Saudi Reporter Says He Wants to be Country’s Ambassador to Israel
A Saudi Arabian journalist has expressed his desire to be appointed in the future as his country’s Ambassador to Israel, NRG news reported on Monday.
“I want a Saudi Arabian embassy to be established in Tel Aviv,” Dahham Al-Enazi wrote via his official Twitter account, adding that “I want Saudi General and strategist Anwar Ashki to be the first ambassador to Israel and I will be happy to replace him as the second ambassador.”
Saudi Arabia has never had official relations with the Jewish state.
Shortly after Enazi posted his message, opposition to the notion began to spread on social media under the hashtag #NoToAnEmbassyInIsrael, which began trending on Twitter. Many of the objectors using the hashtag called proponents of a Saudi embassy in Israel “Arab Zionists.”
In response, Enazi doubled down. He said in a follow-up tweet that he would also “welcome” an Israeli embassy in Riyadh, the Saudi capital.
Enazi’s comment was apparently motivated by the increased threat faced by Saudi Arabia from what he repeatedly termed “the Iranian enemy.” In earlier tweets he said that “our goal is the expulsion of the Iranian enemy from Arab countries and destroying their [nuclear program].”
This preference for Israel over Iran has been a running theme in many of Enazi’s tweets. At one point he wrote “We welcome an Israeli embassy in Riyadh in the same place as the Iranian Embassy after we cooperate in fighting Iran and destroying its reactors.”
But it is not only Saudi Arabia that Enazi would like to see establish relations with Israel. “It would be best for all of the countries of the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference to completely cut off relations with the Iranian enemy and to establish normal relations between Israel and the Arab countries,” Enazi tweeted.
Enazi also seemed to expect Israel to take the lead in fighting Iran, saying that if Israel wanted “normal relations with the Arabs and the Gulf States,” it would have to “attack the Iranian nuclear program and destroy it because it is a danger to us all.” He also called for Arab states to “provide logistic support.”
Relations with Israel were more natural than those with Iran, Enazi opined. “The Israelis are our cousins, and are closer to the Arabs than the Persians,” tweeted Enazi, “and they possess a Divine religion,” though in another tweet he alleged that Judaism has been “corrupted,” while positing that Israelis were “more honorable” than Iranians.
Compared to Israelis, “Iran is an impure race and a lying unjust country operating under the name of religion.” Because of that, “Tel Aviv’s embassy is better than Tehran’s,” he argued.
In further tweets, he stressed that the Arab-Israeli conflict was merely over borders, whereas the war with Iran was existential. He said that the Arab “issue with Israel is a crisis of borders whereas our struggle with Iran is a war of existence. They occupy 4 countries, whereas Israel [only occupies] one. They killed 4 million Arabs since 2003, whereas Israel [has only killed] 35,000 since 1948?!!”
According to the Jewish Virtual Library, which based its numbers on government and human rights groups’ figures, some 85,000 Arabs have been killed in conflicts with Israel since 1948.
But Enazi also said that Saudi Arabia would leverage diplomatic relations for “the establishment of the State of Palestine and Israel’s adherence to the [pre-1967] borders and an Arab Jerusalem, in exchange for Israel’s Embassy in Riyadh.” In another tweet, he said Israel would “join the Arab League.”
Enazi comments at times also appeared confused. At one point he attacked Iran’s expansionism in the region as a, “Ziofarsi Project,” a portmanteau of Zionist and Farsi, which means Persian.
Additionally, it seemed that to Enazi, cooperating with Israel against Tehran might be a first step to a final Israeli-Arab showdown over the Palestinians. He tweeted, “Arab political thinkers understand well that freeing Palestine starts in Tehran. We have to destroy Iran’s power first and stemming its danger, then freeing ourselves for peace with Israel, or war.”