In a piece written for Arab News in October marking the 39th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, Abdulateef Al Mulhim, a retired commodore from the Royal Saudi Navy, took a highly unorthodox position.
that the real villains in the Arab world are not the Jews of Israel, but rather the Arabs themselves, who suppress their own people. He admonished the Arabs to stop the hatred and war against Israel and put their own house in order.
Here are some excerpts:
What was the real cost of these wars to the Arab world and its people? And the harder question that no Arab national wants to ask is: What was the real cost for not recognizing Israel in 1948 and why didn’t the Arab states spend their assets on education, health care and the infrastructures instead of wars? But, the hardest question that no Arab national wants to hear is whether Israel is the real enemy of the Arab world and the Arab people.
I decided to write this article after I saw photos and reports about a starving child in Yemen, a burned ancient Aleppo souk in Syria, the under developed Sinai in Egypt, car bombs in Iraq and the destroyed buildings in Libya. The photos and the reports were shown on the Al-Arabiya network, which is the most watched and respected news outlet in the Middle East.
The common thing among all what I saw is that the destruction and the atrocities are not done by an outside enemy. The starvation, the killings and the destruction in these Arab countries are done by the same hands that are supposed to protect and build the unity of these countries and safeguard the people of these countries. So, the question now is that who is the real enemy of the Arab world?
He noted rhetorically:
In Syria, the atrocities are beyond anybody’s imaginations.
And, aren’t the Iraqis are the ones who are destroying their own country?
Wasn’t it Tunisia’s dictator who was able to steal 13 billion dollars from the poor Tunisians?
And how can a child starve in Yemen if their land is the most fertile land in the world?
Why would Iraqi brains leave Iraq in a country that makes 110 billion dollars from oil export?
Why do the Lebanese fail to govern one of the tiniest countries in the world?
Israel now has the most advanced research facilities, top universities and advanced infrastructure. Many Arabs don’t know that the life expectancy of the Palestinians living in Israel is far longer than many Arab states and they enjoy far better political and social freedom than many of their Arab brothers. Even the Palestinians living under Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip enjoy more political and social rights than some places in the Arab World. Wasn’t one of the judges who sent a former Israeli president to jail is an Israeli-Palestinian?!
The Arab Spring showed the world that the Palestinians are happier and in better situation than their Arab brothers who fought to liberate them from the Israelis. Now, it is time to stop the hatred and wars and start to create better living conditions for the future Arab generations.
That’s one Muslim in the Arab world who sees things clearly. Will the world listen?