Social Media Users in Gulf Debate Arrests of Saudi Princes

TEL AVIV — Prominent social media users in the Gulf have been posting extensively on the arrest of dozens of officials in Saudi Arabia, including 11 princes from the royal family, as part of an ongoing fight against corruption.

Many online wondered if corruption and the fight against it are the real reasons for the arrests or if their were deeper reasons behind them.

Qatari media personality Jaber al-Harmi wrote, “Arrests and dismissals for dozens of princes, ministers and officials accused of corruption. … Is this really a corruption issue or is the scandal much more than that?!”

Qatar is being boycotted by Saudi Arabia because of its relations with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Other Qatari media figures also raised questions about Saudi intentions. The editor-in-chief of the Bawabat al-Sharq (Gate to the East) website, wrote, “The arrest of all the princes and the wealthy elites … they will pay the bill for the coming to power (of the crown prince) that was paid to Trump.”

Iraqi journalist Sufian Samarrai wrote of Iran’s leader, “Khamenei’s media portrays the fight against corruption in Saudi Arabia as a settling of scores. It’s not surprising that the Khamenei regime doesn’t understand the importance of the fight against corruption and the corrupted, but coexists and makes a living off them.”

The deputy chair of the Saudi-supporting Provisional Authority Council in southern Yemen wrote, “The Saudi royal decisions regarding the fight against corruption should be called the Saudi spring. This is a spring that reflects the determination of King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, may God preserve him for the Muslims, and his young crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.”

Saudi political activist and chief of the Association of Psychologists in the kingdom, Tareq Habib, wrote, “What happened last night in Saudi Arabia isn’t a sanction against a minister or prince. This is a change in the country’s cultural life.”

A Saudi activist known as Ben Ewed wrote, “What Saudi Arabia has done in the fight against the corrupt wasn’t done, not even a tenth of a percent of it, by entire countries in which parliaments drive us crazy with their stories of justice and liberties.”

Saudi media personality Turqi Shalhoub wrote sarcastically, “When a citizen used to demand to strike at the corrupt, he would be charged as a traitor. Today, as the corrupt were arrested, it was called an action of determination and justice.”

Saudi media figure Jamal Khashoggi was close to the royal family until a few months ago before being exiled to the U.S., purportedly as part of the kingdom’s efforts to distance itself from Islamist elements. Khashoggi wrote, “The selective consideration (of the corrupt) is a lack of justice, but by belief in political realism and the logic of gradualism, it can be said what happened yesterday was glorious.”


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