Saudi Crown Prince says Israel has “right to a homeland”

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman

The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia has said that Israelis have a right to a homeland and that Riyadh shares many interests with Tel Aviv.

In an interview with Atlantic magazine, Mohammad bin Salman, who is the country’s de facto ruler, also hinted that Saudi Arabia could have normal relations with Israel if there was a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

When asked if he believed the Jewish people had a right to a nation-state in at least part of their ancestral homeland, Mohammad bin Salman replied: “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. But we have to have a peace agreement to assure the stability for everyone and to have normal relations.”

He was then asked if he had any religious-based objection to the existence of Israel, and said: “We have religious concerns about the fate of the holy mosque in Jerusalem and about the rights of the Palestinian people. This is what we have. We don’t have any objection against any other people…

Israel is a big economy compared to their size and it’s a growing economy, and of course there are a lot of interests we share with Israel and if there is peace, there would be a lot of interest between Israel and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and countries like Egypt and Jordan.”

Triangle of Evil

In the interview Mohammad bin Salman also referred to Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood and extremist groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS as the “triangle of evil.”

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He said: “We have the Iranian regime that wants to spread their extremist ideology, their extremist Shiite ideology. They believe that if they spread it, the hidden Imam will come back again and he will rule the whole world from Iran and spread Islam even to America. They’ve said this every day since the Iranian revolution in 1979. It’s in their law and they’re proving it by their own actions.

Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

“The second part of the triangle is the Muslim Brotherhood, which is another extremist organization. They want to use the democratic system to rule countries and build shadow caliphates everywhere. Then they would transform into a real Muslim empire. And the other part is the terrorists—al-Qaeda, ISIS—that want to do everything with force. Al-Qaeda leaders, ISIS leaders, they were all Muslim Brotherhood first. Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of ISIS. This is very clear.

“This triangle is promoting an idea that God and Islam are not asking us to promote. Their idea is totally against the principles of the United Nations, and the idea of different nations having laws that represent their needs. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Yemen—all of these countries are defending the idea that independent nations should focus on their own interests, in building good relations on the foundation of UN principles. The evil triangle doesn’t want to do that.”

“New Hitler”

Mohammad bin Salman also repeated his assertion that the Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was a “new Hitler.”

He told the interviewer: “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. In the 1920s and 1930s, no one saw Hitler as a danger. Only a few people. Until it happened. We don’t want to see what happened in Europe happen in the Middle East. We want to stop this through political moves, economic moves, intelligence moves. We want to avoid war.”

During his two week trip to America, Mohammed bin Salman met with some of the United State’s top leaders in business and politics.

He reportedly met with Henry Kissinger, former president Bill Clinton and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, as well as UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and businessman and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.

MbS was also reportedly set to meet with Jewish and hard-core pro-Israeli leaders including AIPAC, the Conference of Presidents, Jewish Federations of North America, ADL, AJC and B’nai B’rith.

The Crown Prince met U.S. President Donald Trump in the Oval Office late last week, in a meeting that sparked headlines for the awkward interaction between the leaders as Trump boasted of U.S. arms sales to the Saudis.

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