For the first time ever, Israel’s Foreign Ministry has congratulated Saudi Arabia on its National Day and called for cooperation against Iran. Dozens of Saudis responded with joy: “Long live Saudi Arabia, Long live Israel.”
In an official message to the people of Saudi Arabia, the Israeli Foreign Ministry commended the Islamic state marking the 89th anniversary of the establishment of the Arabian state.
In the tweet to which a large Saudi flag was attached, the Israeli Foreign Ministry wrote: “May Allah receive your blessing. For half a century we thought that Israel was our enemy and the cause of our troubles. The truth is that the enemy is the one who attacks our country, and this is Iran and its vassals … We must cooperate with Israel, even as our Prophet (Mohamed) did …”
The Israeli tweet drew many responses from Saudi citizens who thanked Israel for the blessing and even wished Israelis a “Happy New Year” on the Jewish holiday. Some of the many comments included: “Thank you for your good feelings.” “Long live Saudi Arabia, long live Israel.” “Many thanks for your words and appreciation for the blessing.”
Jonathan Gonen, head of the Arab branch of the Department of Digital Diplomacy at Israel’s Foreign Ministry said that, “We were pleased to see the many positive reactions and appreciation from the Saudi commenters for the blessing we published. This is a continuation of the trend that we have seen over the past year, and especially in recent months, where Saudi citizens are expressing a growing desire to communicate with Israelis and are articulating a positive attitude towards us.”
Gonen went on to explain that, “As part of our evolving discourse with the peoples of the Persian Gulf, we launched a Twitter account called “Israel in the Gulf” where we have direct conversations with these peoples and show them the true face of Israel. Our pages in Arabic on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram are followed by hundreds of thousands of Persian Gulf nationals, and especially from Saudi Arabia.”