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October 10, 2012 11:38 am

Arab Columnist who Decried War Against Israel: Most People Agree with Me

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Abdulateef Al-Mulhim.

A retired Saudi Naval Commodore who has written an article criticizing the Arab world for placing blame on Israel for its many problems spoke with the BBC Tuesday evening.

In the article Abdulateef Al-Mulhim writes, “What was the real cost of these wars to the Arab world and its people…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?”

Al-Mulhim told the host of BBC’s “World Have Your Say” podcast that he has written similar pieces in the past, but this one, published on October 6th, was precipitated by the events that day represented, mainly the commencement of the 1973 Yom Kippur War and the announcement of the Nobel Prize winners, of whose ranks Al-Mulhim says Arabs are notably absent.

The article is largely critical of the Arab world’s stagnation and its misadventures with Israel. Al-Mulhim writes that 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.”

When asked about the response he was receiving to the article, which has been trending on social media sites such as Twitter, Al-Mulhim gave a somewhat surprising answer:

“You would be surprised, a lot of people don’t realize how much media freedom we have in Saudi Arabia. The editor-in-chief of Arab News told me from day one  I didn’t have a red line. I could write practically about anything that’s of course logical. I never got any hate me from anybody who was upset with the article because most of the people think what’s in the article is the reality. Maybe they don’t say it in public, but I haven’t gotten any hatemail—yet.”

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  • Peter Laffrey

    Abdulateef Al-Mulhim … Truly the Aristotle of the Arab world who applies reason instead of hate … I wish he would come to Australia and speak to the radicalised Australian Muslim hot-heads that have grown up in a free and democratic society and yet reject its values because they have been brainwashed while the largely peace-loving majority either will not; cannot or are too afraid to speak out like Al-Mulhim … May he have many disciples to carry his message of peace … Peter.

  • Joshua5737

    Amen, B’H, and praised be Allah for that wisdom.

  • please inform me more articles from him if possible

    • An expat

      He wrote many articles about the Arab-Israeli conflict. He is weekly columnist for the Saudi-English paper Arab News. Some of his articles were
      1-What if the Arabs had recognized the state of Israel in 1948
      2- The Israeli conspiracy that never existed.
      3.A Muslim in a Church and a Jew in a Mosque.
      4-Delta Airlines and the Saudi peace initiatve.
      5-Is visiting Jerusalem a recognition of Israel

  • I kiss the hands and feets of this man if he was near me .G-d loves you for talking the truth .your words and educating pepole will save many lives . In my eyes your are prince of peace if they will let you continue your good will . your place should be with kings and presidents to help the world . I would invite him to speak front of few thousen pepole if he would wish in Los Angeles .

  • Miriam

    Thank you so much! I am in tears of emotions. It’s so truthful what you say. I want your other articles to read.
    It is very, very clever article indeed. I wish you health and prosperity.

  • Sabra C

    I am thankful for all men and women everywhere who stand up and speak THE TRUTH. When you have the courage to boldly declare THE TRUTH, it inspires others to become fearless!

  • The Arab world in particular and the world in general would be a different place IF, they could have recognized Israel in 1948 and helped their nations instead of spending hate and war money. Generations of Arabs have lived with brain-washing, propaganda and unbridled hate for Jews and Israel so is it possible to change a culture norm? Take away the radicals and what is left are people who wish to live and believe freely but the radicals are simply greater in number so the ongoing conflict over culture continues….sadly.

  • truth is beautiful hard to believe the arab street willhave the heart toturn against its leaders in manyy muslim countries the education system dooms their future because hate is taught

  • David Most

    Unbelievable! In a country where young girls can be locked into a building with a raging fire, this ex-navy man has the courage to speak the truth. If the virulent, Nazi-inspired anti-Semitisim among the Arabs had not occurred imagine what progress could have been achieved! With Arab oil wealth and Israeli know-how and technology working in concert, imagine the Gardens of Eden that might have been created. Maybe this marks the beginning of rationality replacing hatred?

    • Andy Bendzin

      If you know the Bible you know that there will be no true peace. It will only come with Christ’s return. That’s why I do not give much to any of the so called peace movements. In many cases it seems, the very persons promoting it have something altogether different in mind. I remember the peace movement in Germany which culminated by the longest line of people holding hands together. I remember all the sit-ins in front of the gates of American bases that held nuclear missiles. All of them were financially supported by the KGB. How much TRUE peace can you expect from them. Today it’s no different. All those that scream “WE ARE PALESTINE” truly have a virulent hatred for the Jews and are through and through Marxist.

      • Moshe Rabbenu

        I know the Bible very well and it doesn’t mention anyone named “christ” at all. None of the five books, nor any of the prophets.

        However, that has nothing at all to do with this article. al-Mulhim is just a very brave man speaking truth to power. The Arab Muslim world is mostly run by dictators, no different from the Soviets or the likes of Idi Amin or Tito — people who just want to stay in power at any cost and will use any means or any fiction to do so.

        This has nothing to do with religion at all, except that religion is being used to justify it.

  • I am sure that there are many people in the Arab countries who would agree with your thoughts. If the Arabs had accepted Israel from its beginning and recognized that the Jewish people (or nation) have a very legitimate claim to one of the smallest country areas in the world, so many lives, so much treasure, could have been saved. Working TOGETHER, so much could have been accomplished! I am overjoyed to hear your voice in this crazy religious battle!! Bless you!

  • Luigi Rosolin

    Al-Mulhim is righ,what him said is not only valid for Arab state but for all countrys.If the money spend on imposing the political will of nations with strong army and wars, was directed in AID and education this world was not suffering as is now, by wars and violence.
    Western country had certainly been not better of the Arab,billion had been spend on wars ending in hatred from the adversary,if that money was been used to education and welfare, I think that the world will be a better place.I know that is rhetoric but no war had show good fruits.Our hope is that is kingdom come soon.

  • Chaya

    Thank you. G-d bless you.

  • It’s the white, middle class “liberals” (many Jews amongst them) who cannot state such truths!

  • Andy Bendzin

    It takes wisdom to see behind the blind hatred that is being propagated by the leaders of this world. Any Arab with some logic would see that you can’t fair better anywhere else than in Israel. Those that do are afraid to share their opinion because of fear of reprisals.

  • Fredric M. London

    Bravo! I hope that people are listening to you.

  • Lillian Freedman

    Thank you for having the wisdom, courage and integrity to write this. I would like to receive everything that you write, and forward it if I may. How can I do that ? Lillian Freedman