On February 11, 2020, Al-Jazeera Network (Qatar) hosted a debate about Israel and the Arab countries. Syrian journalist Thaer Al-Nashef said that the claim that Israel is thwarting democracy in the Arab countries is completely unfounded, and he argued that all of the dictatorial and authoritarian Arab rulers had been a product of their own Arab societies. He mocked the conspiracy theories that Israel grooms Arab citizens to become leaders of their countries, and he said that Israel is not responsible for the progress or backwardness of Arab societies. Rather, he said that Arabs are responsible for their own development and that they might learn something from the Jews and their ability to "make miracles out of the impossible." Furthermore, Al-Nashef said that the often-repeated claim that Israel's goal is to expand from the Nile River to the Euphrates River is false, and that the two blue stripes on the Israeli flag represent the Jewish prayer shawl, and not these two rivers. Sati' Muhammad Al-Hajj, the Political Secretary of the Nasserist Unionist Party of Sudan, rebutted that Israel's goal to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates is not a myth because it is clearly mentioned in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Thaer Al-Nashef: "First of all, the accusation that Israel is thwarting democracy in the Arab countries is completely unfounded, because if we look at the Arab reality, we will see that authoritarianism, dictatorship, and corruption are negative phenomena that were created by Arab societies, which produced their own rulers. You can't say that Arab rulers come from a different planet, or that they arrived with a parachute. In any Arab country, any Arab ruler whose people revolted against him – he came from among those same people. I cannot imagine Israel taking an Arab citizen from his cradle, and then grooming him to be the president [of his country]. These are conspiracy theories.
"Today, Israel is not responsible for the progress or the backwardness of Arabs. Arabs are responsible for themselves. It is the Arabs who are creating their own revival. European societies did not rely upon Jews to get where they are today. They toiled and exerted efforts in order to achieve what they wanted to achieve. But Arabs may benefit from the extensive Israeli expertise, because when we look at today's Israel, which is an advanced country, we must ask ourselves: How come the Jews, or Israel, have excelled? These people lived in Europe for 2,000 years, as exiled refugees, in a diaspora, as prisoners, and as slaves. Imagine! They then proved to all of humanity that they are not just refugees or slaves, but a people that was able to make miracles out of the impossible.
"There is an important point that I would like to clarify for the respected Arab viewers. What is said – and the [Arab] regimes instilled this in us from a young age – about the borders of Israel stretching from the Nile to the Euphrates, the Euphrates that was crossed by Abraham, and the Nile, on the banks of which Moses grew up... Today, Israel... What Nile? It is said that the two blue stripes on the Israeli flag represent the Nile and the Euphrates. The two blue stripes do not represent the Nile and the Euphrates. They represent the tallit prayer shawl."
Sati' Muhammad Al-Hajj: "Regarding the Nile and the Euphrates... With all due respect to the information that he mentioned, this issue is mentioned in The Protocols of Zion [sic], which was written after the congress that was summoned by Theodor Herzl in Basel, Switzerland, in 1897, as it is well known. [The Protocols] clearly mention that Israel stretches from the Euphrates to the Nile. Therefore, this is not a myth, as my esteemed colleague was trying to tell us. It is reality, as is mentioned in The Protocols of Zion."