When the State of Israel was established in 1948, there was no state called “Palestine”
Amid a quiet building of relations between Israel and more moderate Arab states, a leading Kuwaiti journalist sparked a public outrage in November when he dared to get real about the Jewish State. Writer Abdullah Al-Hadlaq was taking part in a panel discussion on Kuwaiti Al-Rai TV when he not only rejected the notion that Israel is an occupying power, but went so far as to accept the legitimacy of the Jews returning to their ancient homeland.
He went on to heap praise on the advanced and progressive Jewish state, which puts to shame most of its Arab neighbors. In remarks translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), AL-Hadlaq said:
“When the State of Israel was established in 1948, there was no state called Palestine. Like it or not, Israel is an independent sovereign state. It exists, and it has a seat at the United Nations, and most peace-loving and democratic countries recognize it. The group of states that do not recognize Israel is the countries of tyranny and oppression.
“For example, North Korea does not recognize Israel, but this does nothing to detract from Israel the fact of its existence, whether we like it or not. The State of Israel has scientific centers and universities, the likes of which even the oldest and most powerful Arab countries lack.
“So Israel is a state and not a terror organization. There is no occupation! There are a people returning to its promised land.
“Are you aware that the history of the Israelites is ancient, predating Islam? Therefore, we Muslims must acknowledge that the Israelites have a right to the land and that they have not plundered it.” (Translated by MEMRI from the panel discussion on Kuwaiti Al-Rai TV in December 2017.)
If Al-Hadlaq’s statements were not enough to upset the Palestinian leadership, the “Palestinian cause” has met some real opposition on several fronts. Already two years ago, a renowned Egyptian scholar and novelist Youssef Ziedan acknowledged in a series of television interviews that Jerusalem holds no religious significance for Muslims!
It was an unwelcome blow for proponents of the Palestinian cause who work to inflate the position of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount in Islam. Today, it is common to hear that Jerusalem is Islam’s third holiest city, as the location of the Al Aqsa Mosque. However, the Al Aqsa Mosque did not exist before 700 AD, and the city was not called Al-Quds. It was called Jerusalem, which had no mosques.
Also, a number of Saudis on social media are using a hash tag that translates as “Riyadh [in Saudi Arabia] is more important than Jerusalem [for Muslims].” The Saudi kingdom has grown increasingly frustrated with what they see as the Palestinian intransigence and treachery.
Palestinian rejection of Saudi efforts to bring the Israeli-Arab conflict to an equitable end has angered many in Riyadh, as has Palestinian support for Iran’s nuclear program and collaboration between Palestinian groups and Iran’s Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah. This led the Saudis to order Mahmoud Abbas to either accept the peace plan or resign!
Like Israel, Saudi Arabia views Iran as an existential threat. If Palestinians continue on their current path, they will alienate Saudi Arabian and other Arab world’s support. The day may come when the Arab world’s leading powers reject a Palestinian state even more than Israel does. (Reference to IND Weekly by Lonnie C. Mings and other online publications.)