Saudi attacks 'anti-peace' Jordan, calls for normalisation with Israel

Saudi journalist attacks 'anti-peace' Jordan, calls for normalisation with Israel
3 min read
23 August, 2019
Abdul Hameed Al-Ghabin, a Saudi journalist said that Jordan was an 'anti-peace force' in a column which also attacked the Palestinian people and echoed Israeli extreme-right rhetoric.
Abdul Hameed Al-Ghabin's attack on Jordan echoed Israeli extreme-right rhetoric from the 1980s [Twitter]

A Saudi journalist has taken aim at Jordan and the Palestinians in a new column published in the right-wing Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom.

In his article, Abdul Hameed Al-Ghabin, who presents himself as an “influential personality in the Saudi kingdom” on his Twitter account, said that “anti-peace forces litter our region”.

“An example of that is, sadly, the Kingdom of Jordan”, he added.

Al-Ghabin said that Jordanian state media “have been attacking Saudi Arabia ever since the latter began seeking improved relations with Israel” and referred to the Palestinian Authority as “Jordan’s sidekick”, saying that it also had engaged in an “act of severe humiliation to Saudi society” by allegedly insulting the Saudi King Salman.

“While Palestinian children die to become ‘martyrs,’ Jordan’s king cruises the Mediterranean in his yacht and [Palestinian President Mahmoud] Abbas’ sons are likely to be found vacationing in Nova Scotia”, Al-Ghabin continued.

Al-Ghabin wrote that Saudi Arabia views Israel “as a logical future partner for us as we have mutual enemies: Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, and a handful of reckless rulers who remain in power in our region.”

Al-Ghabin, however, said that one question remained. “How can we achieve peace if the Palestinian people remain without a place to call home?”

The answer according to Al-Ghabin, was “simple… Jordan is already 78 percent of historical Palestine,” he said. 

The Saudi continued to say Jordan had a Palestinian majority, and “is essentially already the Palestinian Arab state”, adding that Saudi Arabia “won’t feel guilty” about normalising relations with Israel if Palestinians in Jordan overthrew King Abdullah.

Al-Ghabin’s words echoed right-wing Israeli rhetoric from the 1980s which said that “Jordan is Palestine” and rejected Israeli withdrawal from the occupied West Bank and Gaza, which the Palestinian Authority has been engaged in futile negotiations with Israel over for more than 25 years.

Jordan was briefly included in the British Mandate of Palestine in 1920 but was removed a year later, becoming a separate British-protected emirate and an independent kingdom in 1946. One reason for the removal was that its Jewish population was estimated in 1920 to be “two… possibly three persons”.

Al-Ghabin also accused “guards and loyalists” appointed by Jordan of “always stirring unrest” at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and said that Saudi Arabia could offer “proper custodianship” of the holy site.

Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, is frequently attacked by Israeli extremists, some of whom want to demolish it and build a Jewish temple on the site it occupies. Clashes broke out there earlier this month during the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.

Saudi journalists close to the Saudi royal family have been making overtures to Israel in recent years and verbally attacking the Palestinian people. There have also been anti-Palestinian campaigns on Saudi social media.

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