Palestinian, Arab Pundits Fume Over Saudi Newspaper Interview with Israeli General

chief of staff
THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty

TEL AVIV — The Saudi news website Elaph published an interview with Israeli Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot in which he laid out the security challenges in the region and stressed that there is full agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia regarding the threat from Iran.

Eisenkot suggested that Saudi-Israeli relations are gaining ground and suggested an exchange of intelligence between the two sides.

The Israeli general addressed many other topics, but the Arab world was less interested in the contents of the interview than the mere fact that the Israeli chief of staff had given an interview to a Saudi media outlet, marking for many another step towards normalization between the two countries.

“Eisenkot, the overall commander of the Israeli army, declares in an interview with the Saudi Elaph: there is nothing preventing intelligence cooperation with Saudi Arabia,” wrote Palestinian analyst Shker Zaloum on Twitter. “These things were said in an exclusive interview with a Saudi newspaper. The sons of b*tches are throwing themselves into the bosom of the (Zionist) entity while claiming at the same time that they’re defending Islam and the Arabs. The truth is they are the biggest enemies of the Arabs, Islam and humanity.”

Senior Al Jazeera journalist Khadijea Ben Guenna, among the leaders of Qatar’s social media war against Saudi Arabia, settled for mentioning the interview and the main points of Eisenkot’s remarks with emphasis on the general’s comments that Saudi Arabia and Israel have common interests, which drew reactions from thousands of her followers, most of them condemning the interview.

The secretary general of the Syrian parliament, Khaled al-Aboud, wrote, “Eisenkot is removing the mask from the face of the kingdom of sh*t!!!”

A Jordanian-Palestinian author and analyst affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood wrote, “The interview in Elaph with the Israeli chief of staff is a resounding degradation; it’s exceptional gall. Who will stop this succession of degradations?!”

Tunisian journalist Wajd Buabdullah wrote, “The remarks from the chief of staff of the Israeli army of occupation were made in an interview to the Saudi website Elaph. My friends, normalization begins through the media.”

Palestinian researcher and author Arafat Haniya wrote sarcastically, “The Saudi Elaph conducts an interview with the Zionist chief of staff, the general Gadi Eisenkot, and has a conversation with him about Iran, Hezbollah and the region. Is this media normalization with the Zionist entity of a political nature or is it a way of supporting the Palestinian cause?!”

Hassan Yaacoub, a former Lebanese member of parliament, wrote, “More than the return of Hariri or France or anything else, this is what we’ve said from the beginning, this is the beginning of a new era. The Israeli chief of staff declares that there is no animosity between Saudi Arabia and Israel.”

Muhammad al-Bosaidi, a political activist from Oman, posted a photo of sarcastic applause and wrote, “The first interview from the Zionist chief of staff to an Arab newspaper was the doing of the Elaph website – an advanced step in media normalization. Our internal rivalries are causing us to lose our moral compass, our main priorities and our holy places.”

Hamed Rizeq, a media personality in Yemen, wrote, “The fast pace of normalization between Saudi Arabia and Israel has reached its pinnacle with an interview with the chief of staff of the enemy’s army to the newspaper Elaph, talking about the agreement between the two sides.”

Syrian activist Mahdi al-Husseini wrote, “Israeli chief of staff Eisenkot: Full coordination and joint interests between Israel and Saudi Arabia. In your unity you only bring your end nearer.”

Saudi opposition figure Maali al-Barari addressed an Al Jazeera report on the interview, writing, “Despite the hostility of Al Jazeera to the kingdom, this report is sadly true. The Israeli chief of staff speaks to Zionist newspaper Elaph in the first interview of its kind to Arab media!”

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