A recent column in a Saudi daily singled out Arab states who “feebly” condemn Israel, while not-so-secretly maintaining ties with the Jewish state.
Saudi Arabian journalist Muhammad Arif used his weekly column in the Saudi daily Al-Madina to lambaste Arab countries that simultaneously maintain and deny ties with Israel. Skewering this hypocritical approach to diplomacy in a humorous yet biting piece, which the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) translated into English, Arif addressed a number of positions taken by Arab countries as of late.
“When [these Arab countries] do condemn Israel, they do so feebly, because they maintain relations with it, [although] they don’t want anybody to know about them… Had [these countries] declared these relations openly, it would have been infinitely better, [because then] they could have at least addressed the enemy and directed criticism and condemnations at it, albeit not [very] seriously,” argued Arif.
“Since [these Arab countries] conceal these relations, none of them dare to threaten [Israel], even for domestic purposes, with the severance or suspension of these relations,” chided Arif.
Among the issues Arif addressed were Arab nations’ response to the recent Temple Mount crisis, which he characterized as sorely lacking. Arif also highlighted the absurdity of recent bans of the American film “Wonder Woman” in Arab countries, based on the film’s lead actress, Israeli Gal Gadot. Arif sarcastically commented on the ban, “[This is] a real slap in the face to Israel! … By Allah, how grave the damage caused to the Zionist state by banning this American film starring an Israeli actress!”
According to MEMRI, Arif’s criticism is intended for Qatar and is connected to a current breakdown in relations between the two Gulf States. Until recently, Qatar maintained an Israeli presence for its broadcasting company, Al Jazeera, although Israel recently announced plans to shutter its offices in Jerusalem based on Al Jazeera’s promotion of terrorist propaganda.