakeem wrote, “The PA must decide which side it is on: the side of peace or the side of terror. It must confront its people with reality, which is that applauding the dead [terrorists] and their terror means continues the saga of [Palestinian] suffering and the exploitation of their blood, and that their lives are more precious than a piece of land or the stones of a mosque.
”[The PA] should announce that it accepts Trump’s decision about Jerusalem and take advantage of it to achieve peace, for if not, the PA and Hamas are two sides of the same coin.”
Commenting on the death of dozens of Palestinians in Hamas-orchestrated riots on the Gaza border, AlHakeem wrote, “The demonstrations in Gaza broke out on orders from Tehran, as a message to the U.S. about the decision to withdraw from the nuclear agreement.
”[Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan continues to carry out so-called acts of bravery [in] defeated societies, starting with the [2010 Mavi Marmara] freedom flotilla, continuing with the destruction of societies in the Arab Spring, and culminating in his trading in the blood of Gaza. Turkey and Iran are two sides of the same coin and they bear the responsibility along with Hamas for every drop of blood [spilled] in Gaza.”
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