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memri
July 2, 2019 No.
8151

Saudi Intellectual: The Palestinians Forfeited An Important Opportunity By Boycotting Bahrain Economic Workshop

In a series of tweets, Saudi intellectual, writer, and journalist Turki Al-Hamad criticized the Palestinians following their boycott of the recent Prosperity to Peace economic workshop in Bahrain that focused on the economic dimensions of the U.S.-led Middle East peace plan known as the "Deal of the Century." Al-Hamad wrote that by refusing to attend the workshop, the Palestinians had forfeited a significant opportunity to advance their cause. The slogans of the past 70 years, he added, have yielded no results, so there is need for a new approach, such as the one represented by the economic plan outlined at the conference. He also hinted that there are elements that benefit from perpetuating the existing situation, and that the Palestinian problem will not be solved unless they are neutralized.

It should be mentioned that this is not the first time Al-Hamad has blasted Palestinian policies. In November 2017 he posted a series of tweets that enraged many on Twitter – including one stating said that the Palestinian issue no longer interested him, because it was now nothing but "a source of income for some people and a false stamp of legitimacy for the activities of others."[1] Also, he tweeted in May 2018: "Let them call [me] pro-Zionist. Zionism is better for my country than the Arab nationalism that has caused us losses."[2]      


Turki Al-Hamad (source: Watanserb.com, March 10, 2019)

The following are some of Turki Al-Hamad's recent tweets:

The Palestinians Have Worked Themselves Into An Impasse And Are Forfeiting A Significant Opportunity

On June 26, 2019, Al-Hamad tweeted: "I think the Palestinians are forfeiting a significant opportunity by rejecting the initiative [presented at] the Manama [Bahrain] conference. This will become yet another in a long series of opportunities that have been missed over more than 70 years. Naturally, there will be talk about conspiracies and about selling out the Palestinian cause, [but] that is [precisely] what has caused us to get caught up in an endless ideological loop. It's time to cut out [of this loop]..."[3]


Al-Hamad's June 26 tweet

The Palestinians Must Abandon Their Old Slogans; The Bahrain Workshop Holds Great Potential For Them

In a series of June 29, 2019 tweets, Al-Hamad wrote: "Truth can be [viewed] from different perspectives, each revealing [only] part of the truth. Nobody can see the whole truth by looking at it from only one perspective. The important thing is for each of us to accept the perspective of the other and to appreciate it. For example, it is now necessary to address the Palestinian issue in a different way and from a different perspective, far removed from the slogans of the [last] 70 years... [during which] they did not achieve even a partial result. Today there is a plan which promises an economic revival in the West Bank and the [Gaza] Strip. Some reject it, and that's their business, but I believe it is suitable, from a practical point of view. For what is the alternative? Continuing [to spout] the same slogans for another 70 years?

"A strong economy is the basis for demanding [that] further goals [be met] for in today's world, economy comes before politics. Ultimately, a complete rejection of this plan will mean [further] Israeli expansion in the [West] Bank and a dwindling of the Palestinian political demands, alongside the continued [spewing] of slogans, in which case the Palestinians will achieve less than nothing.

"China achieved by economic means what it failed to achieve by political and military means... during the [golden age of] ideologies, and so did Japan and Germany. South Korea made progress by means of its economy, after being at the bottom of [the roster] of nations. The G-20 summits are a message to the world that economy is now the most important parameter of the power of nations.

"The tragedy of the Arabs... is that they grant sanctity to everything – in tradition and politics – and do not distinguish between constants and variables. For example, in light of the current variables, to contend with the Palestinian issue, we need a different paradigm, if we are [in fact] interested in finding a solution. But if [the Palestinian issue] is a goose that lays golden eggs for some, [we can] forget about a solution and about those who demand it."[4]

 

[1] See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7203, Twitter Clash: Saudis vs Palestinians On Palestinian Cause, Palestinian Resistance, November 30, 2017.

[3] Twitter.com/TurkiAl-Hamad, June 26, 2019.

[4] Twitter.com/TurkiAl-Hamad, June 29, 2019.