Crown Prince Abdullah, de facto leader of the House of Saud, since the ailing King Fahd appointed him as deputy premier and commander of the National Guard, has single-handedly struck a major blow against the Palestinian Intifadah.
He is reported as saying that Saudi Arabia will grant Israel full recognition and complete normalisation of relations if the zionist state withdraws from the occupied territories. In an interview with Thomas Friedman of the New York Times, Prince Abdullah said that he wanted to communicate to the Israelis that the Arab world did not “reject or despise them.”
This shameful capitulation lends credence to the argument advanced by many analysts that Prince Abdullah and his clan has neither the will nor the inclination to confront the zionist entity, which is recognised as the last outpost of apartheid.
That at a time when more and more Jews from many parts of the world, including within Israel, are increasingly becoming restless, frustrated and despairing of a colonial experiment that has gone horribly wrong, the Saudi monarchy opts to formally recognise the Zionist regime, raises many questions about the timing.
A few days before the US daily had published Prince Abdullah’s offer, New York saw one of the largest anti-Israel protest meetings ever organised by Jews. Several thousand Orthodox Jews, under the banner of the Central Rabbinical Congress convened outside the Israeli Consulate and denounced the existence of Israel. They declared that world Jewry is not united in support of zionism, nor of Israel. In a press release, a spokesperson said that until and unless the Israeli state is dismantled and sovereignty is returned to the Palestinians, there cannot be any realistic hope for peace.
At about the same time, the Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Ikramah Sabri warned the Arab and Muslim world not to ignore the danger posed to Musjid al-Aqsa and al-Quds (Jerusalem) by Ariel Sharon’s regime. In an interview on BBC, the Mufti said that despite losses, the Palestinians are determined to continue the Intifadah. He also cautioned against the false notion that Israel desires peace. Instead, Israel wants an unconditional surrender and through deception has been expropriating more land and building more settlements, said Sabri.
And less than a month ago, Muslim Ulema (scholars) from around the globe met in Beirut to reaffirm their solidarity for the Intifadah. Their communiqué released at the end of the conference declared in no uncertain terms that the struggle for the liberation of Palestine in its entirety, must be intensified. Israel is viewed as an aggressor and usurper of Muslim lands and therefore must be opposed.
At separate venues almost worlds apart, both groups of religious scholars, the Orthodox Jews and Muslim Ulema, spoke in one voice when they declared that Israel’s very existence is the crux of the Middle East problem.
Hence, the offer to surrender by Prince Abdullah is viewed as a betrayal of the Palestinian cause. Saudi Arabia, itself an artificial creation of the British Empire, has provided the racist Jewish state a morality it does not deserve. By ignoring the fact that despite ‘normalization of relations’ between Egypt and Israel, as indeed between Jordan and Israel, the Palestinians remain under siege with bombs, missiles and artilleries raining upon them, the Crown Prince has vetoed the Palestinian struggle for justice spanning more than five decades.
(Mr. Iqbal Jasarat is Chairman of the Media Review Network, which is an advocacy group based in Pretoria, South Africa.)