What is the official Saudi position on normalization?
Saudi Arabia affirms its adherence to the Palestinian cause and the Arab peace initiative in the region.
What are the positions issued by former Saudi officials?
They attacked the Palestinian leaderships for refusing to normalize the UAE and Bahrain with “Israel”.
What is the most prominent official Saudi position indicating normalization with “Israel”?
Allowing Israeli aircraft to pass over their airspace.
The United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Bahrain also proceeded to normalize relations with the Israeli occupation state, and many questioned whether Saudi Arabia was the next one, especially with statements by major political figures in the kingdom attacking the Palestinians and ignoring the recent normalization.
While Saudi Arabia comes out in statements confirming its commitment to support the Palestinian cause and the Arab initiative for peace in the region, the contradiction appears in the louder of voices led by a former ambassador to Washington and the former head of Saudi intelligence, attacking the Palestinian leaders who reject normalization, and who called for a boycott of countries that are printing with “Israel.”
And while Saudi Arabia did not publicly support the Emirati-Israeli normalization, the supporter “electronic flies” and the media owned or funded by Saudi Arabia did not face the Emirati and Bahraini move with any criticism, which may reflect the reality of the unannounced Saudi position on normalization with “Israel”.
While official Saudi officials believe that any unilateral Israeli measures to annex the Palestinian lands would undermine the two-state solution within the framework of the Arab Peace Initiative, these trends contradict with attacking Saudi leaders targeting Palestinian leaders, and accusing them of “wasting the issue”, because of their refusal to normalize.
During a documentary film, Al-Arabiya TV aired its first part, on October 5, 2020, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the former Saudi ambassador to Washington, said that the Palestinian leaders ’talk after the UAE and Bahrain agreed with Israel was“ painful and insignificant. ”
He pointed out that “the daring of the Palestinian leaders against the Gulf states is unacceptable and unacceptable,” adding: “Palestinian leaderships use the terminology of treason easily, and this is their Sunnah in dealing with each other,” as he claimed.
He continued, “We consider the Palestinian issue to be a national issue and a just cause, but its lawyers are failing,” claiming that “the Palestinian leaders always bet on the losing side, and this has a price.”
The Saudi prince, who also served as secretary of the former Saudi National Security Council, considered that the Palestinian issue “was plundered by Israel and the Palestinian leaders.”
Not the first attack
Prince Bandar’s statements were not the first, as Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former head of Saudi intelligence, who said that reforming the Palestinian house is the basis for resolving the Palestinian issue.
He said that “Israel” and the Palestinian organizations “are the biggest promoters of the idea of normalization between the occupation and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” as he put it.
He also justified, in an article published on August 21, the normalization agreement announced by the UAE with “Israel,” saying that any Arab country that is close to joining the UAE “must take the price in return, and it must be a dear one.”
He added, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia set the price for the completion of peace between Israel and the Arabs, which is the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, based on the initiative of the late King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz.”
The Saudi prince indicated that the UAE “surprised us” by concluding a peace agreement with “Israel,” but said that he understood the UAE’s decision, indicating that it “imposed an important condition, which is the suspension of Israel’s plans to annex settlements.”
Two directions in Saudi Arabia
Political analyst Mahmoud Alloush talks about a clear discrepancy between the official Saudi position on the Palestinian issue as an issue, and some regional initiatives towards this issue.
In his speech to Al-Khaleej Online, he affirmed that Riyadh adheres on the one hand to its position based on a just and comprehensive solution focusing on a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, but on the other hand, it did not express any objection to the normalization of the UAE and Bahrain with Israel, although the Emirati and Bahraini steps weaken the Where the form is the Saudi position. ”
He believes that this discrepancy “reflects a conflict between two trends within the Kingdom, the first is represented by King Salman, who does not want his ruling career to conclude by conceding Arab and Islamic principles regarding the Palestinian cause, and the second is represented by Crown Prince Mohammed, who believes that the interest of the new Saudi Arabia is in a new vision.” For the Middle East. ”
He evidenced his speech with what the Saudi crown prince had previously suggested more than once, that “the Middle East will be a new Europe,” as Alloush affirms that Mohammed bin Salman “is the prominent supporter of Jared Kushner’s plan in the region and has an excellent relationship with him.”
In the context of his speech, he excludes any normalization between Saudi Arabia and “Israel” during the reign of King Salman and his continued rule, or even after Prince Muhammad assumed power, explaining: “Bin Salman’s assumption of power does not mean that normalization will be taken for granted, but at least the Saudi administration will be.” At the time, it is more flexible in approaching this issue. ”
For his part, political analyst Maher Shawish believes that the speech of Saudi officials is primarily directed to the Saudi interior and to their citizens, “and this is very clear and clear in Bandar bin Sultan’s proposal in particular, and it comes as attempts to reassure the interior and present the Saudi position on the Palestinian issue throughout its history to remove any confusion. With the Saudi citizen, and to enhance confidence in his leadership, and to hold the Palestinian side fully responsible for what has become of the issue, whether due to the division or the inefficiency of this Palestinian leadership in defending its cause and building correct and sound alliances, according to the statements of Saudi officials.
In his speech to Al-Khaleej Online, he added: “In any case, all of this will not exempt them from their silence on the Emirati, Israeli and Bahraini normalization, nor will it ease the burden of any attack on them if they officially declare normalization ?!”
He continues: “This attack on the Palestinian leaderships in this unprecedented way, and from Saudi figures of this level, may constitute a pre-emptive step for normalization and perhaps a prelude to it, but I still think that Saudi Arabia will delay the normalization step a bit and may do so gradually as happened by opening the airspace to Israeli airspace.” .
He stressed that “without a doubt, it will ride the train of normalization, and what will be different is the mechanisms and method, given the nature and position of Saudi Arabia, politically and religiously, at the Arab level, which calls for a different approach to such a step.”
“Summoning Saudi figures of this level to talk about the Palestinian issue, attacking its leaders and focusing on addressing the Saudi interior, indicates the existence of a crisis for the Saudi leadership in its handling of the internal normalization file, and indicates the existence of fears of a reflection of what is happening to confuse the Saudi leadership.”
He concludes his speech to Al-Khaleej Online by saying: “The Kingdom is not comfortable in its movement in managing this file and avoiding condemning normalization and evades it will not serve it for long.”
Saudi Arabia and normalization
Saudi Arabia has announced more than once that it will not undertake normalization with “Israel”, like the Emirates and Bahrain, unless a peace agreement is reached between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan said, more than once, that his country “affirms its commitment to peace as a strategic choice and its reliance on Arab peace initiatives and international legitimacy decisions.”
Contradicting also with that, the Saudi Civil Aviation Authority announced early last September, “the approval of the Emirati request to allow the passage of the Kingdom’s airspace for flights coming to it and departing from it to all countries,” according to the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
“This is the first time this has happened and I would like to thank Saudi Arabia for making that possible,” Trump advisor Jared Kushner said upon his arrival in Abu Dhabi upon disembarking from the first Israeli plane landing there on August 31.
Kushner had urged Saudi Arabia to normalize its relations with “Israel”, believing that this could be in the interest of Saudi Arabia’s economy and defense and limit Iran’s influence in the region.
During the past two years, Saudi activists have visited the occupation state, met with Israeli leaders and promoted normalization with them, and others recently appeared on its channels, as happened recently on October 5, when Saudi journalists participated in a virtual meeting with the Israeli Minister of War.
During the last three years, various hashtags topped in Saudi Arabia; The most prominent of which was “Palestine is not my cause”; The electronic brigades of the system in Saudi Arabia, as some describe it, have also adopted a tag (# Al-Hariqah_you and your cause), in addition to promoting that the Palestinians are the ones who sold their case to the Israelis.
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