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April 1, 2021 Special Dispatch No. 9269

Saudi Journalist: Arabs And Jews Should Stop Fighting, Start Cooperating

April 1, 2021
Saudi Arabia | Special Dispatch No. 9269

Against the backdrop of the normalization agreements between Israel and several Arab states, Prof. Safouq Al-Shammari, a Saudi physician, researcher and journalist, published a two-part article in the government daily Al-Watan, in which he called to stop the wars between the Arabs and Jews, strengthen the ties between them and cooperate with them in improving the state of the Middle East. Al-Shammari noted that, despite being a small minority in the world, the Jews have made great scientific achievements and significant contributions to mankind, including to the Arab world. Stressing that, throughout history, there was friendship between Arabs and Jews, and that today the conflict between them is confined to the issue of Palestine, he called to distinguish between Zionism and the state of Israel on the one hand and the Jewish people on the other, and to renew the historic ties between  the  Arabs and their Jewish cousins - in particular the Jews of the U.S. and Europe. This is especially crucial today, he said, in light of Iran's threat to perpetrate a second holocaust against both the Arabs and the Jews. Al-Shammari added that economic cooperation between the Gulf and the Jews of America - who include many of the world's largest tycoons - could boost the economic revolution that is already taking place in the Gulf, and this, in turn, could benefit the region at large and accelerate the resolution of the Palestinian problem.

It should be noted that Al-Shammari's first article sparked angry reactions from Arabs on social media who spoke against the Jews and urged him to support the Arabs rather than the Jews.      


Safouq Al-Shammari (Source: Sabq.org)

The following are excerpts from Al-Shammari's two articles.

Inventions Of Jewish Scientists Have Saved Billions Of Lives

In the first part of his article, Al-Shammari wrote: "Jews constitute 0.2% of the world's population, but 20% of the Nobel Prize winners, [that is,] 100 times their proportion in the population. Some 40% of the Nobel winners in economics are Jews, and 26% of the Nobel winners in physics and medicine. [Many people] are perhaps unaware that [the Jewish] Ernst Chain was a partner of [Alexander] Flemming in discovering the antibiotic properties of penicillin and thereby saving the lives of millions, or that the discoverer of the hepatitis C virus was a Jew. [They may also be unaware] that many inventors of vaccines were Jews, as was the discoverer of blood types, and the list goes on and on. Some assess that Jewish medical scientists saved the lives of 2.8 billion people with their discoveries and inventions. In the field of physics, the [world's] greatest physicist was Albert Einstein. And lest you think that [this list merely proves that] the West panders to the Jews, [let me add that] a quarter of the winners of the Japanese Kyoto Prize - one of the most prestigious prizes in science and literature - have [also] been Jews.   

"The conflict between the two cousin peoples, the Jews and the Arabs, is relatively new… The resentment built up over decades of wars between the Arabs and Israel forms a kind of barrier… [but] we must distinguish between the Jews and Israel, and between the Jewish people, who are [our] cousins, and the Zionist political movement. There is a difference between people and political [movements]. There are [surely] Arab political movements that [you, the reader,] disagree with, but this does not mean that [you] disagree with all Arabs. This is also true with regard to the Jews.      

"Sadly, this resentment, and the confusion between Jews and Zionists, caused the Jews to emigrate from the Arab countries after [living there] for centuries…and we [thus] lost an important component [of our societies]. Iraq lost its Jews, including the first finance minister of modern Iraq, Sassoon Eskell… who served five terms in this capacity, and is known, among other things, for refusing to grant the Iraqi king 20 dinars for building a fancy residence on the grounds that the parliament had not approved this. Some Arab countries have Jewish ministers and officials even today, such as Serge Berdugo, [a former Moroccan minister of tourism and a leader of the Jewish community there], and André Azoulay, [a royal advisor] in Morocco.

"Know that Arabs and Muslims respected their Jewish cousins throughout history. Abdelkader Ben Ghabrit, founder of the Muslim Institute of the Paris Mosque, saved hundreds of Jews from the Nazis by providing them with [forged] papers certifying them as Muslims. Hundreds of thousands of Jews lived for centuries in the Arab countries [and were treated well there], in contrast to the humiliation they suffered in the Western ghettos in those days…  

"Everyone should know that the Jews have a special status [with the Muslims] not just as [fellow] members of the Semitic race, but also due to their religion, for it is known that Muslims eat the kosher food of the Jews, especially in the West. Furthermore, Islam permitted [Muslim men] to wed Jewish women, and marriage is a holy union based on love and respect. For it is inconceivable that [a Muslim] should marry a Jewish woman and hate her or her family…

 "It is possible that the Jews became accustomed to facing racism, hostility and discrimination in Europe for centuries… [and] this inhuman treatment caused them to develop many personal talents, so as to survive in these societies that treated them so cruelly. As a result they developed many skills in the spheres of business, goldsmithing and [other] crafts. Their suffering came to a head with the advent of the Nazis, and with the massacres and the Holocaust, in which millions of innocent Jews were killed while the Europeans did nothing… [After the war] the Europeans decided to get rid of them… by sending them to Palestine, although reason and justice dictated that they be compensated and given [a state] in Europe or in part of Germany… The Jews are generally good at making deals, but in this case, I believe that they received too little. One may argue that the Jews strove to come to Palestine already in the Ottoman period… [but] the ones who planted this idea [in their minds] were the Europeans, especially the cunning British… who also planted the Indians in South Africa…

"The Jews suffered abuse, injustice and massacres, [which resulted in] severe emotional crises, and nobody should deny this. Many Jews tried to heal their spirits and excel in their fields, which led to the emergence of the Jewish elite in the U.S. However, some Zionists perpetrated clod-blooded massacres against the Palestinians, such as the Deir Yassin massacre and others. We would like to see the Jewish American model replicated in Israel, but sadly, [the Israeli Jews] were cruel even to their Arab cousins…  

"Perhaps it is time to restore the historic ties between the Arabs and their Jewish cousins, especially in the U.S. and Europe…"[1]

It Is Time To Stop The Wars And Improve The Wellbeing Of The Peoples; American Jews Can Be A Bridge Between The Gulf Arabs And World Jewry

In the second part of his article, Al-Shammari wrote: "When I wrote the first part of this article, I expected to get reactions from readers, but I did not anticipate getting so many of them. It is good to debate and exchange opinions, even if there is controversy. Some claimed that I was riding the current wave of normalization with Israel, but that is untrue for several reasons, primarily because  I was speaking about the Jews, not about Israel or the Zionists. The big difference between them is that Israel does not represent all the world's Jews. Moreover, let me remind all those who made this claim that, since 2011, I have been writing about prominent Americans and mentioning that some of them happen to be Jews. What I write is my own opinion and nobody is obligated [to agree with me]…

"In my opinion, the Western Jews, and especially the American ones, are a bridge between the Gulf and the rest of the world's Jews, in Israel and outside it. The American Jews can play a decisive and beneficial role in affecting a rapprochement between the two Semitic cousin peoples, namely the Arabs and the Jews. They are also very different [from the Israeli Jews] in their openness and wide horizons, and we can maintain ties with them freely. Many of them belong to the American social elite. For example, even though Jews comprise only some 2% of Americans, there are 30 of them on the list of America's 100 billionaires… Jews also constitute 16% of those accepted to the prestigious Yale University and 10% of those accepted to Harvard! Many of the most famous attorneys, doctors and bankers are Jews, and about a third of the American Nobel Prize winners are Jewish as well…

"The American Jews are not fanatic partisan [Jews]. For example, [although] no American president helped Israel more than Trump has, 60% of American Jews voted for Biden! The Jews of America espouse many different views, running the gamut from left-wing to right-wing… so it would be a mistake to regard them as a monolithic bloc… In general, they can be described as an example of success and as a rational and realistic group of people.

"Israel… managed to derive some benefit from the diversity of minds and cultures [among its citizens] and to combine the skills of the Jews who came there from all over the world. With the benefit of Western assistance, it managed to establish a relatively modern state which, at the same time, was cruel towards the Palestinians, and justified its cruelty by alluding to the injustice of being in the midst of a [hostile] Arab environment.

"No cause is more just than the Palestinian cause, but sadly, it has been led by bad leaders who exploited it in a despicable manner and milked it dry. I believe Israel had an important role in promoting such Palestinian leaders.

"If Israel wants to coexist normally with the Arabs, it must treat them rationally: stop being greedy, put aside cunning and political games in holding negotiations, and give the Palestinian people their reasonable rights. Israel has made many agreements with Arab countries, but the barrier  between it and the Arab peoples is still high. If it wants the Israelis and Arabs to live together normally, it must grant the Palestinian people their rights, regardless of their bad leadership. Then the Israelis will become an influential element throughout the region. [Israel] must also understand that integrating in the Arab environment will bring it much greater benefit than stealing [a few more] kilometers of Palestinian land. It must restrain its extremists and recognize the Arabs as [fellow] Semites… If it wants to be seen as part of the region, it must treat the Arabs as cousins… on both the Semitic and the Abrahamic[2] levels, and in both practical and legal terms. This is especially critical today, when there are important issues at hand and a vital need to protect the two branches of the Semitic [race] against the attempts of the deranged Iranian mullahs to perpetrate a new Holocaust [against them] with the help of some Aryan extremists in the West. This is a vital interest of both sides! 

 "The Arabs must be realistic. For decades, they tried to solve the [Palestinian] issue in ways that bore no fruit. Perhaps it is time to try a new way, as long as the aim is to restore the Palestinian rights. The Jews lived with the Arabs for centuries in a manner that suited both sides, before the wars [between them] began. Our region has many resources and many excellent minds. It's time to focus on the welfare and progress of all the peoples and forget the wars and the problems. Both sides have much to contribute, but [first] we must do justice [with the Palestinians].

"Perhaps it is time [to promote] Arab rapprochement with the Jews, especially with the Jews of the U.S., by establishing joint associations or councils of Gulf [Arabs] and American Jews. They can play a role in advancing the region and restarting the peace process, given that the American Jews have influence in Israel as well, and some of them have double citizenship… The Gulf is currently seeing an industrial, economic and financial revolution, and it is bound to become a global hub, or the new Europe. Imagine the state of the world and the wellbeing and progress [we will experience] when the Gulf - the region with the world's largest sovereign investment funds and with the greatest economic and natural resources - cooperates with the American Jews, who constitute a large portion of America's tycoons, businessmen, bankers and industrialists. Vast, [almost] unimaginable, opportunities will be created, which will have an impact on the region as a whole. Resolving the Palestinian issue will then become much easier, thanks to the influence of both sides [the Gulf and the American Jews] on the Israelis and the Palestinians."[3] 

 

[1] Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), November 15, 2020.

[2] A reference to the fact that Islam, Judaism and Christianity are all "Abrahamic" faiths, i.e., monotheistic religions associated with Abraham. It may also be an allusion the peace agreements between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain, called the Abraham Accords.

[3] Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), November 25, 2020.

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