From the Arab World: Facts and Opinions about the Palestinians and Hamas

By Doğan Akman


Based on the press coverage in the U.S., E.U. and part of Canadian mass media, of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the most recent war launched by Hamas, one would think Israel and Israelis are evil incarnate in their treatment of Israeli Arabs and Palestinian Arabs in Judea and Samaria and those in Gaza. With this kind of incitement, the Jewish citizens of these countries have been and continue to be hounded, attacked, humiliated, injured and killed on the street or in their synagogues, while their communal institutions and synagogues are vandalised by pro-Palestinian and other antisemitic mobs.


This press coverage echoes the press and official declarations originating from, to name a few, the Palestinian Authority (P.A.), Hamas in Gaza, Qatar and Pakistan.


By the same token, the mass media generally wilfully ignores the coverage of the same or related subjects by some Arab/Muslim political figures; scholars, political analysts and journalists contradict their narratives of the events. What have these Arabs written about the Palestinians, the P.A., and the recent war triggered by Hamas, and what are some Arab countries doing about providing financial aid to the Palestinian Authority and the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA)? Let’s have a look.


Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (P.A.)


Preamble: Saudi Arabia supported Hamas in the 1990’s and early 2000s.


November 10, 2020, Hussein Aboubakr, The Tremors of Muslim Reform - The powers at the centre of the Muslim world are refusing to tolerate radical Islamism, and a spirit of repair and renewal is at hand. Will it catch on? Mosaic, https://mosaicmagazine.com/observation/politics-current-affairs/2020/11/the-tremors-of-muslim-reform/


May 12,2021-German-Egyptian Intellectual Dr. Hamed Abdel-Samad stated on YouTube Channel: “Hamas Does Not Build Bomb Shelters Because It Needs Dead Children To Keep Its Cause Alive; Fatah And Hamas Have Not Invested In Education, Left The Palestinians With A Choice Of Becoming Beggars or Martyrs”, MEMRI, May 25, 2021, https://www.memri.org/reports/german-egyptian-intellectual-dr-hamed-abdel-samad-hamas-does-not-build-bomb-shelters-because


May 12, 2021-Amid Present Round of Fighting ,With Israel, Saudis Criticize Hamas and P.A.: “Palestinians Are Paying With Their Lives For Hamas’ Loyalty to Iran”, “Palestinian Leadership in West Bank, Gaza, Responsible for Bloodshed”, with Saudi journalists/columnists Muhammad Aal Al-Sheik, Sa’ud Al-Fawzan, Abdullah Bin Bijad Al-Otaibi, Hamoud Abu Talib, Abd Al-Rahman Al Tariri, Amal ‘Abd Al’Aziz Al Hazani, intellectual Turki Al-Hamad; Egyptian columnist Khalid Al-Bar each writing their own opinion against the Palestinians the P.A. and Gaza. MEMRI May 19, 2021,

https://www.memri.org/reports/amid-present-round-fighting-israel-saudis-criticize-hamas-palestinian-authority-palestinians


May 15, 2021-Saudi Analyst General (Ret.) Abdullah Al-Qahtani: Iran Instigated The Escalation; Gaza Leaders Serve Iranian Interests-Not the Palestinian Cause. He went on to state: Iran instigated escalation; Gaza leaders serve Iranian, not Palestinian

https://www.memri.org/tv/saudi-analyst-general-abdullah-qahtani-iran-instigated-gaza-escalation


May 18 2021: Egyptian-American Political Analyst Magdi Khalil: Hamas uses its People as Human Shields, Is Responsible for the Deaths of Children, Civilians in Gaza; Hamas is a Terrorist Organization, Israel is Exercising Self-Defence. Khalil further stated that “Hamas is serving the regional agendas of Iran and Turkey.” MEMRI


May 19, 2021: Saudi journalist Tariq Al-Homayed, 'The Hamas Adventure Must Be Condemned’ MEMRI,

https://www.memri.org/reports/saudi-journalist-tariq-al-homayed-hamas-adventure-must-be-condemned


May 19, 202, Israeli Arab, writer and investigative journalist newscaster, Bassem Eid, Open Letter to my Palestinian Brethren, IPT

https://www.investigativeproject.org/8858/bassem-eid-an-open-letter-to-my-palestinian


May 19, 2021: Tarek Fatah: Palestinians Die as Hostages of Hamas, Toronto Sun, https://www.meforum.org/62358/palestinians-die-as-hostages


May 19, 2021: Hussein Aboubakr Mansour, Arab reactions to Gaza- Arab media is still saturated with anti-Semitism and hatred towards Israel; yet for the first time, there are new voices, both official and non-official, taking a strong anti-Hamas position, JNS, https://www.jns.org/opinion/arab-reactions-to-gaza/


May 20, 2021: Khaled Abu Toameh, Arabs: Hamas Does NOT Care About PalestinianSuffering,

https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/17390/hamas-palestinians-suffering


May 21, 2021: Karmel Melamed, Iranian Opposition Activists Defend Israel in the Latest Round of Conflict With Hamas in Gaza, the algemeiner,

https://www.algemeiner.com/2021/05/21/iranian-opposition-activists-defend-israel-in-latest-round-of-conflict-with-hamas-in-gaza/


It is most unlikely that the foregoing Saudi and Egyptian writers could or would have expressed the foregoing views without the tacit approval of the political authorities in their respective countries.


May 23, 2021: Mosab Hassan Yousef, has stated: Israel should eliminate Hamas leadership. Known as “The Son of Hamas”, he is the son of Hassan Yousef, the co-founder of the Hamas terrorist organization, and “seemed poised to become a leader in his own right when he made the decision to defect, seeking asylum in the United States. It later emerged that he had been secretly collaborating with the [Israel Security Agency] ISA (Shabak) for ten years prior to his defection, after having become disillusioned both with Hamas and with Islam in general. A year after he moved to America, his younger brother followed in his footsteps. It was first-hand exposure to Hamas’ brutal methods toward other Arabs, while in an Israeli prison that supplied Yousef with the impetus to break off with the organization.

He said: ”..top Hamas leaders like his father made sure to take good care of themselves during this most recent bout of fighting, while ensuring that civilian deaths occurred in sufficient numbers and were filmed by foreign media sources in order to score propaganda points against Israel….The silence of the majority of Gaza is not because they support Hamas, but because they are afraid of Hamas. The people live in fear. Hamas rules over them by the sword. If you oppose Hamas they will shoot you or hang you immediately. You and your family are finished…. Hundreds of children have paid the price;” … Hamas hates Israel more than they love their own children.” In a telephone conversation with the New York Post, Yousef said that Israel needs to “teach [Hamas] a lesson … by assassinating its leadership.” He admitted that this “will not destroy Hamas, but it will … hold them accountable. Next time, before you get civilians on both sides involved in a bloodbath, you need to think 1,000 times. This is my personal suggestion.” Yousef is scornful of Hamas’ statements that blamed Israeli actions in Jerusalem – on the Temple Mount and in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood – for its decision to fire 4,000 rockets into Israel. He [yet again] criticised the way in which Israel conducts its military operations against the terrorist organization in Gaza, and has urged Israeli leaders to continue to strike Hamas even after agreeing to a ceasefire. (Edited by the writer to the extent of changing the sequence of paragraphs in order to assemble all the quotes by country and making slight editing to the extent of moving some of the existing words cf. Arutz Sheva 7,The Guardian of the Walls;

https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/306398

see also: Leah Rosenberg, “Palestinian" Woman Makes Exposing the Crimes of her own people- Palestinian Woman Tells the Truth, Breaking- Israel Video, May 24, 2021,

https://www.israelunwired.com/palestinian-woman-makes-video-exposing-the-crimes-of-her-own-people/

Muslim supporters of Israel - Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muslim_supporters_of_Israel

Caution: before reading this entry, the reader is invited to read Hugh Fitzgerald, Wikipedia, Karen Armstrong and Me, Jihad Watch, January 10, 2021 https://www.jihadwatch.org/2021/01/wikipedia-karen-armstrong-and-me


The Palestinian people


December 19, 2018: Judith Bergman, Arab Historian Admits there is no Palestinian People, on November 1, 2018 Abd Al Ghani on Official P.A. TV stated, “Before the Balfour Promise [1917], when the Ottoman rule [1517-1917] ended, Palestine’s political borders as we know them today did not exist, and there was nothing called a Palestinian people with a political identity as we know today.” https://en.mida.org.il/2017/11/09/arab-historian-admits-no-palestinian-people/


1937 and 1947: Testifying before the Peel Commission in 1937, Syrian leader Auni Bey Abdul-Nadi asserted: “There is no such country as Palestine…’Palestine’ is alien to us. It is the Zionists who introduced it”. According to Jerold Auerbach, “Columbia history professor Rashid Khalidi would acknowledge that before World War I “Palestine did not exist in Arab consciousness.”


Shortly before the birth of the State of Israel Arab historian Philip Hitti conceded “There is no such thing as Palestine in history”. The U.N. General Assembly resolution in 1947, referred to the area west of the Jordan River as Judea and Samaria.


Walid Shoebat from Bethlehem stated “on June 4, 1967, I was a Jordanian and overnight I became a Palestinian…We considered ourselves Jordanian until the Jews returned to Jerusalem,” Jerold Auerbach, The Invention of Palestinians, February 14, 2019… https://www.algemeiner.com/2019/02/14/the-true-history-of-the-land-of-israel/


The Al-Aqsa mosque and Jerusalem


On January 21, 2021, the U.N. adopted a resolution introduced by Saudi Arabia titled “Promoting a culture of peace and tolerance to safeguard religious sites”. The resolution states:


a) that “Religious sites are representative of the history, social fabric and traditions of people in every country and community all over the world and should be fully respected as such”;


b) highlights the increasing threats to culturally and spiritually significant sites by terrorists and militias, who have at times destroyed religious property and illicitly trafficked artifacts;


c) denounces “all attacks on and in religious places, sites and shrines … including any deliberate destruction of relics and monuments” and condemns “all acts or threats of violence, destruction, damage or endangerment, directed against religious sites as such, that continue to occur in the world, and denounces any moves to obliterate or forcibly convert any religious sites”;


d) calls on the governments to promote these religious sites as vulnerable targets and to implement safeguards to protect them, and


e) further states that governments should assess risks and potential targets as well as “ensure that comprehensive measures are in place for the immediate response to an attack.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/246219/un-adopts-resolution-on-protecting-religious-sites


The resolution is helpful to Israel in as much as Jordan that is the custodian of the Al-Aqsa trust recently claimed Temple Mount to be an Arabic site, while the P.A. has adopted an aggressive posture towards the access of Israelis to Temple Mount while Palestinian mobs have played havoc with the site in various ways. The P.A. also steals religious artifacts and other items of similar nature belonging to the buried historical Jewish Temple secured by Israelis through archaeological work. Finally, The P.A. has a quest to destroy and failing that damage, any and every Jewish historical site located in Judea and Samaria in order to undermine the Jewish people’s ancestral presence and territorial rights to these lands.


May 1, 2020; Rawff Bin-a-Sa’inm, a renowned Saudi intellectual, published an article in which he asserted that “There is no Al-Aqsa mosque: There is Jerusalem. The real Al Aqsa mosque, the one mentioned in our writings, is located at Al Ju’rana, 29 kms from the city of Ta’if in Saudi Arabia.” (Writer’s translation from French), Europe Israel News.


November 6, 2020: Khaled Abu Toameh, Muslims: Al-Aqsa Mosque Does not belong to Palestinians, https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/16678/muslims-al-aqsa-mosque


February 9, 2021: Raymond Ibrahim, Islam’s Three Claims” to Jerusalem-Built atop mythology, supremacism—and violent conquest refers to “an Islamic preacher (https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2021/02/islams-three-claims-jerusalem-raymond-ibrahim/) who once appeared on official P.A. television and, inter-alia, asserted that Jerusalem “is religious, Sharia and historical right of the Muslims, and of no one else but them.” After a review of the historical facts, Ibrahim he wrote;” the entire Muslim claim to Jerusalem “ as resting atop these three elements:

  1. A religious- or to Western sensibilities mythical-story about Muhammad reaching it atop a flying magical horse;

  2. A Muslim made supremacist law-the antithesis of universal law, namely Sharia- that naturally always sides with Muslims against infidels;

  3. A brutal, bloody, historical conquest. Ibrahim points out that “in his sermon the cleric added that, although they behave this way, Jews “have no right to arrogance, tyranny and occupation.” Ibrahim further notes that “his complaint is not that ‘arrogance, tyranny and occupation’ are always bad, but rather that “Jews ‘have no right” to behave this way. After all and as seen, this ”right” belongs to the Muslims and “no one else but them”. Their law (Sharia) permits them to “occupy” whatever they can seize from and to treat contemptible infidels with “arrogance and tyranny.” https://twitter.com/raymondibrahim5/status/1359184124502659079


Osama Tamani, Saudi lawyer and journalist in an article in Saudi news outlet Okaz asserts that the third holiest site in Islam is not located on Temple Mount in Jerusalem, “the mosque is actually located in Al Ju’ranah, near Mecca in Saudi Arabia. The confusion between the two sites stems from the fact that many history books state that al-Aqsa is located in Jerusalem…Jerusalem is not Al-Aqsa, [and] is not cited in the missions that Allah gave Muhammad and the caliphs .Yamani notes that Jerusalem is not mentioned by Allah in his command for Muhammad to go on his ‘Night Journey’. He is told to go to the” farthest mosque’-al masjid al aqsa- but the city is not mentioned.


In fact Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Qur’an, According to Muslim sources, the Prophet made his “Night Journey” around 621 A.D. Yamani adds that” originally Muslims did not face in the direction of Al-Aqsa [in Jerusalem] while praying.” Yamani states: “It was, Abd al Malik, the Ummayad Caliph of Damascus who changed the direction of the prayer toward Jerusalem” after being prevented by his political rival Ibn al Zubayr from making the hajj to Mecca, for political reasons. Yamani explains: ”There are stories influenced by political considerations that served purposes of that time, and sometimes claims are made that they have nothing to do with faith or following religious dictates.” (N.B. Save the passages that quotes Osama Yamani, the rest of the narrative is that of the author of the article) Hugh Fitzgerald, Al Aqsa Mosque on Temple Mount pretends to be the third holiest site in Islam, Geller Report, December 20, 2020, https://www.israpundit.org/al-aqsa-mosque-on-the-temple-mount-pretends-to-be-the-third-holiest-site-in-islam/


Palestinian identity


In the same article, Rawf Bin-a-Sa’in writes: “Palestinians, you are not Arabs!...But, you the ‘Palestinians’ who are you?Where do you come from?...You are the vestiges of nations, Gypsies,Turkmen,Circassians,Mongols…In whose name do you dare to interfere do you dare interfere with Jews and Arabs?


Prior to 1967 the Palestinian Arabs did not view themselves as having a separate identity.They usually identified themselves by their clans and villages. When the First Congress of Muslim –Christian Associations met in Jerusalem in February 1919 to choose Palestinian representatives for the Paris Peace Conference, they adopted the following resolution:” We consider Palestine as part of Arab Syria,as it has never been separated from it at any time.We are connected with it by national, religious, linguistic, natural, economic, and geographical bonds.” Randall Price,Fast Facts on the Middle East Conflict,Harvest House Publishers,2003,p.25


Similarly,the King-Crane Commission of 1919 found that Christian and Muslim Arabs opposed any plan to create a country called Palestine,” because it was viewed as a recognition of the Zionist claims” Allen Z.Hertz, Aboriginal Rights of the Jewish People, American Thinker,October 30,2011)

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2011/10/aboriginal_rights_of_the_jewish_people.html


Lands claimed by the Palestinians


1937: A local Arab leader, Auni Bey Abdul Hadi told the Peel Commission, which ultimately suggested the partition of Palestine, There is no such country as Palestine! ”Palestine” is a term the Zionist invented.There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria.” Moshe Kohn,”The Arabs’ “Lie of the land,” Jerusalem Post,October 18,1991

1946: he distininguished Arab-American, Princeton professor Phillip Hitti testified before the Anglo American Committee examining the partition of the lands referred to as Palestine to oppose the partition of the lands contemplated in the Balfour Declaration and in the San Remo resolution of 1920 after the bulk of it had been sliced off by the British to establish TransJordan. Hitti testified against the partition of the remaining lands. He stated: “There is no such thing as “Palestine” in history, absolutely not.” Moshe Kohn, supra.


1947: The representative of the Arab Higher Committee to the United Nations, in a statement to the General Assembly in May said that Palestine was part of the Province of Syria and the Arabs of Palestine did not comprise a separate political entity. Avner Yaniv, supra.


On this subject, Rawf Bin-Sa’in adresses the Palestinians as follows :”You do not have lands and ‘the Palestinian question’ does not exist.This land belongs to Israel…Israel is a Jewish State that belongs to the children of Israel.You [Palestinians] do not posess any right on the lands of Israel.Yitzhkah Shamir, Yitzhak Rabin et Golda Meir were heros. Netanhahu is weak. Netanyahu, burn these gangsters! Free us,us and the world, from the presence of these Palestinians! Why do you let them be…. The Jews are the children of Isaac and us, the Arabs. We are the children of Yishmael. We are cousins.” supra.


Ahmed Shuqeiri, later the chairman of the PLO told the U.N Security Council:” It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria”. Avner Yaniv, PLO, Israel Universities Study Group of Middle-Eastern Affairs, Jerusalem, August 1974, p.5


Telling it like it is: Why Arabs hate “Palestinians”?


The reasons are multifold, namely:


  1. The Saudis feel [very bitter and angry] and betrayed by the Palestinians. Despite giving them billions of dollars in aid, this has not stopped the Palestinians from [continuously] bad-mouthing them, attacking the Saudi Crown Prince, burning Saudi flags, the pictures of the Crown Prince during demonstrations both in the West Bank and in Gaza. After the palestinians assaulted a Saudi blogger Mohammed Saud visiting the Al-Aqsa compound, accusing incident, many Saudis and citizens of the Gulf states have been waging daily attacks on Palestinians, mostly on social media. Saudi blogger Mohammed al Qahtani whent so far as calling for the transferring of the custodianship over the Al-Aqsa mosque from Jordan to Israel. Saudi writer Mohammed al–Shaik repeated the old charge in the Arab world that wherever the Palestinians go, they cause trouble. Another Saudi writer Turki al-Hamad condemned Hamas and other Gaza- based groups for firing rockets at Israel and the Palestinians for allowing themselves to serve as puppets in the hands of Turkey and Iran. He pointed out that the Palestinians chose to align themselves with Iran and Turkey that support the Muslim |brotherhood and other extremist groups such as Hamas,Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah, and the Palestinians are paying the price.The Saudi journalist, Fahd al-Shammari attacked Palestinians by calling them “ beggars without honour and went on to state that a mosque in Uganda is more blessed than the Al-Aqsa mosque, which is a Jewish holy site.

  2. The Palestinians are known for betraying their Arab brothers as for example when Palestinians working in Kuwait, supported Sadam Hussein who invaded Kuwait and disloyalty is precisely how a growing number of Arabs, particularly those living in the Gulf states have been describing the Palestinians for the past few years.

  3. Some Arab writers and journalists expressed outrage over the Palestinian’s opposition to peace plans, particularly the U.S. administration’s “Deal of the Century” before [ it was even published].They accused the Palestinians of losing countless opportunities and said that the Deal of the Century could be the Palestinians’”last, best chance to achieve a state”.

  4. At the core, the Arab’s attacks [reflect] this deep disillusionment and are based on the Arabs’ belief that despite all they did to help their Palestinian brothers for the past seven decades ,Palestinians have proven to be constantly ungrateful towards the Arab and Muslim people and states.

  5. Various Arab states accuse the Palestinians of betraying their Arab and Muslim brothers. When the P.A. attacked Egyprian President Sisi for his co-operative dealings with Israel, Egyptian writer Lamis Jaber [urged the Egyprian government to expel all Palestinians and confiscate their property and arrest anyone who sympathised with the Palestinians. ”We give aid to the Gaza strip, nd in return they [Palestinians] kill our children.They are dogs and traitors.” Jaber is one of several leading Egyptians who have been waging a campaign against the Palestinians in recent years--a move reflecting Arab dissapointment with Palestinians’ “ungratefulnes” and ‘”arrogance”.

  6. What all of these states see is that the P.A. and Hamas leaders are too busy poisoning their peoples’ minds and ripping each other to shreds, to have time for anything positive. Kaled Abu Taomeh, Gatestone Institute, Opinion: Why Arabs hate Palestinians, https:/united with israel.org/opinion-why-arabs-hateppalestinians/? (Text edited without changing the wording of the original text save for very minor matters such as regrouping by country and minor stylist changes.)

On the maltreatment of Palestinian ”refugees” in Arab countries, see: Khaled Abu Toameh, The Palestinians No one Tells You About,June 19,2020,

https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/16125/palestinians-iraq


Financial aid to the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA-2020


One of the major punitive consequences of the change of views on Palestinians by the Arab countries and in particular the Gulf states has been the very substantial cuts in the financial assistance provided by to the Palestinians and UNRWA. See: Khaled Abu Taomeh, Palestinian Leaders and InconvinientsTruths, May 7,2019 https://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/palestinian-leaders-and-inconvenient-truths/2019/05/07/https://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/palestinian-leaders-and-inconvenient-truths/2019/05/07/ (Originally posted in the Gatestone Institute) Ahmad Melhem, Saudis,Arab States drastically reduce aid to Palestinians, October 25,2020, @ahmadme44502893, Hugh Fitzgerald, Arabs Slash Aid to Palestinians, Jihad Watch, February 2, 2021 https://www.jihadwatch.org/2021/02/arabs-slash-aid-to-palestinians


An illustration: The United Arab Emirates almost completely slashed their funding of UNRWA .The Emirates donated US$ 53 million in 2018 and US$51 million in 2019, but in 2020 contributed only US $1 million to the organization.


Yet, notwithstanding the foregoing accusatory pronouncements, severe indictments of the Palestinians and the statements in favour of Israel, the Middle Eastern Arab countries have and continue to vote consistently in favour of every and all the resolutions of the U.N General Assembly in favour of the P.A. and Palestinians and against Israel regardless of their content which, often enough, contradict the foregoing pronouncements and/or lack any connection to objective reality.


Yet again, this is happening while Israel and the UAE and Bahrain, and Muslim countries, Soudan, Morocco and Albania have normalised their relations with Israel while Saudi Arabia and Israel communicate regularly on matters of mutual interest or concern.


Nor has it been unusual for the member countries of the European Union to vote for or to abstain from voting for such motions instead of doing the honourable thing and voting against them. Then again, the E.U has been recriminating against Israel at every occasion for its imputed sins against the P.A. and peace, while looking the other way while the P.A. and Hamas engage in terrorism and in a variety of malfeasances against Israel.


And for two consecutive years, Canada has been voting, and I am inclined to believe, will continue to vote for one of these motions for reasons that make no sense, and shamefully, will continue to provide exhorbitant amounts of funding to UNRWA. Dogan D. Akman, Justin Trudeau’s Curious Politics at the U.N-Redux, December 2, 2020 https://canadianjewishrecord.ca/2020/12/02/justin-trudeaus-curious-politics-at-the-un-redux/

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