July 31, 2023 Special Dispatch No. 10729

Saudi Journalist: Israel Is A Fact And The Arabs Must Accept It; After Seven Decades Of Conflict And Losses, The Region Crucially Needs Peace And Stability

July 31, 2023
Saudi Arabia | Special Dispatch No. 10729

In her March 2, 2023 column in the Emirati daily Al-Ittihad, Saudi journalist Haila Al-Mashouh, who also writes for the Saudi daily 'Okaz, stated that the conflicts and crises that have afflicted the Middle East in the last decades, chief of them the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, have brought only disaster and losses to the peoples of the region, including the Palestinians.  The world, she said, is currently facing multiple security, economic, humanitarian and other crises, and therefore it is essential to attain peace and security in the Middle East and to resolve the conflicts through dialogue, rather than by force of arms. She called to persist in the efforts to achieve peace in the region even if the chances are slim. She added that the state of Israel is a fact and called to accept this while  also upholding the Palestinians' right to an independent state – for this will benefit all the peoples in the region.

Haila Al-Mashouh (Image:

The following are translated excerpts from her column:[1]

"…The Middle East has experienced changes and crises throughout the years, some of which led to historic and geographical transformations in some of its countries… The Palestinian issue has been one of the [sources] of the greatest and most influential crises in the Arab region. It was a historical problem that caused one crisis after another, not only in Palestine but in the neighboring Arab countries, and its effects reached even the Arabian Gulf.  Later it became a political issue of the entire Muslim [nation], which sparked many wars and upheavals. Some people think that [the flames of] these wars should be fanned, although they are pointless and although it is impossible to achieve peace and security through conflict and bloodshed…

"The upheavals and conflicts that have afflicted the Middle East for decades prove beyond any doubt that… security will not be permanent, stable and genuine unless it is based on morality and justice… and on understandings, far from any armed struggle. The world is currently dealing with  security, economic, humanitarian, nutrition, health, climate and environmental crises. Therefore, it is very important that the Middle East be protected from  conflicts and from the fanning of disputes, and that disputes be resolved by peaceful means, through dialogue mediated by influential countries that prioritize peace over promoting [various] interests. There is [also] need to widen alliances, out of commitment to the principles of peace and in accordance with the UN treaties and the objectives of global security and stability.

"The Arab region has seen changes that have taught us difficult lessons. [These changes] include the outbreak of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; Iraq's [absence] from the regional and Arab balance of power; the threats posed by some neighboring countries in the region and their impact on the security of the Gulf and of its shipping lanes; the proxy wars against the countries of the [Saudi-led Arab] coalition [fighting] in Yemen; the terror attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia; the repercussions of the so-called Arab Spring and its horrible results, and the impact of the Covid pandemic, which is still affecting the Arab economies and the supply of food and healthcare in some Middle East countries.

"Security is not a luxury; it is required by the situation and changes in the world. Although the opportunities for peace in the region are dwindling, we must seize these opportunities in order to live in peace, stability and coexistence, while [finding] common ground as human beings, as part of the value of accepting the other and accepting reality.

"The state of Israel is a fact that must be dealt with wisely and prudently, while upholding the right of the Palestinian people [to live] in dignity, security and lasting peace in an independent state. The [Israeli-Arab] conflict, which has lasted over 70 years, has yielded nothing but destruction, considerable losses and insecurity. Peace and security are a right of the peoples of the region, and we must seek to realize and defend [this right], acting wisely rather than emotionally!"


[1]  Al-Ittihad (UAE), March 2, 2023.


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