Arabs’ confused policies harming Palestinians: Bahrain CP

February 24, 2010
Crown Prince Salman

Palestinians have been suffering and losing precious lives because of the Arabs’ unclear policies, Bahrain’s crown prince has said.

“We have to put an end to the senseless bidding and be realistic and responsible in our approach to the Palestinian issue,” Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa said. “The Palestinians have been suffering and paying a heavy price because of the Arab’s blurred and confused policy towards their sensitive issue,” he said in an interview published in Al Ayam.

The prince reiterated a call he first made in July to the Arabs to be more pragmatic in seeking solutions to the conflict that has plagued the region for generations.

“We need to reach out to the Israeli people through a constructive dialogue and use the media to highlight the importance of a fair solution in their minds,” Prince Salman said. “We need to drive the concept that we favour a negotiated peaceful solution over irresponsible claims,” he said.

Last summer, he suggested that Arabs begin talking to the Israeli media to better communicate their desire for a lasting Middle East peace and to influence the Israelis’ mindset and help them see the significance of a peaceful solution to the crises in the region.

“We as Arabs have not done enough to communicate directly with the people of Israel,” he wrote in an opinion article published in July in the Washington Post. Arab leaders should “tell our story more directly to the Israeli people by getting the message out to their media” and emphasizing support for the Arab Initiative that promises normalized relations between Israel and the Arab world in exchange for the creation of a Palestinian state.

“Essentially, we have not done a good enough job demonstrating to Israelis how our initiative can form part of a peace between equals in a trouble land holy to three great faiths,” he wrote.

His call was immediately praised as “a pragmatic step forward that was a fresh air into the Middle East miasma.” However, it was also criticized as a move by Bahrain to normalize relations with Tel Aviv.

On Wednesday, Prince Salman said that the term “normalization” was highly misleading.

“When we talk about normalization, we are talking about resuming ties between two sides and taking them to the level that preceded their crisis,” he said. “This of course does not apply in the Palestinian-Israeli relations or in the Arab-Israeli relations. Arab media should think of a better and more accurate term to describe the situation,” he said.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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