Al-Riyadh is the leading daily newspaper in Saudi Arabia. While Al-Riyadh’s exact status is contested, there is little doubt it is close to the Saudi government and some identify it as a “semi-official” in the Kingdom. It was therefore very interesting that the paper hosted an opinion editorial by Dr. Ahmad al-Jamiya on 14 April, republished below, which made the case for the House of Saud to make peace with the State of Israel as part of a policy to halt and reverse the Iranian revolution in the Middle East.
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The Dhahran Summit [of the Arab League]: Peace with Israel and Muajaha (Confrontation) with Iran
The Palestinian cause has been a constant fixture of Arab summits for seventy-two years, beginning with the Anshah summit in Egypt in May 1946, the three-day summit in Khartoum after the naksa [setback] of June 1967, and the Beirut summit in March 2002, which endorsed the Arab peace initiative with Israel. The proposal of [then-Crown] Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz was for Israel to completely withdraw from the territories occupied in 1967 in exchange for a comprehensive peace, normalization of relations with the member states of the Arab League. The Arab summit in Dhahran, to be held the day after tomorrow, will continue the discussion of this same item, but under different circumstances and developments .
Israel was and remains an important focus at the table of the Arabs, yet the constant Arab League meetings, and with all that has been decided, we have not reached a solution, or a solution acceptable to Israel, and while we have been preoccupied with this matter other fundamental Arab issues were neglected, most importantly the Iranian threat in the region and its repercussions, which now extend to the occupation of four Arab capitals and three U.A.E. islands, while Israel occupies one Arab capital. Iran spreads sectarianism, exports terrorism, supports its extremist groups, and interferes in the affairs of others, while Israel has not trespassed the borders of its state for at least the last decade.
The Arabs must realize that Iran is more dangerous to them than Israel, specifically the ideology that it carries to enable its expansion, domination, and influence. The evidence for this is copious, with the slogan, “Death to Israel”, used to justify its repressive practices, its [sowing of] sectarian division, and the recruitment of cells to carry out its grand project.
Today, the Arabs have no choice but to reconcile with Israel, to sign a comprehensive peace agreement, to devote themselves to confronting the Iranian project in the region and its nuclear program, and to put an end to its interference in Arab affairs. This is an option that cannot be delayed with any justification, even [accusations of] bargaining with and auctioning the Palestinian cause, because Iran poses a direct threat to all.
The Dhahran summit will be the beginning of the declaration of the Arab position on Iran, and a political distinction between those who are affiliated and those who are independent of its decision to correct course from inside the Arab world to a path of comprehensive confrontation … The most important Arab country, Saudi Arabia, is now under threat of Iranian-backed Huthi missiles and its southern border is on the front line with these militias.
The summit of Dhahran must not conclude without a historic decision to make peace with Israel and confront Iran’s sectarian project [in the region]. The results of rejecting this peace serve Iran, and those [who advocate such a course] must bear the consequences of their decision.