The Ikhras awards committee is pleased to announce the Muntadhar Zaidi Ikhras Shoe-Of-The-Month Award for May, 2015 goes to Prince Turki al-Faisal, the Saudi-Wahhabi regime’s former intelligence chief for almost three decades and one of the ruling family’s senior leaders. Turki earned the award for a meeting he held with career war criminal and former Israeli national security advisor Yaakov Amidror. Dubbed “A Conversation on Security and Peace in the Middle East”, the highly publicized meeting was hosted by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the (un) official “think-tank” of the leading pro-Israel lobbying group American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
Turki’s meeting with representatives of the usurping Zionist entity is nothing new. In recent years he has met with several high ranking Israeli war criminals and politicians including former intelligence chief Amos Yadlin, Israel’s Foreign Ministry Director Dore Gold, and MKs Dan Meridor, Meir Sheetrit, Yair Lapid. Turki also penned a special article for Haaretz’s inaugural “Israel Peace Conference” in 2014. A year later, Turki gave Haaretz a televised interview to coincide with the second sardonically described “Israel Peace Conference.” What is notably new is the Saudi regime’s willingness and seeming enthusiasm to highlight and publicize their increasing meetings and ties with Israeli leaders which had hitherto always been conducted clandestinely.
The Arab Oil & Gas media welcomed the meetings and touted them as another sign of the Saudi regime’s rising influence, increasingly assertive foreign policy, and leadership role in the Arab world. In sharp contrast, however, Arab public opinion was muted and showed no interest in this or any other meeting between the Saudi regime and Israeli leaders. The lack of reaction from the Arab public came as no surprise. The Arab world has viewed the Saudi regime with nothing but contempt and disdain going back to the era of the great Gamal Abdul-Nasser, a view that has remained as constant and consistent as the Saudi regime’s policy of subservience to Western imperialism and Zionism. Given this long standing divergence between the Arab public and the tyrannical Saudi regime and Israel’s relations with the regimes of front line Arab states like Jordan and Egypt, the question that presents itself is what exactly does Israel hope to gain from its budding relationship with the most anti-Semitic regime in the world?
When Anwar Sadat signed his “peace treaty” with the usurping Zionist entity it was Israel’s long-term security and viability that was foremost on the minds of Zionist leaders which explains the highly-detailed security arrangements that accompanied the Camp David accords. Removing Egypt, the largest, most powerful Arab country, from the military equation and gaining its formal acceptance of Israel was rightly considered a major accomplishment. However, the “peace treaty” with Egypt, failed to gain Israel the legitimacy or acceptance it has so desperately sought from the Arab public (what western media calls the “Arab street”).
The “peace treaty”, from the outset, as it remains today, was highly unpopular among all Egyptians and never enjoyed any support or legitimacy at the popular level where Egyptians were able to confront it through an anti-normalization campaign which began in Egypt before later spreading to the rest of the Arab world. There is a popular saying among Egyptians to describe relations between the Zionist entity and Egypt after the Camp David accords: “awal men waqa3 wa akhir men taba3” (أول من وقع و آخر من طبع) which translates as “the first to sign, the last to normalize” (it rhymes in Arabic). So while Israel, at least temporarily, benefited greatly by removing Egypt from the military equation, it was unable to gain any legitimacy or acceptance.
It was through the Oslo accords that Israel then sought to achieve the legitimacy and acceptance that has eluded it since its establishment. In exchange for the PLO leadership’s recognition of Israel, Israel recognized the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, a status it did indeed enjoy up until that moment. Israel’s recognition of the PLO, however, was offered only in order to package the PLO’s recognition of Israel as one on behalf of the indigenous population of Palestine. After all, what benefit is there from the PLO’s recognition of the usurping Zionist entity if the PLO does not represent the indigenous, colonized people of Palestine?
The “peace treaty” with the Hashemite regime was merely a formalization of a long standing relationship between the Hashemite family and Zionism which predates the establishment of Israel. There was very little for Israel to gain from this formal bilateral relationship that it did not already enjoy. The Hashemite regime has maintained close security, intelligence, and military cooperation with Israel since the 1950s, and has been under the protective umbrella of Israel at least since the Black September massacre of 1970. The Jordanians, following the example set by Egypt, also enforced a strict anti-normalization standard and Israel remained what it has always been, a racist colonial project, expansionist by nature, fascist in its methods, and illegitimate for its underlying racist ideology, land theft and ethnic cleansing of indigenous people.
Interestingly, with the Saudi regime Israel has not requested any formal political or diplomatic recognition nor has it expressed any concern regarding formal military and security arrangements with the Saudi-Wahhabi military. The only exception came recently when it gave the US-backed, Egyptian military dictator Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi permission to sell the two Egyptian islands of Tiran and Sanafir to the Saudi family. Before agreeing to the sale Israel sought and received a commitment from the Saudi regime to abide by the Camp David accords as it pertains to the two islands. Hezbollah General Secretary His. Eminence. Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, an astute analyst of regional and international politics, pointed out that Saudi Arabia has, in effect, become part of the Camp David accords.
Nor has Israel asked the Saudi regime to reconsider it official, anti-Semitic policies or end the incitement of hatred against Jews. Wahhabi regime journalists, when they are not ranting against Zoroastrians or Muslims they have deemed “rejectionists, heretics, or apostates”, regularly set their sights on Jews. Saudi school curricula teaches children to hate almost everyone, including Jews. And every week in the Saudi ruled Arabian Peninsula government-paid clerics of hate spew anti-Semitic venom from state-sponsored Mosques. Israeli leaders are so hopeful the Saudi-Wahhabi regime can finally deliver them the legitimacy and normalization they covet they are willing to overlook it is the most anti-Semitic regime in the world. The approach of Israeli leaders to the Saudi regime is not unlike their approach to anti-Semitic, kooky evangelical Christian supporters of Israel in this country: anti-Semitism can be overlooked and forgiven in exchange for supporting the Zionist colonial project.
Clearly what Israel hopes to gain from this budding alliance is what has continued to elude it since its establishment in 1948, recognition and acceptance from the Arab world and the normalization of its existence in the region. Contrary to the popular myth among Israel’s cheerleaders in this country, Israeli leaders are rather ignorant of the Arab world. We often hear them describe the Saudi regime as the leader of alternatively the “Arab world…Sunni world…moderate Sunni states…Sunni Arab states…Islam, and Sunni Islam.” In reality the Saudi regime does not even represent the inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula over which it imposes, through raw power, its theocratic, fascist, reactionary, obscurantist, medieval, tyrannical regime.
What Israeli leaders continue to fail to understand is that in the Arab world there is a direct inverse relationship between recognition and appeasement of Zionism and the legitimacy of any leaders and rulers. The popular legitimacy of any Arab leader or ruler remains based on their commitment to the three “No’s of Khartoum” and the liberation of Palestine.
The legitimacy that Israel so desperately wants the indigenous population of Palestine and the Arab public to bestow upon the Zionist project does not derive from a despotic regime with no popular legitimacy that does not speak for the Arab inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula (the only people in the world to be named after a family), let alone the indigenous population of Palestine and the larger Arab world.
What Turki, on behalf of his brothers and male cousins (female members of the Saudi family are not consulted), is offering Israel is something his family cannot deliver. Israel will remain what it has always been, a settler-colonial entity whose very existence is illegitimate, incompatible with the natural landscape of the region, and rejected by the entire Arab world. Although he will ultimately fail, we believe his efforts deserve to be acknowledged. Therefore, in recognition of his continued efforts to promote normalization with the usurping Zionist entity, and on behalf of the Palestinian people and the Arab inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula, we are pleased to award Prince Turki al-Faisal the May 2016 Ikhras Shoe-Of-The-Month.
The Muntadhar Zaidi Shoe-Of-The-Month is a recurring feature through which Ikhras awards a shoe to the House Arab or Muslim individual or organization whose behavior that month stands out as an example of what Malcolm X described, in the language of his own time, as the “house negro” (see video). The award is named in honor of the brave Iraqi journalist Muntadhar Zaidi who threw his shoes at the war criminal George W. Bush at a time House Arabs and Muslims were dining with him at the White House and inviting him to their mosques. Arab dictators, political and religious leaders, traitors, and all puppets of the empire are also qualified to enter the shoe of the month competition based on their own subservience to U.S.-led global imperialism or normalization with the Zionist colonial project. Contest guidelines include the “James Zogby Rule” which prohibits any one individual or organization from winning the award more than 3 times a year.