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Arab Social Media Users Up In Arms Over Saudi Ex-General’s Visit To Israel

JAFFA, Israel – Former Saudi general Anwar Eshki’s visit to Israel last week has stirred controversy among opinion-makers on Arab social media, earning him the hashtag #Eshki_in_Israel and leading many to accuse Riyadh of collusion with the “Zionist enemy.”

Some openly criticized the government, including top journalist Jamal Khashouggi, the director of the Al Arab TV network owned by Prince Waleed bin Talal.

“With the exception of the government,” he wrote, “none of us represents the official position of the kingdom, only our own. Yet, it doesn’t mean that you can break the law.”

Iraqi politician Noori Almoradi seized the opportunity to settle a score with the Saudis: “Report: Saudi General Anwar Eshki visiting Israel! I’m getting suspicious! Eshki is a well-known Jewish family – how did they make it to the King’s army???”

Jordanian columnist Yasser Zaatreh, a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, tweeted: “Isn’t it strange that Anwar Eshki met with [Director General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry] Dore Gold, author of the book ‘Hatred’s Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism’?”

He later tweeted: “We expect the good people of Saudi Arabia to voice a clear position in response to the normalization of Eshki and his entourage. This visit would not go down well even in countries that have formal relations with the entity” [i.e. Israel].

Novelist Ehsan Alfakeeh tweeted: “So-called Eshki doesn’t represent millions of Muslims who sacrificed themselves and their property for the nation. It’s unfair to criticize Saudi Arabia for the behavior of this SOB.”

Palestinian Hamas sympathizer Adham Abu Silmieh wrote: “The Zionist criminal Anwar Eshki does most definitely not represent the Saudi people when visiting the Zionist entity, but the visit stands for what this group schemes.”

Saudi poet and novelist Nawaf bin Jarallah likened Eshki’s visit to Hamas leaders’ visit to Tehran.

“Eshki’s visit to the Zionist entity is just like Palestinian officials visiting the Shi’ite entity,” he tweeted. “From now on, we can no longer criticize Hamas.”

Some were less critical, like the Saudi Khaled Abu Muhammad who tweeted: “It’s better to have open relations with Israel than to be forced into submission to it by America and the West.”

So was Dr Abdullah Alharbi: “Israel never shed a drop of Saudi blood, never insulted the Prophet, may peace be upon him, never carried out terrorist attacks in Mecca, and doesn’t support terrorist militias.”

Another user posted an Israeli flag and wrote: “It’s not unprecedented, all Arab leaders are Israeli allies under the table.”

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