In a first for an Arab leader, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman said in a recent interview that he recognizes the right of Israel, as well as that of the Palestinians, to live peacefully in their homeland.
Mohammed bin Salman Screenshot from YouTube
Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman has become the first Arab leader to publicly recognize Israel’s right to its own homeland alongside a Palestinian state.
The 32-year-old reformist, who is widely viewed as the de facto leader of his country, said in a recent interview with The Atlantic, “I believe that each people, anywhere, has a right to live in their peaceful nation. I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land.”
Though moderate Arab leaders have acknowledged the reality of Israel’s existence, no one has yet to express public recognition of Israel’s right to the Jewish ancestral land.
When asked about anti-Semitism in Saudi Arabia, bin Salman replied, “Our country doesn’t have a problem with Jews. Our Prophet Muhammad married a Jewish woman. … You will find a lot of Jews in Saudi Arabia coming from America, coming from Europe. There are no problems between Christian and Muslims and Jews.”
Saudi Arabia still does not officially recognize Israel, though reports of back-channel talks between Jerusalem and Riyadh have been semi-confirmed by Israeli officials. The Kingdom has recently allowed a new flight route from India to Israel to go through its airspace.
Bin Salman has publicly denounced Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah and ISIS. During the interview with The Atlantic, he said Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei “makes Hitler look good.”
“Hitler tried to conquer Europe,” he said. “But the supreme leader is trying to conquer the world. He believes he owns the world. They are both evil guys. He is the Hitler of the Middle East.”