Palestinians Responsible for Their Own Suffering, Says Former Kuwaiti Minister

“The main wish of every ‘realistic’ Palestinian today is to obtain a permit to work inside Israel,” admits former Kuwait government minister.

By Israel Today Staff | | Topics: palestinians, Kuwait
Palestinians prefer Israel over a State of Palestine.
Photo: Flash90

A former senior member of the Kuwaiti government stressed this week that the Palestinian leadership bears significant responsibility for the suffering of the Palestinian Arabs.

This is no small thing, given that Kuwait is the Gulf state most hostile toward Israel. Even as its neighbors normalize relations with the Jewish state, Kuwait has remained steadfast in its commitment to old Arab League approach to the “Palestinian problem,” meaning no relations with Israel until a Palestinian state that meets all Palestinian demands is established.

In his article for the Saudi newspaper Independent Arabia, Kuwait’s former Minister of Information, Sa’ad Bin Tefla Al-Ajmi, didn’t acquit Israel of responsibility for Palestinian suffering, but stressed that the Jewish state was far from the only guilty party.

Pointing a finger of blame at the corrupt and ineffective Palestinian Authority regime of Mahmoud Abbas, Al-Ajmi wrote:

“The Palestinians experience oppression and injustice first of all because of the occupation. But they also understand that their leadership bears the secondary responsibility for their ongoing suffering and oppression.”

He went on to note that despite Israel’s role in this drama, most Palestinians want to gain entry and employment in the Jewish state:

“Despite the occupation and oppression, the main wish of every ‘realistic’ Palestinian today is to obtain a permit to work inside Israel, even to work on building new settlements on his soil.”

The same certainly can not be said of a future Palestinian state, as demonstrated by a recent survey showing that a plurality of Arab residents of Jerusalem much prefer Israeli citizenship to citizenship in a State of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital.

Al-Ajmi similarly pointed out that not a single Israeli Arab had ever given up his or her Israeli citizenship to join with the “Palestinians.”


Changing attitudes in Kuwait

While Kuwait as a whole remains antagonistic toward Israel, the former information minister is not the first to challenge that stale position.

Earlier this year, a widely respected Kuwaiti newspaper fired one of its journalists for public contact with Israel Today’s own Arab Affairs correspondent, Dr. Edy Cohen.

Jasem Aljuraid sparked widespread outrage when he responded to Cohen on Twitter by wishing that Kuwait would soon join the Abraham Accords and welcome Jewish visitors.

See: Kuwaiti Journalist Fired for Tweeting With Israel Today Reporter

Five years ago, in November 2017, leading Kuwaiti journalist Abdullah Al-Hadlaq went even further, and elicited far more fury when he stated on public television that not only is Israel not an occupying power, but that the Jews have every right to reestablish their nation in the Holy Land.

During a panel discussion on Kuwait’s Alrai TV, Al-Hadlaq said:

“When the State of Israel was established in 1948, there was no state called ‘Palestine.’

“Like it or not, Israel is an independent sovereign state. It exists, and it has a seat at the United Nations, and most peace-loving and democratic countries recognize it. The group of states that do not recognize Israel are the countries of tyranny and oppression.

“For example, North Korea does not recognize Israel, but this does nothing to detract from Israel or from the fact of its existence, whether we like it or not. The State of Israel has scientific centers and universities the likes of which even the oldest and most powerful Arab countries lack. So Israel is a state and not a terror organization.

“There is no occupation. There is a people returning to its promised land. Are you aware that the history of the Israelites is ancient, predating Islam? Therefore, we Muslims must acknowledge that the Israelites have a right to that land, and that they have not plundered it.”

It was a direct repudiation of the Palestinian narrative, which claims that the Jews have no history in this land.

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