Former Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. Prince Bandar Bin Sultan Al-Saud chastised the Palestinian leadership for its conduct following Israel's peace and normalization agreements with the UAE and Bahrain. His comments were made in an interview with Al-Arabiya Network (Dubai/Saudi Arabia) on October 5, 2020. Prince Bandar said that the Palestinian leaders had "the audacity to say despicable things" about the Gulf countries and their leaders. He added that while the Palestinian cause is just, the Palestinian leaders have failed at garnering support for this cause.
Prince Bandar further said that the Palestinian leaders have historically placed their bets on the losing party - from Haj Amin Al-Husseini's support for the Nazis during WWII to siding with Saddam Hussein in his occupation of Kuwait in 1990 and subsequently, his missile attacks against Saudi Arabia. He said that the Palestinians would repeatedly come to Saudi Arabia for financial aid and advice, and then they would take the aid and ignore the advice.
He added that Saudi Arabia would defend the Palestinians publicly even though it knew they were in the wrong. Prince Bandar added that the Palestinians now consider Iran to be their ally, while Iran "peddles the Palestinian cause" and wants to "liberate Jerusalem through Yemen, Lebanon, and Syria." He mocked Turkey for calling its ambassador back from the UAE while keeping the Turkish ambassador in Tel Aviv. Prince Bandar bin Sultan served for over two decades as the Saudi Ambassador to the U.S., upon his return, he served as the Secretary General of the Saudi National Council and as Director General of the Saudi Intelligence Agency. His daughter, Reema bint Bandar Al Saud, is the current Saudi Ambassador to the United States.
Prince Bandar Bin Sultan Al-Saud: "What I have been hearing from the Palestinian leaders in recent days is painful, to tell you the truth. It was painful because it was of such a low level. These were things that should not be said by people who are in charge of a cause they want everyone to support. They had the audacity to say despicable things about the Gulf countries and their leaders. This is not just disagreeable. It is unacceptable. However, when I consider this from a different perspective, it is not surprising that they so easily talk about 'traitors' and a ' stab in the back,' because this is their way of treating one another.
"The Palestinian cause is a just cause but it has failing advocates, whereas the Israeli cause is not just, but it has successful advocates. In a nutshell, this is everything that has happened in the past 70-75 years. There is a common denominator between the Palestinian leaders throughout history: They always place their bet on the losing side. This comes with a price. Amin Al-Husseini, in the 1930s, placed his bet on the Nazis in Germany. We all know what has become of Hitler and Germany. Fast forward [to the 1990s]. None of us can forget, especially in the Gulf states, the picture of Abu Ammar [Yasser Arafat] visiting Saddam Hussein, in 1990, after the occupation of Kuwait. An Arab people under occupation...All the Gulf States had welcomed the Palestinians, and Kuwait in particular used to welcome the Palestinian leaders. And then we saw Abu Ammar, in Baghdad, kissing Saddam, laughing with him, and congratulating him for what he did. This was very painful for all the Gulf nations.
"A few months later, the campaign for the liberation of Kuwait began, and Saddam Hussein attacked the Saudi capital with missiles. It was the first time that the Saudi capital was under a missile attack by anybody. Even Israel has never attacked Saudi Arabia with missiles. By the way, we were the ones who bought these missiles for Saddam, and supported him in his war against the Persians. Then we were astonished, once again, when we saw young [Palestinians] who had been led astray, in Nablus, dancing to celebrate the bombardment of Riyadh, holding pictures of Saddam Hussein. These things cannot be forgotten, but we decided to rise about it- not for the sake of the Palestinian leaders, but for the sake of the people.
"I believe that historically, out of good intentions, we in Saudi Arabia have repeated [our mistakes] time and again in our approach towards [the Palestinians]. In other words, they would ask for advice and [financial] aid. We would give them unconditional aid and we would give them our advice. Then, they would take the aid and do the opposite of what we advised them. Then they would fail and return to us, and we would support them even though we knew they were wrong, and knew that they know we told them the truth. Then, we would go even further, and stand up to the whole world in order to justify the actions of the Palestinians, even though we knew they were wrong.
"They have come to believe that there would be no price to pay for all their offenses against the Saudi leaders, the Saudi state, or the Gulf states and their leaders. I believe that today, the circumstances have changed.
"Who do the Palestinians consider to be their ally today? Iran that peddles the Palestinian cause at the expense of the Palestinian people? Khamenei who wants to liberate Jerusalem through Yemen, Lebanon and Syria? The road to Jerusalem is well known, if they really want [to liberate it]. The leaders of Hamas go to Turkey to thank it for its positions in support of Hamas and the Palestinian cause. Why? Because Erdogan decided to call back Turkey's ambassador in the UAE, in support of the Palestinian cause. Can anyone tell me if the leaders of Hamas asked Erdogan in that meeting...Charity begins at home. Instead of calling your ambassador back from the UAE, paying for his plane ticket, and making him come and go-why don't you expel the Israeli ambassador from Ankara? Why don't you call back your ambassador from Tel-Aviv?"