Sudanese Minister of Investment Mubarak Al-Fadil Al-Mahdi said that the Arab countries have "peddled in the Palestinian cause ad nauseam" and that normalization of ties with Israel should be determined on the basis of Sudan's interests. "I don't think it is such a big deal," he said. "The Palestinians themselves have normalized their relations with Israel." Speaking on Sudania 24 TV on August 21, Al-Mahdi praised Israel's democratic and transparent regime and the introduction of Israeli citrus agriculture and drip irrigation into Egypt. Asked whether he was planning to bring Israeli companies to Sudan, he responded: "Technology has no nationality."
Mubarak Al-Fadil Al-Mahdi: Haven't the people of Darfur fled to Israel from the hardships in Sudan? Haven't they found out that there is nothing wrong with Israel, as far as they are concerned? That's a whole other philosophical debate. I have my own opinion about the Palestinian cause, Israel, and all that. I think that people are more emotionally invested in this than reality warrants.
Interviewer: How exactly?
Mubarak Al-Fadil Al-Mahdi: That's my opinion. I think that the Palestinians share much of the responsibility for what has happened to them. They sold their lands and caused many problems. The Arabs made grave mistakes by rejecting the Partition Plan and other resolutions. The Arab countries peddled in the Palestinian cause. Whenever someone stages a coup, he says it's for the liberation of Palestine... They have peddled in the Palestinian cause ad nauseam. It has become a political commodity in the Arab world. If we were offered normalization of our relations with Israel... As a politician, would you support or oppose this?
Mubarak Al-Fadil Al-Mahdi: I would consider it in accordance with the interests of Sudan.
Interviewer: Right now, tonight...
Mubarak Al-Fadil Al-Mahdi: I would decide according to the interests of Sudan... Is normalization of relations with Israel in our best interest or not?
Mubarak Al-Fadil Al-Mahdi: I don't base this on emotions, but on the interests of Sudan. All the countries have normalized their relations with Israel.
Interviewer: So you do not object to such normalization?
Mubarak Al-Fadil Al-Mahdi: I don't think it is such a big deal. The Palestinians themselves have normalized their relations with Israel.
The entire issue is very complex. It's not black and white. The Palestinians themselves meet with the Israelis. They coexist with the Israelis, earn their living there, and get their electricity from them. These people live together.
I believe that the Palestinian cause has delayed the progress of the Arab world, and has been exploited by the Arab regimes to oppress their peoples, under the guise of the struggle for the sake of Palestine. I believe that the Palestinians are handling their cause by themselves. They are meeting with the Israelis. Even Hamas. Disagreements or not, they are meeting with them. They have the Oslo Accords and other agreements. The Arab countries think about their own interests. In Egypt, the Israelis developed the citrus agriculture. They introduced drip irrigation. Yousef Wali did great things with them.
Interviewer: You don't plan, as Investment Minister, to bring Israelis here, do you?
Mubarak Al-Fadil Al-Mahdi: I am not a zealot. I don't believe that now, with the history of that movement... I think we have been swept away by our emotions without realizing it. Those Palestinians, everywhere, do anything in their power to have you fired. Ask any Sudanese working in the Gulf or anywhere, and he will tell you that whenever he meets a Palestinian, that Palestinian feels nothing for him. He's immediately plotting how to get me fired from the company. They are ungrateful for the empathy they received from the Arab world.
Interviewer: What about the Israelis?
Mubarak Al-Fadil Al-Mahdi: We haven't dealt with the Israelis. The Israelis are Westerners. They were "imported" from America, Russia, Europe, and so on. They have the moral values of Westerners. They operate scientifically. They have a democratic regime, their presidents stand trial and go to jail... They have a transparent regime, whether you agree with them or not.
Interviewer: You're not planning to get some Israeli companies here to develop citrus for us, are you?
Mubarak Al-Fadil Al-Mahdi: Well, I think that that technology has no nationality. You shouldn't care where you get that technology from.