TEL AVIV – The hashtag #saudis_for_normalization, referring to normalization with Israel, has stirred up significant controversy on social media.
The creation of the hashtag was seemingly informed by the recent warming of ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel as well as the Trump administration’s talk of a regional peace initiative that would focus on Saudi Arabia and Israel and the two countries’ shared hostility toward Iran.
Mitib Alghamdi, a Saudi Twitter user, wrote, “We respect those who respect us. The Palestinians are traitors and don’t respect us despite all the billions we’ve wasted on them. Israel, you are a source of pride.”
نحن نحترم من يحترمنا. الفلسطينيون اهل غدر ولم يحترمونا بعد كل المليارات التي صرفناها عليهم. دمتم فخرا يا اسرائيل🇱🇸
— 🇸﮼متعب Mitib (@MitibAlghamdi) June 26, 2017
The Kuwaiti author and activist Abdullah Saleh criticized the Saudis and wrote, “History will remember that the day they celebrated the siege of Qatar, they were proud of the hashtag saudis_for_normalization. History won’t be merciful, it is the best witness.”
في يوم احتفل فيه الإخوة بـ #حصار_قطر
يفاخر أبناؤهم بـ #سعوديين_مع_التطبيع
والتاريخ لا يرحم..وهو خير شاهد!
— عبدالله محمد الصالح (@abdullahalsaleh) June 27, 2017
One Twitter user who expressed support for normalization wrote, “Who is it who allows [normalization] to Turkey and forbids it for Saudi Arabia? It is the Muslim Brotherhood lobby that uses false arguments and continues to deceive us as it did for many years.”
— مجموعة نايف بن خالدMBS🇸 (@naif4002) June 27, 2017
A Saudi Twitter user named Khaled wrote, “The source of this hashtag is the occupation. Those tweeting it aren’t real. I can’t believe that there is a Saudi Muslim who accepts the normalization with a country of terrorists that occupies Arab land.”
Another Saudi wrote, “No matter where the humiliation of some of the Palestinians comes to, it will not make me support normalization with the Zionist entity.”
Mohammed Alrabiaa, a Saudi activist, wrote, “There is a lot of dirt, holes and nonsense in this hashtag saudis_for_normalization. I never imagined that a day would come that I would see this idea resonate with us so much!”
قذارة وجهل وحمق وهبل في هذا الهاشتاق #سعوديين_مع_التطبيع لم أكن أتصور أنه سيأتي يوم وأرى مثل هذا الطرح بهذه الفجاجة والانتشار لدينا!
— محمد الربيعة (@Mohadfr) June 27, 2017
Aljohara, a Qatari Twitter user, wrote, “Israel, which occupies Palestinian and Arab land, has become a developing and pacifistic country and the movement in opposition (to the occupation) has become terrorist?”
— الجوهرة (@althanialjay) June 27, 2017
The Saudi social media user Houda Laqarni supported naturalization and wrote, “I’m with the interests of the country, even if it’s forced to ally with Satan. What’s important is the interests and development of our country. We’ve grown tired of making concessions to please everybody.”
Sultan, another Saudi tweeter, wrote, “It’s clear who’s behind this hashtag. Saudi Arabia’s position, of the leadership and the people, on the Palestinian issue is well-known. But we don’t like moral preaching.”
معروف من ورا مثل هالهاشتاق، والسعودية قيادة وشعب معروف موقفنا من القضية الفلسطينية منذ الأزل، الفرق أننا لا نزايد عليها!
— Sultan 🇸 (@S_Ashlowi) June 27, 2017
Another Saudi, Bint Outbe, wrote, “I’m prepared to promise that 100% of the Saudis are against normalization, and just a discussion of the issue is a provocation. We are dealing with Twitter idiots who claim to speak in our name.”