69 million page views

A question

Reader comment on item: Why the Death Edict on Salman Rushdie?

Submitted by David (United States), Aug 27, 2022 at 17:22

If the author would be kind enough to answer, I have a question. A few months ago you predicted that Crown Prince MbS would normalize relations with Israel upon his ascendancy to the throne. I am not proficient in the Arab language but I do follow some social media figures from there on occasion, and translate their comments, and I have detected what seems to me, to be a remarkably negative shift in the last two months. I wonder if you detect the same, and if it may cause you to reassess this prediction?
One example., is a fellow by the name of Bandr Al-Otaibi. Just a month or so ago, said person's twitter handle was emblazoned with a Saudi and an Israeli flag side by side, and he would express happiness, hard though it may be to believe, when he saw news of Israeli construction in Jewish Hevron and elsewhere. He pointedly exclaimed in Arabic: "I do not recognize Palestine, only Israel." Now, all of a sudden, the Israeli flag is gone on his twitter handle, and "Palestine" has been born on his account with all kinds of attached grievances. This does not seem to be isolated. And then there was, famously, that imam a few weeks ago calling for Israel's annihilation, for the first time perhaps in 20 years, just two months after the monarchy had an imam speak in favor of peace with the Jews at the start of the Hajj. Perhaps part of the reason is the much publicized and extremely idiotic trip of one Jewish Israeli journalist to Mecca, in contravention of Saudi and Islamic law. But I suspect there is more at issue. That the Sauds are simply concluding, first that America is no longer a reliable partner, as all the Americans wish to discuss when they visit Riyadh is Khasshogi. Whereas the Chinese clearly have no such interest. And second, relatedly, the Chinese have absolutely zero interest in the survival of the Jewish people, and Riyadh adjusts accordingly. And related to that, Riyadh may have been surprised by the extent to which its alignment with Jerusalem is actually of little interest to the Biden administration and to DC in general, which in my view seems increasingly influenced by the Qatari lobby. And the elephant in the room is of course Iran's nuclearization, and the fact that neither DC nor Jerusalem, are actually confronting the threat at the moment. DC is a lost cause, and Jerusalem at the moment, a gigantic question mark, as is the very notion that Israel can be regarded as a place that advances a stable set of policy goals, or the idea that it has influence again, over the US Congress.

The clouds on the horizon seem very dark, but I'd of course be heartened if the author disagrees.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to A question by David

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2022 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)