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August 10, 2017 11:53 am

Saudi Columnist Slams Arab States’ Hypocrisy on Israel Ties

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

A November 2014 meeting in Amman between then-US Secretary of State John Kerry, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jordanian King Abdullah II. Photo: US Department of State via Wikimedia Commons.

A prominent Saudi columnist recently mocked Arab countries for their refusal to publicize their ties with Israel.

In an August 2, 2017 column in the Al-Madina newspaper, translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Muhammad Arif wrote that some Arab states’ relations with Israel were “like someone who takes Viagra in secret and does not want anybody to know about it because he fears it will detract from his manliness and wants to remain a macho in the eyes of his neighbors and friends.”

This was because many Arab states “maintain relations with Israel but deny it, [although] these ties can hardly be denied given the existence of embassies and mutual visits in full view.”

Referring to the recent Temple Mount crisis, Arif called the Arab states’ reactions “ridiculous or even laughable.”

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Arif sarcastically noted that several Arab states banned the film Wonder Woman because it starred Israeli actress Gal Gadot. “By Allah, how grave the damage caused to the Zionist state by banning this American film starring an Israeli actress!” he wrote.

He went on to call on Arab nations to end their hypocrisy in which they “maintain relations” with Israel but “don’t want anybody to know about them.”

“Had [these countries] declared these relations openly,” Arif continued, “it would have been infinitely better, [because then] they could have at least addressed the enemy and directed criticism and condemnations at it.”

Instead, Arif asserted, “since they conceal these relations, none of them dare to threaten [Israel], even for domestic purposes, with the severance or suspension of these relations.”

Both Jordan and Egypt stepped in to try to resolve the Temple Mount crisis, with Jordan being particularly involved. Other Arab states, however, remained largely silent. Many believe this was because of growing secret relations between Israel and the Arab world that are rooted in the common threat posed by Iran.

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