On October 25, 2020, Sudan TV aired a debate about Sudanese normalization with Israel. Al-Bakheet Al-Naeem Omar, a member of the Ba'ath Party's Political Council, said that the plan to normalize relations with Israel is part of an American and Zionist plot to fragmentize Sudan. He argued that Israel operates according to an expansionist plan laid out in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and he said that the Palestinian cause is the cause of all humanity. Saleh Mansour, an official from the Sudan Liberation Movement, responded that Sudan should normalize relations with Israel because there would be peace, because its industries would benefit, and because it has gained nothing from its hostility towards Israel. He said that he stands by the Palestinian people, but that Sudan is not responsible for fighting Israel in their place.
Al-Bakheet Al-Naeem Omar: "It is the natural right of post-revolution Sudan not to be condemened [for its past] and not to pay millions of dollars [in compensation] from public funds..."
Host: "Could Sudan have been removed from the list [of states sponsoring terrorism] if not for the compensation?"
Al-Bakheet Al-Naeem Omar: "This is political and economic extortion. It is all part of a regional and international plot, contrived by America, the Zionist entity, and the Western states, to fragmentize Sudan.
"What is going on today is a strategic mistake and a national betrayal of our people's history, which has been rich in pan-Arab and patriotic stances since 1967."
Saleh Mansour: "I respect his opinion, but I have a question: What have the Sudanese people gained from our hostility towards Israel since 1967? And what reasons do we have to fight against Israel? Honestly, the interests of Sudan are the most important thing. [We should strive for] balanced and equal relations with all the countries in the world. We are not isolated from the international community.
"What about our interests? All our neighboring countries... Chad has relations with Israel, Egypt has relations with Israel, Mauritania has relations with Israel, South Sudan has relations with Israel, Uganda has relations with Israel... Most of the countries around us have relations with Israel. Where is the problem? Why not us? Why should we alienate ourselves from these people (in Israel)? What is our problem with Israel? Do we have a problem with the Israelis? Do we have a real problem with Israel?"
Host: "We are talking about the basic principles of the nation – the Palestinian cause and Jerusalem."
Saleh Mansour: "Very well, we stand by the Palestinians in their causes. It does not mean we should neglect our own interests."
Al-Bakheet Al-Naeem Omar: "South Africa, Nelson Mandela, and all the free people of the world stood against the Zionist entity because it is a hostile usurper entity. The Zionist entity today is a religious state linked to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and their goals.
"My question is this: The countries that have normalized relations [with Israel] – Jordan, Mauritania, Somalia, South Sudan, or others – what have they achieved? These countries are living in abject poverty and in economic isolation, and they are suffering. What does Sudan stand to gain? [It is all part of] President Trump's plan. The elections are coming, so he is peddling this issue."
Host: "Let's talk specifically about interests regarding our current economic state. Will we gain from this normalization, if indeed it is realized, and from our opening to the world, if Sudan is taken off the list of states sponsoring terrorism?"
Saleh Mansour: "Peace, peace, peace!"
Host: "Will we have concrete benefits?"
Saleh Mansour: "Peace, peace, peace! If there is no peace, whatever we gain will be invested back in the war. Peace is a basic need. Why? Because 80% of the country's budget is allocated to war. No matter what our budget is, we cannot benefit from it. Peace means agriculture, irrigation, and industry."
Host: "Where do you stand regarding the Palestinian people?"
Saleh Mansour: "I stand by the Palestinian people in their different causes – in establishing their state, in the UN, and everything else. However, that does not mean that I will fight in their place. Right now, I want peace with Israel. We caused problems for Israel, and Israel caused problems for Sudan because of the mistakes we made. Why should we make the same mistakes again?"
Al-Bakheet Al-Naeem Omar: "What do we stand to gain from the Zionist entity? The Zionist entity has a plot, according to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, [to expand its rule] from the Euphrates to the Nile. You mentioned before the historical hero [Gamal] Abdel Nasser. I would also like to mention the historical leader, the Jihad fighter, the martyr Saddam Hussein, who fought and said... When he was on the gallows, he saluted Palestine and wished for its liberation from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] Sea. The same slogans were said before by the hero Abdel Nasser. The Palestinian cause is a central issue, the cause of all humanity."
Saleh Mansour: "As you said, the Israelis are tolerant toward the Palestinians and vice versa. They live together now. What nation is he talking about? The entire Arab nation has relations with Israel."
Host: "In one way or another."
Saleh Mansour: "Yes, in one way or another. What nation is he talking about? We do not care about the Arab nation. We care about the Sudanese nation. We are Sudanese. The interests of Sudan should come first, before everything.
"Why haven't the Sudanese people taken to the streets yet? This means that the Sudanese people support normalization [with Israel]. It is up to the Sudanese people to decide which of us [is right]. This historical responsibility is placed on the shoulders of [President] Burhan and [PM] Hamdok. I salute them from here. They carry the historical responsibility of freeing Sudan from this yoke, in any way possible. We want to stop [unnecessary] death. People are standing right now in lines for gasoline and bread. People are tired."