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memri
July 31, 2014 No.
5811

Saudi Admiral (Ret.), Writer, And Columnist: Eliminating Israel Is Unrealistic; Abandoning Violence And Negotiating With Israel Is The Only Solution

Saudi Admiral (Ret.) 'Umro Al-'Amery, who is currently a writer, and who penned a column for the Saudi government daily Al-Sharq from 2012 to 2013, posted on his Facebook page criticism of the Palestinians, particularly Hamas, in the current Gaza conflict with Israel. He stated that the Palestinians had never acted sincerely to liberate Palestine, but had become addicted to playing the victim and had left the task of actual liberation to the Arabs – who had in any case abandoned them at the outset. The Palestinians, he said, have continued to whine and cry in the expectation of receiving help and gifts from others.

He went on to call Hamas an arrogant terror organization that circulates slogans to inflame the common folk and trades in the blood of Palestinian children, and added that Hamas' recent actions – the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens and the firing of missiles at Israel ­– were completely ineffective in its struggle against Israel. Israel, he said, is a fait accompli; its elimination is unrealistic, and therefore the only solution open to the Palestinians is abandoning the path of violence and turning instead to the option of negotiations.


'Umro Al-'Amery

Below are translated excerpts from his Facebook posts:

The Palestinian Leaders Trade In The Blood Of Palestinian Children

"I know that this position will anger many. The Palestinians persistently go overboard playing the victim – because otherwise, from the perspective of the [Palestinian] struggle, what does the Palestinians' kidnapping and killing of three teens signify?

"What did they expect from Israel? Did they think that the Arabs would mobilize their armies to fight Israel? Will these missiles, which are more like fireworks, liberate Palestine? Since its genesis, the Palestinian problem has been neglected by its leaders, who have always traded in the blood, and photos of its [i.e. Palestine's] children. Israel is destroying everything so that the world will rebuild [it], and then it can destroy it again.

"Hamas and its satellites in the Sinai differ only slightly from all the jihadi organizations: They have never, not for one single day, been interested in the welfare of Gaza's residents; they are interested only in slogans and rhetoric. In contrast to the other peoples of the world, the Palestinians were never sincere or serious about liberating their country. The Arabs abandoned them from the outset, and they never organized themselves, continuing to await help – which never arrived – and also to await gifts from others."


Facebook post, July 10, 2014.

For The Palestinians, There Is No Path But Negotiations

Al-'Amery's Facebook posts provoked numerous reactions – particularly because they were cited in full in the official Saudi daily Al-Watan.[1] The reactions ranged from support for his comments and appreciation for his fearlessness in expressing them to condemnation and to support for the Palestinians, Hamas, and Islam as the only. Al-'Amery replied to every respondent without backing down from his statements. The following are a few examples of his replies:

In one reply, Al-'Amery reiterates that the Arab approach to Israel is disconnected from reality: "What do we want of the Jews? Do we really want to remove them? I think that at this point that is unreasonable, and all those calling for doing so know they're lying. Israel is a state that will continue to exist, a state that the entire world respects more [than it respects] its Arab neighbors. There is nothing for the Palestinians to do but negotiate for better conditions – but not with this path [of violence]...

"That Palestine was plundered or stolen is indisputable – but life is facts on the ground. However, we Arabs prefer illusion and legend, and the selling of slogans. The Israelis tell the [Arab] world: 'We have left you Gaza, so why are you shelling our communities?' They also say: 'On this land we have established a state that respects human beings and that the world respects; what have you Arabs done with all your land?'

"Truly, I don't know what the Palestinians want."


Facebook post, July 10, 2014

Islam Is Not The Solution; Secularism And Democracy Are The Solution

In another reply, Al-'Amery condemned the Islamist slogan "Islam is the solution" as populist, and rebutted it: "The slogan 'Islam is the solution' is a glittering slogan that excites the [imagination of] the simple folk... But Islam is not the solution. Islam is a religion, whereas secularism and democracy are the solution, as in all countries whose people enjoy wellbeing, peace, and religious faith, and Malaysia is a model [worthy] of emulation for us."[2]


Facebook post, July 10, 2014.

'Al-'Amery also said that Hamas' irresponsible behavior had lost it the support it had once had in the world, and particularly in the Arab world: "Hamas has lost the sense of fraternity that it once had worldwide. Why hasn't Saudi Arabia been playing an (openly declared) role [in solving the crisis in Gaza], at least to date? Why are Egypt, the UAE, or even the Arab League not [doing this]–while the only one doing so is the Turkey-Qatar axis, where [in Qatar, Khaled] Mash'al resides and gives speeches while the Gazan people is being slaughtered en masse? Have these countries and their leaders become Zionists [also,] as some claim [about me?]...

"The entire world claims that Hamas is imprudently provoking [Israel] again and again, and then it [Hamas] calls upon us to weep and show sympathy [for it], on behalf of the children of Gaza."


Facebook post, July 17, 2014.

The Hamas Leaders Serve Qatar And Don't Care About Gaza And Its Children

In a July 2, 2014 post, intended as a general reply to responses he had received to his previous posts, Al-'Amery said that because of his statements he was being accused of having become a Zionist and "a defeated intellectual sitting in the air conditioning." He stressed: "I was aware that it is unwise to say what I did, but this happens over and over again. Every time, we hear the same wail: 'Gaza is being destroyed, the children are being killed!' – but nothing changes; there are only the empty boasts by the Hamas leaders who have no friends left except for those who are using their [Hamas'] international agenda such as Qatar and Turkey.

"Right now, after 12 days [of Hamas-Israel fighting], what have the 'Hamas fireworks' achieved? They haven't killed one single soldier, so they have changed nothing on the ground. [In contrast], what price is Gaza is paying for this? And those who continue to scream and to accuse the Arab leaders and armies of treason do so on the basis of tribal logic or the jihadi idea – because no sensible person will be drawn into hasty, idiotic actions whose results are known in advance and which have been repeated over and over for the past 66 years.

"War is not a call for help. If Hamas' leaders really cared about Gaza and its children – the photos of whom broke our hearts – they would have told the world, 'We will stop our pointless firing of missiles for the sake of our children and of what remains of Gaza.' But this they will never do – because the ones in Doha holding the remote control are enjoying the spectacle. [And so] the festival of weeping continues. Oh people of sense, where are you?"


Facebook post, July 18, 2014.

Endnotes:

[1] Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), July 17, 2014.

[2] It should be noted that 'Umro Al-'Amery devoted an entire column in Al-Sharq, titled "The Lie Is No Solution," to rebutting this slogan.