In extraordinary comments on Friday, a top-ranking Saudi diplomat said that “the blood conflict” between Israel and the Arab world “had lasted too long” and that the time for normalization has come.
“Us Saudis and all Gulf States plus Egypt and Jordan realize that the age of going to war with Israel is over,” the man said in an exclusive interview with Globes ahead of the economic conference in Bahrain.
Pointing to “the advantages of normalizing relations” with Israel, he argued that “the whole Arab world could benefit from it.” He praised Israeli technology as “very advanced” and observed that “the Arab world, including those who hate you, looks at Israel in admiration due to this success and hopes to copy it.”
He applauded Israel for showing “the world the Iranian danger,” a regime which he said is “distorting Islam” and engages in “terror against the countries of the region.” He slammed European leaders for not understanding that any commercial contracts with Iran “secure funds for terrorism.”
The official also blasted the Palestinian Authority (PA) as “irresponsible” for not even considering U.S.-led peace efforts which would bring $50 billion in economic investment to the long-suffering Palestinian people.
But more than just providing much needed economic growth and poverty relief, the Saudi diplomat said the U.S. plan includes a “clear path leading to complete Palestinian independence.” He added that pragmatic Arab leaders are “convinced that even the hard issues,” such as the status of Jerusalem and ownership of the holy sites, “can be resolved when one has a full stomach and a relaxed life (…) they still don’t accept this.”
Despite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s image as a hardliner, the Saudi official concluded that, “when it’s time to decide every Israeli leader, Netanyahu as well, will take the path of peace as this is what most Israelis want.”