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Bandar bin Sultan and the Discourse of Realism and Openness
‘Ill-advised, unequipped.’ Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images)

Bandar bin Sultan and the Discourse of Realism and Openness

Al-Etihad, UAE, October 16

The facts and figures revealed by Prince Bandar bin Sultan, a member of the House of Saud and Saudi Arabia’s former ambassador to the United States, in a recent documentary aired on the Al Arabiya channel are a remarkable piece of history – not only because they were delivered by a high-ranking political, security and diplomatic figure intimately familiar with regional issues, but also because they provide a detailed diagnosis of the Palestinian problem today. In his interviews, Bandar reveals that the biggest obstacle standing in the Palestinians’ way to forming an independent state has been a corrupt leadership that has wasted every opportunity. This testimony confirms that the Palestinian leadership, for more than seven decades, did not fulfill its role in defending the Palestinian cause. Instead, it was always betting on the losing side, causing further suffering for the Palestinian people. The most recent manifestation of this inability to accurately read the region’s political developments came in the form of the Palestinian rejection of the peace agreements between the UAE, the Kingdom of Bahrain and Israel. The other interesting revelation made in Bandar’s interviews is the fact that Iran and Turkey have both managed to “hijack” the Palestinian cause for nearly a quarter of a century, using it to cover up their expansionist projects in the region. The only real supporters of the Palestinian cause have been Gulf leaders despite repeated Palestinian moves against Gulf interests, such as support for the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. Prince Bandar sums up the dilemma of the Palestinian issue in the past and present with an accurate description when he says that the Palestinian issue is a “just cause, but its lawyers failed.” It is indeed a just cause that was – and still is – supported by international forces and all peace-loving people of the world. The problem is that it always has been handled by Palestinian leaders ill-advised and unequipped to represent their people. At a time when these leaders are supposed to work to unify Palestinian ranks and adopt a single vision vis-a-vis Israel, they unfortunately exacerbate divisions and rivalry within Palestinian society. This has allowed Israel to prove that there is no real Palestinian partner with whom it can enter into serious negotiations. The ultimate victims, time and again, have been the Palestinian people. The testimony of Prince Bandar establishes a new political discourse toward the Palestinian issue characterized by realism, frankness and transparency. This moment of openness and frankness shouldn’t be wasted. It is an opportunity to readjust the Palestinian compass and force the Palestinian leadership to waste no more time. The opportunities of today might not repeat themselves tomorrow. The Palestinian leadership must make bold decisions instead of missing out on opportunities and then crying over spilled milk. – Youssef Al-Haddad (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

Did you know we’re celebrating our 20th Anniversary as the 1st American News Agency exclusively covering the Middle East?

  • The Middle East landscape is changing rapidly.
  • The roads in the region open to new possibilities.
  • The Media Line continues to pave the way to a far greater understanding of the region’s land, people, policies and governments through our trusted, fact-based news.

We’re an independent, ad-free, non-profit news agency and rely on friends like you!

Please make your gift today as we have a most generous matching 2:1 grant.
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We paved the way to be the Trusted Mid East News you can rely on!

We’re an independent, ad-free, non-profit news agency and rely on friends like you!

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