A former Saudi Commodore on Israel

August 27th, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Abdulateef Al-Mulhim is a retired Royal Saudi Navy Commodore. He wrote a couple of years ago in Arab News:

 From the period of 1948 and to this day many confrontations have taken place. Some of them were small clashes and many of them were full-scale battles, but there were no major wars apart from the ones mentioned above. The Arab-Israeli conflict is the most complicated conflict the world ever experienced. On the anniversary of the 1973 War between the Arab and the Israelis, many people in the Arab world are beginning to ask many questions about the past, present and the future with regard to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The questions now are: What was the real cost of these wars to the Arab world and its people. And the harder question that no Arab national wants to ask is: What was the real cost for not recognizing Israel in 1948 and why didn’t the Arab states spend their assets on education, health care and the infrastructures instead of wars?

The total cost of the conflict is massive.

The Arab world wasted hundreds of billions of dollars and lost tens of thousands of innocent lives fighting Israel, which they considered is their sworn enemy, an enemy whose existence they never recognized. The Arab world has many enemies and Israel should have been at the bottom of the list. The real enemies of the Arab world are corruption, lack of good education, lack of good health care, lack of freedom, lack of respect for the human lives and finally, the Arab world had many dictators who used the Arab-Israeli conflict to suppress their own people. 

These dictators’ atrocities against their own people are far worse than all the full-scale Arab-Israeli wars. 

Israel is a convenient diversion for many rulers in the region.

Many Arabs don’t know that the life expectancy of the Palestinians living in Israel is far longer than many Arab states and they enjoy far better political and social freedom than many of their Arab brothers. Even the Palestinians living under Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip enjoy more political and social rights than some places in the Arab World. Wasn’t one of the judges who sent a former Israeli president to jail is an Israeli-Palestinian? 

The region would do much better if there was peace with Israel.

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33 Responses to “A former Saudi Commodore on Israel”

  1. thePeoplesFlag (245 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  2. tom hunter (4,852 comments) says:

    Good arguments that will have been new to Saudi ears at the time. But this guy is retired and presumably has connections that keep him even safer.

    What’s more important is this:

    Speaking on the sidelines of the world assembly of Islamic scholars in Jeddh, Saud bin Faisal Al Saud said that the Middle-East needs peace and co-existence more than ever and Saudi Arabia as a leading Islamic country is ready to make sacrifices in peace negations and encourages President Abbas to follow the same policy.

    Referring to the ongoing war in Gaza strip, the Saudi foreign Minster stressed that Hamas authority is the sole responsible for Palestinian calamity and they must brought before the law.

    The Saudi official further added that Arab World Increasingly Frustrated With Hamas which is seeking more wars.

    It’s the same message as the retired Commordore, but this is from a weightier source.

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  3. mjw (396 comments) says:

    By demonising Israel, the rulers of many Arab countries succeed in distracting their citizens from other issues. That means they face less pressure to do anything about corruption, health, education and political and social freedom.

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  4. alex Masterley (1,517 comments) says:

    TPF, what as in they didn’t get obliterated?

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  5. SGA (1,039 comments) says:

    @mjw at 7:23 am
    Perhaps it works as a general rule?
    By demonising XXXX, the rulers of many YYYY countries succeed in distracting their citizens from other issues. That means they face less pressure to do anything about corruption, health, education and political and social freedom.

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  6. Mark (1,488 comments) says:

    There is no question it would be better if there was peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Palestinians should simply accept that their displacement from what is now southern Israel is history, get over it and make the best of the land the Israelis gave them and the trade and supplies the Israelis decide is suitable for them.

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  7. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    The terrorists need to wake up and realise… Israel will never be defeated. Several Arab countries have tried to force Israel off their sovereign land, but in every single case, they ended up getting totally spanked. Indeed, in one instance it only took Israel 6 days to lance the boil and end the hostilities.

    If peace is really the objective of the terrorists, then they can start the process by ceasing to lob ordnance over the border. But if the rockets and kidnappings don’t stop, then the terrorists can expect to receive summary justice courtesy of the IDF.

    Good riddance.

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  8. mjw (396 comments) says:

    SGA – Absolutely !

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  9. Yoza (1,875 comments) says:

    Hah! When one of the psychopaths running the Saudi Arabian security complex voices his support for anything people should regard the object of that support with the deepest of suspicion. Has anyone asked the Yorkshire Ripper what he thinks of Israel?

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  10. meanybeany (27 comments) says:

    The recent Israeli incursion into Gaza has achieved very little, militarily. Israel needs a negotiated peace with the Palestinians. Watched “The Gatekeepers” recently. . . 6 former heads of Shin Bet (Israeli Counter-Intelligence) talking about the Palestinian question. . . all of them agreed that a political settlement is the only way to achieve lasting peace. Military solutions will only ever acheive short term results.

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  11. Padriv Ustoev (69 comments) says:

    the PeoplesFlag – what mosque do you go to? I like your comments, spoken like a true Mujahideen. May Allah bless you struggle.

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  12. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    He sounds like a sensible bloke. Hopefully there are many others like him (and hopefully they won’t just end up in Chop-chop square.)

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  13. OneTrack (3,107 comments) says:

    “If peace is really the objective of the terrorists,,”

    The only “peace” Hamas want is the peace of the dead for their enemies.

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  14. hj (7,023 comments) says:

    Over population is also a problem in the middle east? Having said that overpopulation is hard to prove as it is a concept (not popular with the liberal establishment).

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  15. stephieboy (3,091 comments) says:

    the peoples voice, sorry but the latest is that a more durable truce has just been brokered between Israel and Hamas,

    http://edition.cnn.com/2014/08/26/world/meast/mideast-crisis/index.html.

    If I was a Palestinian I would seriously opting for Israeli citizenship as the only way forward enjoying a far higher standard of living than ever attainable under either the PLO or Hamas.

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  16. Odakyu-sen (655 comments) says:

    If the “Arab mindset” responds well to scapegoating, victimhood, and calls to “destroy our enemies” rather than looking inwards to self-improvement, restraint and community nurturing, then Israel must be a tremendous convenience to the Arab status quo.

    It is just so much easier to blame others for your lack of progress than to take responsibility for self-improvement.

    And this can apply other minorities who wallow in self-pity but refuse to take measures to improve their dire social condition (many of which are self-inflicted).

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  17. Viking2 (11,471 comments) says:

    There are only two options, make progress or make excuses. It doesn’t matter if it is one tiny step at a time as long as it is going in general direction.

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  18. Dave Mann (1,222 comments) says:

    My God that’s amazing stuff from a Saudi! How does he get away with writing like this in his own country? Good on him….

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  19. WineOh (630 comments) says:

    Great wisdom from this Commodore. Too bad nothing will happen as a result of it.

    And as for what this “war” has achieved, Israel has destroyed significant amounts of ordinance from Hamas, served them up yet another lesson that firing rockets & attacking their citizens won’t be tolerated (not sure why they needed a refresher on this… short memories I guess). Unfortunately the cost has been borne by the people of Palestine, but also by the Israelis as they will have galvanised another generation of hatred against them.

    The only way that Israel will “cease to exist” is if the USA abandons their support, and that does not seem probable in the foreseeable future.

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  20. tvb (4,422 comments) says:

    Hamas must have suffered some heavy losses given that they are the implacable enemy of Israel. If they could have beaten Israel they would have but they haven’t so they have lost militarily.

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  21. WineOh (630 comments) says:

    @ tom hunter – good find there & interesting read.

    Thought this part of the article was also worth highlighting:
    – – –
    “[Meshaal], we are tired of defending the [Palestinian] cause that you have sold for cheap to an MB (Muslim Brotherhood) gang whose way you followed even though they have lost their [own] way,” wrote columnist Abdul-Hamdi Razaq. He also called Meshaal out for living in luxurious Qatari hotels instead of fighting in Gaza.

    – – –

    The specific mention of the Muslim Brotherhood is particularly relevant here as it puts a more complex spin on the situation. Saudi Arabia has been a significant supporter of Egypt for many years, and given the Egyptian regime change & overwhelming crackdown on MB they need to align themselves to that cause.

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  22. Cassius Dundee (6 comments) says:

    @ Dave Mann
    He gets away with it because he’s the son of the late King Faisal and nephew to King Abdullah

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  23. ChardonnayGuy (1,207 comments) says:

    There’s a slight fallacy in your post, David. “Could do much better?” I assume that you’re referring to Middle Eastern nations that don’t have copious quantities of petrochemicals underneath the ground, which are then used to provide generous educational support and professional employment for their fortunate populations. From this perspective, they’re doing far too well as individuals and as nation-states to bite the hand that scratches the metaphorical dromedary’s back.

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  24. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    Who cares what a retired commodore says?
    Saudi Arabia is still one (If not the) biggest financial supporter of terrorism and extremism in the world.

    As for its human rights record…

    Political parties are banned.
    Freedom of speech and the press are restricted and people are forbidden to criticise the government.
    Trade unions and political organizations are banned and public demonstrations are forbidden.
    The government of Saudi Arabia oppresses religious and political minorities, homosexuals, and women.
    Punishment for homosexuality, cross-dressing, or being involved with anything that hints at the existence of an organized gay community will range from imprisonment, lashes, and sometimes execution.
    The treatment of women has been referred to as “Sex segregation” and “gender apartheid”.

    Freedom of religion is neither recognized nor protected under the law and is severely restricted in practice.
    Non-Muslims and many Muslims whose beliefs do not adhere to the Government’s interpretation of Islam must practice their religion in private and are vulnerable to discrimination, harassment, detention, and, deportation for noncitizens. Blasphemy is a crime punishable by long prison terms or, in some cases, death. Conversion by Muslims to another religion (apostasy) and proselytizing by non-Muslims are punishable by death under the Islamic laws adopted by the country.

    Saudi Arabia even prohibits Jewish people from entering the country.
    They have an atrocious record on human rights issues and that while only a fraction of all the abuse is uncovered.
    Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz even defended Saudi Arabia’s abysmal human rights record and rejected reforms by saying “It is absurd to impose on an individual or a society rights that are alien to its beliefs or principles.” In other words, Normal rules clearly shouldn’t apply to those whose feelings of racist and religious supremacism place them above the ‘unbeliever’.
    Saudi Arabia defends the public executions by beheading, amputations and floggings it carries out under Sharia by stating that it will keep to its “legal traditions” held since the inception of Islam 1,400 years ago and rejects interference in its legal system.

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  25. flipper (4,067 comments) says:

    The retired Saudi commander has friends in high places (but the unspoken message is that the Saudis do not want an Iranian puppet regime to their north. Israel is a better “partner”. Israel has had unofficial military and other links with the Saudis for many years).

    Read the following…

    http://awdnews.com/top-news/9417-saudi-foreign-minister-we-must-denounce-our-hatred-toward-israel-and-begin-normalize-ties-with-jewish-nation.html

    “Saudi foreign minister: we must denounce our hatred toward Israel and begin normalize ties with Jewish nation….”

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  26. Gulag1917 (919 comments) says:

    Enough of the possibility of peace, what would the arms exporters do?

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  27. Fentex (978 comments) says:

    The region would do much better if there was peace with Israel

    This is true, but doesn’t mean much because the reason there isn’t ‘peace’ is not passive – it isn’t because there must be conflict but because totalitarian rulers choose it for the purpose of directing internal rage away from their rule. So the barrier in question is not the absence of peace but the active agitation of anger.

    It is the agitation that must go, with it the concept of a peace solving problems is a nonsense.

    the life expectancy of the Palestinians living in Israel is far longer than many Arab states

    But don’t at the those who aren’t in Israel, don’t look at the blockaded Gazans and their situation whatever you do. It might stir some anger.

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  28. Honeybadger (212 comments) says:

    Stephieboy@7.57am…..’If I was a Palestinian I would seriously opting for Israeli citizenship as the only way forward enjoying a far higher standard of living than ever attainable under either the PLO or Hamas.’ Hit that on the head!

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  29. Fentex (978 comments) says:

    If I was a Palestinian I would seriously opting for Israeli citizenship as the only way forward enjoying a far higher standard of living than ever attainable under either the PLO or Hamas.

    And well they might, but Israel doesn’t want them. Discussions on the concept of a single state routinely flounders on the issue of a Right Of Return – the idea Palestinians would agree to not seek a separate state, cede all of Palestine to Israel, and become Israelis is not acceptable to Israel if it includes citizenship because Israel fears a Arab majority within it’s borders, and without citizenship there’s no deal to be had.

    If the Right Of Return had been accepted decades ago there might well be a strong Israel without a Palestinian problem standing as nothing but a beacon forward, but too many feared that would not be Israel’s fate to accept it.

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  30. Cassius Dundee (6 comments) says:

    The significance of this statement can’t be understated. He’s not just a retired Naval Officer, he’s a senior member of the Saudi Royal Family.

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  31. cha (4,019 comments) says:

    Snap!

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  32. ShawnLH (5,124 comments) says:

    It’s a start, a pretty significant one. If Saudi Arabia can lead the way other Arab/Sunni states will follow.

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  33. Grant500 (22 comments) says:

    What has happened to pro Palistine supporters? Not a peep when Hamas pulls 18 people off their street , accuses them of spying for Israel and then excutes them without trial. Where are these people now – why don’t they protest against this?

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