Saudis Debate Twitter Hashtag in Favor of Normalization with Israel

FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images
FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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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!”

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?”

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.”

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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.”

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.”

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