TEL AVIV – In a staggering development that caused witnesses to “literally fall of their chairs,” Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman slammed the Palestinian leadership for missing every opportunity for peace with Israel for decades, saying they should either resume negotiations or “shut up,” according to multiple witnesses at a meeting between the crown prince and Jewish leaders in New York.
“For the past 40 years, the Palestinian leadership has missed opportunities again and again, and rejected all the offers it was given,” Israel’s Channel 10 News quoted Prince Salman as saying.
“It’s about time that the Palestinians accept the offers, and agree to come to the negotiating table — or they should shut up and stop complaining,” he continued.
Several sources at the event were shocked by the “ferocity” of the Saudi leader’s remarks and “literally fell off their chairs.”
“The Palestinian issue is not at the top of the Saudi government’s agenda,” the Saudi royal said. “There are much more urgent and more important issues to deal with — such as Iran.”
He did, however, say that before the Arab world would establish ties with Israel there would have to be substantial progress in the peace process.
“There needs to be significant progress toward an agreement with the Palestinians before it will be possible to advance negotiations between Saudi Arabia and the Arab world and Israel,” he was quoted as saying.
The Saudi embassy said in March that during his visit to the U.S., Prince Salman met with Christian and Jewish leaders, including the heads of the reform and conservative movements and the executive vice president of the Orthodox Union.
Bin Salman also reportedly put pressure on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to accept an upcoming peace proposal from the Trump administration.
Earlier this month, the Saudi crown prince gave an interview with the Atlantic in which he said that Israelis “have the right to have their own land” and establishing ties between Israel and the kingdom would be beneficial for both sides.
He stated, “I believe that each people, anywhere, has a right to live in their peaceful nation. I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land.”
“But we have to have a peace agreement to assure the stability for everyone and to have normal relations,” he added.
Asked whether he had any “religious-based objection to the existence of Israel,” Prince Salman answered, “We have religious concerns about the fate of the holy mosque in Jerusalem and about the rights of the Palestinian people. This is what we have. We don’t have any objection against any other people.”
Asked about anti-Semitism in Saudi Arabia, he replied: “Our country doesn’t have a problem with Jews. Our Prophet Muhammad married a Jewish woman. Not just a friend — he married her. Our prophet, his neighbors were Jewish. You will find a lot of Jews in Saudi Arabia coming from America, coming from Europe. There are no problems between Christian and Muslims and Jews. We have problems like you would find anywhere in the world, among some people. But the normal sort of problems.”
Regarding the Iranian threat, Bin Salman said Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei “makes Hitler look good.”
“Hitler didn’t do what the supreme leader is trying to do. Hitler tried to conquer Europe. This is bad,” he explained. “But the supreme leader is trying to conquer the world. He believes he owns the world. They are both evil guys. He is the Hitler of the Middle East. In the 1920s and 1930s, no one saw Hitler as a danger. Only a few people. Until it happened. We don’t want to see what happened in Europe happen in the Middle East. We want to stop this through political moves, economic moves, intelligence moves. We want to avoid war.”