If I were to argue that the real enemy of the Arab world is not Israel, but the Arab world itself, what would people say? If I suggested it is the Arab states’ own endemic corruption, poor healthcare, inadequate education system, lack of respect for human rights, and disregard for human life and freedom of speech that is the real problem? If I said that many Arab states actually cause their own people far greater suffering than Israel does? That in attacking Israel in 1948 and 1967, and intermittently thereafter, the Arab world only harmed itself? That Israel offers a far better standard of living to Palestinians than many Arab states offer their citizens? If I argued all of this, wouldn’t the response be a tsunami of animosity?
I think so. For that reason, I won’t. I’ll leave it to Abdulateef al-Mulhim, the former commodore of the Saudi Navy.
In an article that first appeared in the Arab News and has been widely cited since, al-Mulhim made all these points. The Times printed a lengthy extract in their Opinion pages. Here are some choice quotations. Read on the Telegraph website