Brace yourself for landing at Jeddah Airport and finding the Israeli national carrier EL-AL, bearing its Zionist symbols, in the runway alongside the Saudi national fleet decked in their royal flags bearing the Muslim Kalima, “La Ilaha Il Allah Muhammad Rasul Allah”.
And as soon as you enter the country do not be shocked if your bus or taxi drives past a building housing the Israeli Embassy adorned with the symbols of the Jewish state, fluttering innocently in the dry heat of the desert city.
What next you wonder. Will you be informed that the new Imam at the Ka’aba has been approved by the Israeli regime after due security clearance was obtained from Mossad? Before you are able to clear your muddled mind, for only a confused and possibly mentally deranged person could conjure such images, your driver comes to a screeching halt. It’s a roadblock on the outskirts of Jeddah.
Security officials, after checking your travel documents and rummaging through your luggage, want to know whether you are a supporter, sympathizer or in fact, a paid-up member of any “terrorist” organization. They relentlessly probe you about your connections with Hamas, Hizbullah, Islamic Jihad and many other listed groups opposed to Israel. As you proceed, having successfully convinced them that you are a “good” Muslim, opposed to “suicide bombings” and elated with Saudi Arabia’s ties with the Jewish state, you suddenly notice that bus loads of pilgrims are being dispatched back to Jeddah, homeward bound. Your driver informs you that these people are not as fortunate as you are, for they have been identified as “terrorist sympathizers” and therefore barred from entry to Mecca.
What he omits to tell you is that the entire operation is supervised by a new network of intelligence operatives which include the CIA, Mossad, M15 and the former KGB.
This may appear far-fetched, but in fact is the new reality that awaits all future pilgrims from many parts of the world. It will be the result of Crown Prince Abdullah’s pledge of “normalizing” relations with Israel, which has now been formally adopted by leaders of the Arab world at their recent conference in Beirut. Since the Saudi initiative was first leaked through the American media, Arab countries have adopted this plan which commits every member-state to “establish normal relations with the Jewish state.”
The naivety of this futile plan is outweighed by the sheer enormity of defeat and shameless surrender. Never before in the history of the struggle by the Palestinians against their colonizers have they been so close to victory. This Intifada has not only challenged the myth of the invincibility of Israel, it has also demonstrated the vulnerability of the false foundations of the Jewish state and its Zionist ideology.
In addition, Palestinians are united in their quest for total liberation and by developing and sustaining the Intifada from the moment that Ariel Sharon dared to defile the noble sanctuary of Muslim al-Aqsa, in spite of mounting casualties caused by the brutality of the rogue state, have not desisted from their bravery.
So the question arises: What locus standi does the British created monarchy known as Saudi Arabia enjoy in the Muslim world, in particular amongst the Muslim masses? As a surrogate of the United States and as a member of the United Nations, it may claim to enjoy political legitimacy é but in the eyes of the Muslim Ummah, Saudi Arabia is viewed as a corrupt family fiefdom that has deliberately disfigured the original political landscape of the Arabian Peninsula.
The Palestinians, except Yasser Arafat and his discredited PA, have in a single voice rejected the Abdullah plan as a hoax to deny them their legitimate claims. These claims are not confined to land only nor are their claims confined to themselves. All Muslims share their quest for the total and comprehensive return of all ‘wakf’ (endowed) land confiscated from the outset of zionism’s colonial conquest.
Will you wait until your next Hajj trip or act now to prevent the Saudi betrayal of Palestine?
(Mr. Iqbal Jasarat is Chairman of the Media Review Network, which is an advocacy group based in Pretoria, South Africa.)