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Bin Salman’s declaration about Israel’s ‘right’ to the land is no surprise

10 13 25
10.04.2018

One hundred years after the disastrous Balfour Declaration, in which the British government lent its support to the campaign for a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, the adolescent aspirant to the Saudi throne, Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, has affirmed this “right”. He added that the land belonged to the current generation’s forefathers, so they have the right to live there in peace and safety.

Bin Salman has also mentioned the possibility of future diplomatic and economic relations between the Kingdom and the self-declared Jewish state. “Israel is a big economy compared to their [sic] size,” he told The Atlantic, “and it’s a growing economy, and of course there are a lot of interests we share with Israel and if there is peace, there would be a lot of interest between Israel and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.”

Egypt gives Saudi Two Islands – Cartoon [Sarwar Ahmed/MiddleEastMonitor]

He displayed his good faith before a trip to America by allowing flights to Israel from India to fly through Saudi airspace. This may explain why Saudi Arabia played the role of proxy in the Tiran and Sanafir islands deal with Egypt to serve Israel’s interests, as the latter can engage in direct relations with countries that go beyond joint coordination on maritime borders and reach the level of a publically announced economic cooperation partnership.

The Crown Prince’s statements clear up any suspicion or doubt about where he stands (and with whom), and serve to confirm the reports exposing security cooperation between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and high-level meetings by officials. Furthermore, he is known now to have made a visit to Israel (a move which is still surrounded by controversy) in order to submit his credentials to take over the Saudi throne.

Perhaps more dangerous than Bin Salman’s recognition of the Israeli entity is his classification of the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, as a terrorist organisation, despite the fact that the movement is a source of pride and honour for the Palestinians and only resists the occupation of their land, and nothing else. He has not condemned as terrorism Israel’s killing of more than 25 Palestinians and the wounding of more than 3,000 others in the peaceful Great March of Return. Instead, amid the violence, he said........

© Middle East Monitor