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May 24, 2017 2:56 pm

Saudi Journalist: Over the Years, Palestinian Leaders Have ‘Excelled in Two Things: Rhetoric and Missing Opportunities’

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Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Photo: Twitter.

Over the years, Palestinian leaders have “excelled in two things: rhetoric and missing opportunities,” a Saudi journalist wrote in a column published this week.

“Young Palestinians deserve to live, aspire, and act like the young people of other nations,” Mash’al Al-Sudairi said in a piece published by the London-headquartered Asharq al-Awsat daily newspaper and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). “We have had our fill of sorrow, oppression, idiocy, and the spouting of extremist slogans, that have eliminated wisdom and at the same time [forfeited] much land.”

Addressing Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh directly, Sudairi noted, “When you determined [in the new Hamas policy document that the borders of Palestine are the borders] that existed prior to June 5, 1967, you implicitly and indirectly recognized Israel. Therefore, from now on you cannot throw a single stone at it, not to mention fire a single rocket against it.”

“I therefore wonder about the value of the flowery and futile expression ‘Palestine from the river to the sea,’ as long as Gaza is detached from the West Bank,” Sudairi continued. “Will valor and sacrifice bring the leader Haniyeh to launch a historic initiative and consolidate unity in the Palestinian state that will be supported by the Arab brothers and the entire world?”

Territorial size, Sudairi pointed out, should not be an obstacle to the development of a future Palestinian state. “Singapore occupies an area of only 710 km² — that is, one-ninth of the [combined] area of the West Bank and Gaza,” he wrote. “Additionally, the population of the two [i.e. Singapore and the Palestinian territories] is similar — yet this Singapore’s annual income exceeds $400 billion — more than the income of every petro state… even though it has no natural resources [of its own].”

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