20 September 2011

Two Interesting Articles

Recently, I came across two interesting articles. They were written by Saudi writers and published by Saudi papers on 7 June 2011.
On June 7, 2011, two Saudi columnists – the liberal Khalaf Al-Harbi, of the Saudi daily 'Okaz, and Fawaz Al-'Ilmi, of the Saudi daily Al-Watan – published articles comparing Israel's situation to that of the Arab countries. Al-Harbi opined that the secret to Israel's success lay in its democratic regime and its respect for the human rights of its citizens, while Al-'Ilmi wrote that Israel's prosperity was due to its investment in education and science. It should be noted that these articles are a rare phenomenon in the Saudi government press.
I honestly don't know what to make of this.

The last sentence of the excerpt is a huge understatement. Saudi papers do not publish articles that openly praise Israel, especially for its democracy and respect for human rights. Besides their deep seated hatred of Israel such a statement would invite an obvious comparison with Saudi Arabia where democracy and respect for human rights of its citizens are almost sacrilegious concepts.

I wonder if it should be taken as a sign of the things to come.

Speaking of that, I hear that Netanyahu has just offered direct talks with Abbas on Palestinian statehood.

BBC notes that
The Jerusalem Post said this would have Israel agreeing "with reservations" to enter talks on the basis of the 1967 borders with mutual land swaps while the Palestinians would agree to the mention of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.
Do you remember who predicted that?

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