An article titled “Israel Is Not Our Enemy” in the Kuwaiti government daily Al-Anba called on Arab countries to stop seeing Israel as an enemy just because of its conflict with the Palestinians. The article derided the “high and mighty Arabs reject[ing] the partition plan” of Palestine in 1948 and also petitioned Arabs to abandon “the delusion of the single [Arab] nation.”
In the article, which was translated in part by MEMRI , journalist Saleh Al-Shayeji asks the question, “Is Israel an enemy?” before answering unequivocally in the negative. He questions the rationale behind Kuwait’s long history of hostile sentiments towards Israel.
Kuwait, after all, was never invaded by Israel and neither did the Jewish state ever fight Kuwaiti citizens. Iraq, on the other hand, did invade and occupy Kuwait, and yet it is seen as an ally and sister-state.
Al-Shayeji begins his article with a precursor that he is trying to be “factual, rational and objective” and realizes how difficult this is in light of “established beliefs and untouchable taboos” in the Arab world.
Al-Shayeji acknowledges that the Arab world’s hatred for Israel began even before the state was founded.
“Arab countries fought against Jewish gangs in Palestine [in 1948], and those [Jewish] gangs managed to beat the armies of seven Arab countries armed with all manner of weapons. Then came international intervention aimed at resolving the Arab-Jewish struggle over Palestine, but the high and mighty Arabs rejected the partition plan, and this was a second victory for the Jews.”
The journalist also said that the notion of Pan-Arabism was based far more on “illusionary proofs” than any concrete factors, and that if Arab countries want to progress it is up to them to discard the false mantle of a single Arab nation.
“In sum, Israel is not the Arab’s enemy, and the Arabs must all free themselves of the Pan-Arab complex and take their own independent steps and decisions, far from the delusion of the single [Pan-Arab] nation!”