memri

June 13, 2018
Clip No.
6646

Saudi Journalist Mishal Al-Sudairy Criticizes Palestinian Leaders for Multiple Missed Opportunities for Peace

In a June 13 TV interview, Saudi journalist Mishal Al-Sudairy recounted the history of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, from Mufti Hajj Amin Al-Husseini, who allied himself with Hitler in WWII, through his successor Ahmad Al-Shukeiri, who "lived his entire life in five-star hotels and fought through microphones," to Yasser Arafat, who, in contrast to Egypt and Jordan, rejected negotiations with Israel. "The mountain turned into the molehill of the Oslo Accords - a monster that came after it was too late, and the West Bank had become full of settlements, even though he had an opportunity - at the [1977] Mena House talks - to regain the West Bank without a single settlement," he said, concluding: "Those people missed [multiple] opportunities." Al-Sudairy, who was speaking on the Saudi MBC TV channel, talked about the acts of barbarity committed by Hamas against Fatah members in Gaza and asked: "How can the world have any respect for the [Palestinian] cause?" Al-Sudairy is a columnist for the Asharq Al-Awsat daily, where he expressed similar views in a May 2017 column: https://www.memri.org/reports/saudi-journalist-palestinian-leaders-you-have-missed-too-many-opportunities-resolve-conflict

Al-Sudairy: "[Palestine] was not blessed with leaders who assumed responsibility for the cause. It began in the 1930s, with [Hajj Amin] Al-Husseini…Britain more or less agreed to give the Palestinians 60% of Palestine. This is documented. The best proof of this is that the British placed restrictions on Jewish immigration [to Palestine]. A few years later, WWII broke out. Our brother in Islam [Al-Husseini] ruined everything, when he packed up and traveled to Berlin to meet Hitler. He stayed in Berlin for several years during the war, and he would deliver speeches on Berlin Radio. He would attack the Allies, thus arousing the wrath of them all: the U.S., the Soviet Union, and Britain. A few years later, in 1945, when World War II came to an end, the idea of partitioning of Palestine was proposed. That was in 1947, merely two years after the war. The Palestinians were to be given 49% and the Israelis 51%. Al-Husseini rejected this too, and incited the Arab rulers and Arab armies to wage war. The war developed into the Nabka of Palestine. When our brother in Islam, Al-Husseini, left the stage, he was followed by [Ahmad] Al-Shukeiri, who is famous for saying that he was fighting from trenches, not from hotels. But Al-Shukeiri never fought in a trench or even he set foot in one. He lived his entire life in five-star hotels and fought through microphones.

[…]

"Arafat, may he rest in peace, was even worse. May they all rest in peace…After the 1973 war, there was an attempt to retrieve the lands occupied by Israel. Back then, there was not a single [Jewish] settlement in the West Bank. A seat [at the negotiating table] was prepared for Jordan, a seat for Syria, a seat for Palestine, a seat for Egypt, and a seat for Israel, so that they could reach an agreement. Jordan and Egypt showed up, but Syria and Palestine did not. After some time, Egypt regained the Sinai, and Jordan regained its land through the Wadi Araba treaty. But Arafat, instead of trying to regain [the Palestinian] lands, went to Lebanon and got himself involved in the civil war there. It ended with Israel occupying, for the first time, an Arab [capital] city - Beirut. They loaded Arafat and his group on a boat and shipped them off to Tunisia.

[…]

"Worse still, years later, the mountain turned into the molehill of the Oslo Accords - a monster that came after it was too late, and the West Bank had become full of settlements, even though he had an opportunity - at the [1977] Mena House talks - to regain the West Bank without a single settlement. So those people missed multiple [multiple] opportunities. How can the world have any respect for the [Palestinian] cause, if the [PA] in the West Bank and [Hamas] in Gaza have not been speaking to one another for over a decade, and refuse to unite? How can this cause, which is a just cause in my opinion, be lost in such a way? Hamas, the disciples of Qaradhawi and the Muslim Brotherhood, grabbed Fatah members - and this happened for the first time in history - and threw them off the rooftops of high buildings to the asphalt, and this was the most merciful of the killing methods they employed. How can you respect such people?"