by Turki Al-Owerde
Palestinian hostility against Saudi Arabia is the title of the Palestinian failure
Prince Bandar began his meeting by clarifying the truth about the recent positions of the Palestinian leaders that represent hostility to the Arabian Gulf states, which seems to be consistent with historical Palestinian policies and which inexplicably ignore the Saudi positive political positions and the Saudi advice that has always stood firmly with the Palestinians.
In 1991, during the battle to liberate Kuwait, Saddam Hussein hit the Saudi capital, Riyadh, with ballistic missiles, those missiles that the Saudis bought and presented as a gift to Iraq in the war against Iran! Palestinians went out dancing happily with targeting Riyadh with missiles, raising pictures of Saddam Hussein. The Prince stressed that this could not be forgotten, but the Saudis were greater than that when they ignored such stances for the sake of the Palestinian Cause.
Fair Cause and Loser Lawyers
The former ambassador began a narrative of historical positions and events, he summarized the Palestinian political activities during the past seventy-five years, opening the meeting: “The Palestinian cause is just, but its lawyer (the Palestinian leaders) are losers, adding: The Palestinians have always bet on the losing side, stressing that what happened and what is happening is the price that the Palestinians have to pay for policies of their leaders.
The losing bets
Prince Bandar mentioned the position of Amin al-Husseini, Mufti of Al-Quds in the 1930s when he bet on Nazism, without any benefits the Palestinians would get politically or economically, and the same position was repeated in 1990, when Yasser Arafat visited Saddam Hussein to congratulate him on invading Kuwait, even though Kuwait was the country that witnessed and supported the establishment of the Palestine Liberation Organization and hosted the Palestinian leaders!
The Egyptians tried to save the Palestinians from themselves
Former ambassador Bandar continued, since 2011 until today with His Excellency President El-Sisi, Egypt has been working a lot to unify the Palestinians through holding successive conferences to reconcile the Palestinian Authority with Hamas. While asking, how can the world come to terms with the Palestinians while they do not have a unified representation? Stressing that this is not a new in the context of hostility and mutual accusations of betrayal among the Palestinians.
The Saudi Part to Save the Palestinians from themselves
The late Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud brought together the Palestinian Authority and Hamas in Makkah. After rounds of Saudi mediation in the negotiation between the two parties, the Saudi efforts culminated in a constructive agreement, and the two parties swore at the Sacred House of Allah and in front of the Palestinians and the world to commit to this agreement.
Just days after the agreement, news came out that both parties abandoned the agreement and started a new round of mutual conspiracy. The Prince added that the Saudi moral position (goodwill) that the Saudis have historically enjoyed, was behind the Saudis’ repeated offer of assistance and advice, but the Palestinians were taking help and rejecting the advice, rather, they used to take a completely opposite direction to the Saudi advice then they fail, then they repeat it and so on.
Prince Bandar stressed that the kingdom of Saudi Arabia has always stood alongside the Palestinian stances against the world, despite the Saudis’ knowledge of the errors of the Palestinian stances, and this was in order to preserve the strategy of the principle of justice for the Palestinian cause.
Saudi High Moral Position VS Palestinian indifference
The Prince added that as a result, Palestinian positions were characterized by indifference and the Palestinians became convinced that there is no price they have to pay for any wrong decision they would take towards Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Arabian Gulf states.
The ambassador clarified that the Palestinian people should be aware of the situations and events that were not shed light on but express the truth. He asked, “Do the Palestinians consider Iran as an ally?” Which is the one that trades with their cause at their expense? Which is destroying Yemen, Lebanon and Syria by exploiting their cause.
The Palestinian Fight Against the Palestinian Cause
He added that Hamas leaders went to Ankara to thank the Turks that Erdogan announced his intention to take back the Turkish ambassador from the UAE because of the peace agreement! Astonishingly, why the Palestinians did not ask Erdogan to expel the Israeli ambassador in Ankara and to take back the Turkish ambassador from Tel Aviv?
He explained that the hearts of the Palestinian leaders are sick, referring to a verse from the Qur’an on what Palestinian leaders should do to overcome the repeated failure and the danger they represent to their cause.
“Indeed, Allāh will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves”. Quran 13:11.
In Prince Bandar’s historical narrative on the Palestinian cause, he recalled the 1939 British invitation to a conference in London, where Palestinians and Jews were invited, and some countries, including Saudi Arabia headed by Prince Faisal (King Faisal), accompanied by Prince Khaled (King Khalid).
The Palestinians and the Jews together rejected the British offer, and Saudi Arabia supported the Palestinian position, and after the outbreak of World War II, the Palestinian cause became a marginal for the super powers. Meanwhile, armed gangs were formed in Israel to carry out attacks against Palestinian civilians through assassinations and terrorist operations, and Palestinian resistance groups were formed.
The Historic Saudi-American Meeting
Just before the end of World War II, in February 1945, the late Saudi founder King Abdulaziz Al Saud met with US President Roosevelt, and the Palestinian cause took the greatest place among the meeting’s axes, and weeks later, in March of the same year, King Abdulaziz sent a lengthy letter to President Roosevelt to consolidate what was discussed in the famous meeting, then came the American response from President Roosevelt.
Prince Bandar explained that his purpose in this historical narrative is to entrench these moral Saudi attitudes from the beginning towards the Palestinian cause, in the awareness and culture of Saudis.
The End of the British Mandate
After the establishment of the Arab League and the United Nations, of which Saudi Arabia was a founding member in 1945. In 1947, the British decided to end the mandate over Palestine and they began trying to coordinate to find a compromise that the Palestinians and the Jews could accept, and they did not succeed. So they went to the United Nations, the emerging international organization. The Security Council decided on the partition resolution 181, and from that historical moment, the Palestinians have repeated the same mistake. The Palestinians rejected the resolution 181 while the Jews intelligently accepted it politically and rejected it in practice. The resolution established two independent states (Palestine and Israel). As a result of Israel accepting the resolution, it was recognized as a sovereign state and was recognized as a member of the UN. The Palestinians’ rejection of the resolution led to get ignored by the major powers.
The Prince reiterated that the Palestinians have continued to make losing bets since then, and they kept wishing for a return to decisions that has no longer on the international table and has no longer up for discussion, such as Resolution 181. After the outbreak of the 1948 war that broke out as a result of successive Israeli attacks against the Palestinians, the Arab League decided to join the war to help the Palestinians.
Zionist Immigration to Palestine
Prince Bandar returns, in 1967 there were zero Jewish settlements in the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan, and Sinai. But three years later, in 1970, Israel built settlements for 30,000 Jewish immigrants. In 1973 more than 100,000 settlers, then in 1978 around 300,000 settlers, and today there are more than 600 thousand Jewish settlers.
The Saudi Counter Project
King Abdulaziz put forward a proposal to members of the Arab League, rejecting Palestinian immigration, and not allowing Palestinians to emigrate abroad because they will be placed in camps, and because the Palestinians’ stay in their land will provide a strong positive impact over time on the Palestinian reality.
The rejection of the Saudi Project
The Arab League rejected this Saudi proposal, and Saudi Arabia decided not to violate the consensus in order the regional security strategies to prevail, and this rejection was the door to a comprehensive tragedy that continued from 1948.
The Triple Aggression 1956 (Suez Crisis)
1956 was the year of the tripartite aggression against Egypt, which was led by two superpowers that are members of the Security Council (Britain and France) in addition to Israel. It failed because the rejection of the United States led by President Eisenhower, as well as the Soviet Union rejected it, and because the late Egyptian President Gamal AbduNnasser smartly decided not to involve into a direct military confrontation because the Egyptian army was not prepared. Instead, he adopted a strategy of popular resistance focused on the axis of the Suez Canal, followed by the Israeli occupation of the Egyptian Sinai desert and the withdrawal of the British and French.
The Defeat of the 1967 war
The Egyptian move to close the Gulf of Aqaba was compatible with the Israeli desire to launch a new expansionary war, and this ignited the 1967 war, which was a great catastrophe for Egypt, the Palestinians and the whole region. Abdun-Nasser took the war decision based on inaccurate or wrong information from the military leadership.
The result was that Israel occupied Sinai, Gaza, the West Bank, the Golan, and Jerusalem, and this was the biggest disaster and historic defeat that befell the region after World War II. Since then, Egyptian President Abdun-Nasser focused on rebuilding the Egyptian army and saving the Palestinians from themselves.
The dispute did not prevent Saudi Arabia to provide assistance
There was a deep dispute between Saudi Arabia and Egypt over Yemen, and before the tripartite aggression. Egyptian aircrafts were striking the southern Saudi cities of Najran and Jizan. After the outbreak of the tripartite aggression, Saudi Arabia offered to provide support to Egypt, so Egypt requested the Saudis to receive Egyptian aircrafts (that were bombing Saudi Arabia) from Sudan and Egypt to locate in Jeddah in Western Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Military Support for the Palestinian Cause
Since the 1948 war, the Saudi army has been involved with three thousand fighters with equipments on the Egyptian front and inside Palestine to support the military efforts. The Saudi soldiers did well, according to the testimonies of the Egyptians, and 150 Saudi soldiers were martyred. The regular Saudi army was newly established at the time and the other armies did not have the appropriate capabilities as well.
The late commander of the Saudi Western Military Region, Major General Mansour Al-Shuaibi, proposed to the late Minister of Defense Prince Sultan to document the presence of Egyptian aircrafts in Jeddah in pictures, so that this could be used against the Egyptians if a new dispute occurred. King Faisal then strongly rejected that proposal, stressing that he will punish anyone who documents to use against the Egyptians.
A section of the Saudi army moved from Tabuk southern Saudi Arabia towards the Jordanian front closest and most appropriate to Saudi capabilities, the war then quickly stopped, as it was called the Six-Day War. King Hussein and President Abdun-Nasser requested that the Saudi force to remain in Jordan, and it remained there from 1967 to 1973. Jordan decided not to engage in the 1973 war, and King Faisal transferred the Saudi forces from Jordan to fight alongside the Syrian forces on the Golan front, then a ceasefire took place, and the Saudi forces remained there until 1979.
The former Saudi ambassador stressed that no one has the right to outbid or question the Saudi attitudes. Saudis actively participate in good times as well as bad times in word and actions.
Black September, Lebanese Civil War & Israeli Occupation of Lebanon
The Palestinians decided in September 1970 that the time had come to occupy Jordan instead of liberating Palestine! They failed and then emigrated and decided to occupy Lebanon and ignite a Lebanese civil war, and then followed that Israel invaded Lebanon, where for the first time Israel reached a capital of another country.
The international context today is completely different
The nature of politics has changed now from what it was in the past, today is the era of the rapid spread of information, and the majority of the world’s population receives news quickly through the Internet and social media. A few people read newspapers, TV stations carry a toxic and false ideology, such as Al-Jazeera, which has become an Iranian TV just like Al-Manar of Hezbollat.
The Prince established that the Qatari people are just brothers and sisters to the Saudis, but the Qatari regime is marginal, and it is not worth the time or reactions more than boycott and to be ignored, and he likened the Qatari regime to a tick insect that may harm a camel a little bit but no more.
The Israelis worked hard VS The Classic Palestinian Position
Throughout that time, the Palestinians rejected the 181 resolution, then they rejected the resolution 242 in 1967, then the Camp David Accord, which was rejected by the Palestinians and the Arab League, and then Sadat’s decision in the peace agreement caused a boycott by the countries of the region to Egypt because the Palestinians rejected the clause of self-rule for the Palestinians, and accused Sadat of treason!
Throughout that long period, Israel was focusing to build its military power and its political and economic alliances, expanding settlements and building new ones, and fighting at important focal points around the world, and the countries of the region were preoccupied with intra-regional disputes led by Palestinian leaders.
The Palestinian Wishful Thinking
After the September 1993 Oslo Accords, Prince Bandar asked Yasser Arafat about his opinion of the self-rule annex in the 1978 Camp David Accords. Arafat replied that it was ten times better than the Oslo Accords and that he wanted to agree to Camp David claiming that Syrian President Hafez al-Assad has threatened to kill him and destroy the Palestinian cause.
Prince Bandar concludes in the first part of this interview that “Arafat could have bravely saved millions of Palestinians at the time”, but he did not.
Turkey Al-Owerde is Editor-in-Chief and Political Analyst of the Herald Report. His knowledge of the religious undertones of most Muslim Terrorist Organizations makes his many “conflict analysis” a valuable source of information for many security experts from around the world. He tweets under @Turki_AlOwerde.