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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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avatar by Zach Pontz

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.”

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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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