October 29, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8997

Sudanese Writer: 'Israel, We Welcome You To Khartoum'

October 29, 2020
Sudan | Special Dispatch No. 8997

Following the October 23, 2020 announcement that Sudan and Israel have decided to normalize their relations, Osama Di Al-Naim Muhammad, a columnist for Sudan's Al-Rakoba newspaper, welcomed the move in his column and urged the Palestinians to advance towards peace. He called on the Palestinians to learn from the example of Germany and Japan who, after being defeated in World War II, reconciled with their enemies and chose the path of economic growth and prosperity. Noting that Sudan has long been mired in an internal war that caused it to be split and divided, he expressed satisfaction that the country has now opted for peace with Israel and is on the road to recovery and development. He concluded by saying that Sudan, where in 1967 the policy of the three No's was devised - no to recognizing Israel, no to negotiations and no to peace with Israel - has changed its tune to yes: "Yes to Israel, yes to an alliance with it and yes to normalization with it."

Osama Di Al-Naim Muhammad (Source: Al-Rakoba, Sudan)

The following are translated excerpts from his column.[1]

"The policy of [calling to] throw Israel into the sea and wipe it out of existence was dominant in the 1950s and 1960s. The Palestinian resistance movements, with the support of Nasser's Egypt and other Arab states, turned this slogan into a tool, and their favored methods of operation were hijacking planes in various parts of the world and killing hostages, including in the 1973 [attack] on the Saudi embassy [in Sudan]…[2]

"The fighting method of exterminating and expunging the enemy was invented by [all] the Palestinian resistance [groups], without exception, including Fatah, Black September and the jihadi [organizations] that operate in the name of Islam. They hijacked planes and took hostages, and even football matches in Germany were not spared.[3] Later [these organizations] started to target Israel's rear with improvised rockets, while Israel responded with harsher and deadlier weapons, and the victims were the refugees in the Palestinian [refugee] camps.

"By doing this, the Palestinian organizations and their supporters in the nationalist, Nasserist and Ba'thist Arab [parties], and in the countries that cultivated these parties, departed from the Arabs' [traditional] manner of warfare. From the dawn of history, Arab tribes used to fight one another… and take hostages, [but] later agreements would be made, a ransom would be paid to release the hostages, and [the sides] would resume honoring the agreements and treaties [between them] until they collapsed again for some reason and other. This happened time and time again: war followed by agreements.

"In modern history we find [the examples of] Japan and Germany, which were defeated and destroyed [in World War II], but then signed [peace] agreements [with their former enemies]. The enemies of yesterday [now] coexist, trade [with one another] and cooperate on mutual interests. The [economic] competition between them increases their [gross] national product and the wellbeing of their citizens… 

"The Arab states kept silent, [for] they were unable to advance a different solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The agreements [signed by the two sides], which have not been fully honored, were made following American and European pressure, not because the Palestinians were convinced [of their necessity]. The Camp David and Oslo [agreements] were signed, but the Palestinian organizations violated them on a daily basis, and the Arab states acquiesced and accepted the only solution the Palestinian organizations could envision: fighting and more fighting, and [the policy of] the three No's that was sadly drafted in [the Sudanese capital of] Khartoum.[4] 

"The option of [firing] improvised rockets and murdering Israelis at checkpoints will not liberate Palestine no matter how long it continues. Palestine will be free and will be populated by a free nation only if it adopts the model of Japan, Germany and South Africa in dealing with the enemy in wartime and peacetime. [These] countries and their people increase their [gross] national product, cultivate industry and trade that are a model for the world, and do not seek to hijack enemy planes or want their young men to blow themselves up out of rage at the enemy.

"Some parties in Sudan have stopped believing that Israel must be cast into the sea and wiped out of existence. They believe that Palestine, with its cause, cannot become an economic force with global influence except by [embracing] peace instead of the tools of war and extermination. It must follow the path of the ancient Arabs in [making] war and agreements with the enemies.

"In addition, we Sudanese have lost [certain] interests and our wound is still bleeding. We lost 90% of our state's income. The Sudanese parties all kept silent and did not act… to prevent the secession of South Sudan. [These parties] cannot [now] make up for their silence, which reflected disdain for Sudan's interests, by voicing open and shrill opposition to what Sudan is trying to achieve by making an agreement with the [Israeli] enemy. The path taken by some [Sudanese] who oppose normalization with Israel does not reflect wisdom or any lesson learned from the old Arab [experience] of dealing with enemies.  Nor are they applying the lesson learned by the Japanese and German people…"

"Enough with the slogans of throwing Israel into the sea and wiping it out of existence. Israel, we welcome you to Khartoum. The Land of the Three No's has changed its tune to three times Yes: Yes to Israel, yes to an alliance with it and yes to normalization with it."


[1] Al-Rakoba (Sudan), October 26, 2020.

[2] The reference is to a March 1, 1973 attack carried out by the Black September organization on the Saudi embassy in Khartoum. The attackers captured ten diplomats who were holding a meeting at the embassy, and, after their demands were not met, murdered three of them: the U.S. ambassador in Sudan and his deputy, and the Belgian Chargé d'affaires to Sudan. The other hostages were eventually released. 

[3] The reference is apparently to the murder of the Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972.

[4] The reference is to the decision taken in the 1967 Arab League summit in Khartoum, according to which there would be no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it and no peace with it.

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