“As a human being, as a Muslim, and as an Arab,” writes the Saudi journalist Hani al-Dahiri, “I am saddened by the situation” of the Palestinians. But rather than blame Israel for this situation, he points his finger squarely at Palestinian politicians, who have used their positions to enrich themselves with funds from Arab countries, Europe, and the U.S., and who realize that, by creating an independent state, they would lose their claim on foreign largesse. Dahiri adds:
These politicians . . . sabotaged negotiations and rejected all peace initiatives, whether those presented by the Israeli side or by other international parties. The Palestinian politicians did this at the expense of their cause and their people so as to gain from the situation [and to] guarantee their survival with donations pouring from all sides—especially from Arab and Islamic countries—into their treasuries and [their private] accounts in European banks.
[T]he courageous Emirati step to normalize relations with Israel . . . delivered an explicit message to Palestinian political leaders: “The time has come for you to confront those you have been deceiving.” [Moreover], it is evident that . . . other Arab countries will catch up with the United Arab Emirates.
Dahiri goes on to compare the Palestinian issue to the “Andalusian issue”—that is, the Arab claim to the lands in southern Spain that were conquered by Christian Castille in the 13th century. In other words, while he believes the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank or Gaza may be possible or desirable, he sees Arab claims to Jaffa or the Galilee as just as “dead” as those to Seville and Grenada. As a devout Muslim, he would like one day to pray at the al-Aqsa mosque, but understands that normalization with Israel, not conquest, will make that possible.