Donations from readers like you allow us to do what we do. Please help us continue our work with a monthly or one-time donation.

Donate Today

Subscribe Today

Subscribe to receive daily or weekly MEMRI emails on the topics that most interest you.

Request a Clip

Media, government, and academia can request a MEMRI clip or other MEMRI research, or ask to consult with or interview a MEMRI expert.
Request Clip
Sep 08, 2020
Share Video:

UAE Business Magnate Khalaf Al-Habtoor: Israel Has Never Harmed Us; We Should Be Realistic And Forget About The Right Of Return

#8265 | 03:02
Source: Al-Arabiya Network (Dubai/Saudi Arabia)

Emirati business magnate Khalaf Ahmad Al-Habtoor said in a September 4, 2020 interview on Al-Arabiya TV (Dubai/Saudi Arabia) that the recent peace deal between the UAE and Israel will be more productive than remote negotiations and nationalist slogans. He said that he supports peace and coexistence and that Israel has not harmed the UAE. Al-Habtoor added that boycotting Israel is impractical because it would mean boycotting all the banks in the world, since Jews and Israelis are invested in every bank in the world. Al-Habtoor also said that the return of the Palestinian refugees from Lebanon, Syria, and elsewhere is impossible and that the Palestinians are responsible for their own tragic situation. He explained that the Arab world supported the Palestinians with billions of dollars in vain, and he gave the example of Hamas, which he said is supporting Iran against the Arab world.

Khalaf Ahmad Al-Habtoor: "I am a person who loves peace and coexistence. All this talk about 'the Zionists,' 'the criminals' – that's all nonsense.


"I believe that Israel has never done us any harm, even if it has harmed the Palestinian cause in some cases, as we have read and learned in school.


"I always meet Jews and Israelis all over the world – in Europe, in America – and I have dealings with them. If I were to boycott Israel, it would mean I must boycott all the banks in the world, because all the money of the Jews and Israelis is there, and the entire world takes loans from these banks.


"With regard to the [Palestinian] Right of Return – if we are talking about the return of the refugees in Lebanon, Syria, and elsewhere... This is farfetched and we had better forget about it. This problem has existed for over 72 years, and it is impossible. Every [refugee] who has the key [to the home he left]... I think he is wrong, and I think that those who advise them to do this are also wrong. There are two million Palestinians who are '1948 Arabs' and who live in Tel Aviv, or in Israel, as citizens. They take pride in being Arab as well as Israelis, whether they are Christians or Muslims, and they are also the biggest merchants in Israel.


"Israel exists as a country, and neither we nor anybody else in the world can remove it. It has knowledge, power, money, and everything. We need to be realistic, instead of talking this [nonsense]. In 2012, I spoke about Palestinian rights, and I still say that their rights need to be a priority. I think that remote negotiations will not bring any results – only close negotiations do that. I think that the [UAE-Israel] peace deal will bring more results than nationalist slogans that say that we will do such-and-such... This is all nonsense."


Interviewer: "Who is responsible for the tragedy of the Palestinian people?"

Al-Habtoor: "The Palestinians are responsible, not the Arab world. The Arabs stood by them many times from the beginning to the end and have provided them billions [of dollars] in aid, and have given them everything they needed, but it was all for nothing. Look what Hamas is doing today. They are 100% Palestinian, and they stand with Iran, which means that they stand against us."

Share this Clip: