(November 19, 2018 / MEMRI) During a debate on Al-Hurra TV (U.S.) that aired on Nov. 9, Saudi journalist Muhammad Al-Osaimi said that Iran is the “obvious and real enemy” of the Arab states.
He criticized the Arab countries for not recognizing Israel’s existence even though the entire world, the Palestinians included, does. He said the any Middle Eastern alliance against Iran or other agendas that threaten peace and stability in the region must include Israel and that the Arab states should find common ground with Israel in order to “enable a just peace, followed by all-out normalization.”
Another Saudi journalist, Dahham Al-Enazy, said that the Arabs need partners with serious intentions in order to establish a comprehensive peace in the region, and that they should see Israel as a friend against the Iranian enemy and against “Ottoman colonialist aspirations.” Omani researched Zakariya Al-Muharrami added that the Jews are among the original inhabitants of the region and that the Palestinian issue is a question of justice rather than a question of religion.
Saudi Journalist Muhammad Al-Osaimi: Should we direct the Arab efforts towards Israel, Iran or both?
Interviewer: You are saying that today there are two enemies, but fighting Iran takes priority?
Muhammad Al-Osaimi: Obviously, fighting Iran takes priority, because Iran is the enemy. Iran is the obvious and real enemy. Iran declares that it is occupying four Arab capitals, and that it intends to continue on the same path, despite the sanctions that kicked in yesterday or today. We must be aware of the situation that we are in. I find it odd to see some journalists, especially from the remaining Nasserists, who to this day. … Take for example Dr. Abdallah Sinawi who is a Nasserist from Egypt. To this day, he does not consider Iran to be an enemy. If Iran did it in the region and in these countries, and if Iran threatens us all the time, who else could be the enemy?
Saudi Journalist Dahham Al-Enazi: Everybody should know that this region needs peace. Therefore, there must be partners with serious intentions, whether Arabs or Israelis, for the purpose of establishing a sustainable and comprehensive peace. We have no problem with the Jewish religion or even with the Israelis. We want to see Israel as a friend and not as an enemy—a friend against the Iranian enemy and the Ottoman colonialist aspirations in the region.
Omani researcher Zakariya Al-Muharrami: The Jews are among the original inhabitants of this region. They lived in this region and there are no problems between us and them. Our religion does not prohibit us from opening up to the Jews or from interacting with them. The Israeli-Palestinian problem is not a religious one, but a problem of justice.
Muhammad Al-Osaimi: Israel is a Middle Eastern state recognized by the whole world, except for some Arab countries. Even Egypt recognizes Israel as a state, and so do Jordan, the Palestinians, and even some in Lebanon. It is a Middle Eastern state. If we are talking about a Middle Eastern alliance against Iran, or against any agenda that threatens the peace in the Middle East and threatens global economy and prosperity by threatening the Middle East, then Israel must be a part of it. There is no escaping that.
The Arab countries must face reality. The reality is that Israel exists and that the Palestinians have recognized its existence even before the Arabs have. Therefore, [we must ask ourselves] what the Arab countries and Israel have in common, that can enable us to realize a just peace, followed by all-out normalization.