The Saudi leadership continued its attack on the Palestinian Authority (PA), this time by Jamil Al-Diyabi, the editor-in-chief of the Saudi website “Okaz,” who launched a vicious attack and stated that the Palestinian leadership does not care about resolving the conflict or peace and security but is trafficking in the Palestinian problem “to generate personal profits.”
“This is a treacherous and manipulative leadership,” Al-Diyabi said in an interview that is resonating in the Arab world.
Al-Diyabi said that the Palestinian leadership is failing and corrupt and called on the Palestinian street to come out against it and establish another in its place.
“They trade in the Palestinian problem and preserve it so they refuse any solution,” Al-Diyabi said, adding that “the Palestinian people are on our heads but they are deprived by their leadership and they must come out and demand accountability from it. The Palestinian leadership benefits from the unresolved problem, it is a naked and corrupt leadership and the new generation will not forgive it.”
Al-Diyabi argued that the PA’s attitude toward the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain is shameful and humiliating and does not concern the security of the Palestinian people or peace, and as progress has been made in the negotiations, the PA leadership has sabotaged them to continue their trade in the Palestinian issue.
The senior journalist made a distinction between the Palestinian street and its leadership and said that “Saudi Arabia has supported and still supports the rights of the Palestinian people and sees the Palestinian problem as a just problem but the leadership is a failed leadership. We see Palestinians as if they were Saudis and the whole Gulf embraces them.”
“The Saudis do not need propaganda. Our positions are strong and we are the ones who presented the Saudi [peace] initiative, but it is the Palestinians who have responded in a failed language,” he added.
Al-Diyabi recounted a meeting with a Palestinian figure who turned out to have an Egyptian phone number and her children study at the American University in Cairo and move freely between Egypt and the Palestinian Authority to describe the comfortable lives of the PA leaders.
He repeated Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who himself was interviewed at length and came out against the Palestinian leadership, and said like him that “the Palestinian problem is just but those who represent it are failing people who do not want a solution but to add and receive money and therefore are happy that the problem continues.”
Referring to the Palestinian criticism of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states following the peace agreements between Israel and Bahrain and the Emirates, Al-Diyabi, said “the days of etiquette and kisses of the Arafat era when the Saudis relinquished their dignity are over. The tongue that comes out against Riyadh will be cut off. This is the time to stop being polite and rewrite history.”
Al-Diyabi reviewed the Palestinian leadership’s meager achievements and asked “what have the Palestinians achieved? They are responsible for the civil war in Lebanon, Black September, they also operated in Tunisia and even against Egypt when they dug tunnels and broke into its prisons.”
The Saudi journalist accused the Palestinian leadership of whipping up civil wars and burning itself in the eyes of the Arab world.
“Everywhere the Palestinian goes he burns it,” Al-Diyabi said, “and now they want to burn others.”
He said of Palestinian journalists that “they are poisoning the atmosphere in Arab countries.”
In Ramallah, there are fears that the Saudi peace initiative has been losing ground in recent months. Commenting on the initiative, Al-Diyabi, said that “the Palestinian leadership has wasted many opportunities and now it is about to waste the Arab initiative as well.”
On the failure of the reconciliation efforts between Fatah and Hamas, Al-Diyabi said that “the Palestinian arena is in a constant split. In 2007, Saudi Arabia made the Fatah and Hamas representatives accept proposals for reconciliation, which they recanted on within 48 hours.”
“You must respect yourself and others and stop the games and the acts of betrayal and you must be held accountable,” he threatened the Palestinian Authority.
Like Ben Sultan, Al-Diyabi also blamed the Palestinian leadership for its appeal to the Turkish and Iranian axis, and as for Hamas he said it is “serving an Ottoman Persian agenda, designed to shake up stability in the region”.
On the other hand, the Palestinians have remained silent in the face of the media onslaught. Sources in Ramallah told TPS that PA head Mahmoud Abbas instructed all the top echelons in the PA and Fatah, including members of the Central Committee and the Revolutionary Council, not to comment on the remarks of Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who sharply attacked the Palestinian leadership.
Abbas’ aides held telephone calls with each of the Palestinian Authority’s senior officials and sent a message from him that anyone who tarnishes relations between the PA and Saudi Arabia would be severely punished and even accused of harming the homeland security.
The harsh criticism of the Saudi senior official shocked the Palestinian leadership and the prevailing assessment is that Saudi Arabia is preparing public opinion for upgrading its relations with Israel.