In the wake of Operation Breaking Dawn, many journalists and academics in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain condemned the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror group for firing on Israel, saying that PIJ is simply a tool of Iran.
According to a number of reports and tweets translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), journalists also excoriated Palestinian leaders for their “manipulation of [the Palestinian] cause” and ridiculed Iran for its cowardice in making empty threats to destroy Israel while taking advantage of Gazan terror groups at the expense of Gazan civilians.
Saudi intellectual Turki Al-Hamad tweeted: “It is apparent that if at one time any confrontation between Israel and the Palestinian organizations would attract world and Arab attention and provoke a wave of anger [against Israel], today this does not shock most Arabs and most of the world’s [countries]. Furthermore, even a sense of human solidarity [with the Palestinians] has become rare and embarrassing, raising the question, Why [is this so] and who is to blame?”
“Is it because the [Palestinian] side [leading] the confrontation here is an extremist Islamist organization whose activity is subordinate to orders from Iran, which is seeking to reap diplomatic gains [in the nuclear negotiations] in Vienna[?] Or is it because this is an outcome of the Palestinian leaders’ cumulative failures throughout history in dealing with the Palestinian cause? Or are all the answers correct?
“I believe that the main reason is the lack of confidence in all the Palestinian leaders and their manipulation of [the Palestinian] cause. From the Arabs’ and the world’s perspective, it is already clear that these leaders are manipulating the [Palestinian] cause out of self-interest and diplomatic, economic, or even personal motivates, and that the Palestinian issue is completely unconnected to this. The Palestinian cause has become a bargaining chip in the hands of these and other organizations and states headed by the [Iranian] ayatollah regime.”
Saudi journalist Tariq Al-Homayed wrote a report that mocked Iran for not only making empty threats to “wipe Israel off the map” but also exploiting Gaza to attack Israel and then blithely allowing Gazan residents to suffer the consequences.
“At a time that Israel is striking PIJ in Gaza in a focused manner, with targeted assassinations and arrests, Iranian Qods Force commander Esmail Qaa’ni declared that Hizbullah is capable of wiping Israel off the map when the time is right,” he wrote. “The question addressed here to the Qods Force commander and all members of the mendacious resistance is: When will ‘the time be right’ to remove Israel from the map and the globe… and why not [do it] now in response to Israel’s focused attack on Gaza and especially against the [Palestinian] Islamic Jihad movement?”
“Yesterday [August 6], Iranian television quoted IRGC commander Hossein Salami as saying, at a meeting with [Palestinian] Islamic Jihad secretary-general Ziyyad Nakhaleh, who is in Iran, that ‘the Israelis again will pay a heavy price for their recent crimes!’ Therefore, the minimum that can be said about these Iranian declarations about Israel is that we are dealing with a diplomatic hallucination and the marketing of illusions to [Iran’s] minions, who decided not to use their own common sense and assess events [by] words rather than deeds.
“The war in Gaza is not the first, nor will it be the last. But it proves like every other time that Iran is exploiting Gaza as it exploits Lebanon, in order to strengthen its hand in negotiations with the West. We all know that Iran hasn’t fired a single bullet at Israel, and it also will not do this to defend Gaza or Lebanon… We are facing an Iranian diplomatic hallucination that has sown only destruction and devastation in the region for four decades, whether in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, or Yemen – not to mention the magnitude of the disaster in Iraq. This situation will change and this hallucination will end only when Iran pays the true price for its crimes in our region.”
Senior Saudi journalist Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed, former editor of the Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat and director-general of Al-Arabiya TV, wrote: “The compass of events [is as follows]: The Gaza residents always pay the price. But how should the battle be understood? It depends whose side you are on – [are you] for or against Iran? [Palestinian] Islamic Jihad is an Iranian proxy organization, just like Hizbullah, [the Iraqi-Shi’ite] Asaib [Ahl] Al-Haq, and the Houthis [in Yemen]. Palestine is not their concern.
“Tehran wanted to set the Vienna negotiations over the Iranian nuclear project in motion, so Hizbullah attacked the [Karish natural gas field] with its UAVs, and [Palestinian Islamic] Jihad fired its missiles.”
UAE academic Abd Al-Khaleq Abdallah made the same point as Al-Rashed, pointing out that Iran has repeated declarations to “deal with Israel’s crimes” for 40 years, but failed to take any action.
The London-based UAE daily Al-Arab condemned the PIJ in a front-page report, writing that since Iran is too cowardly to directly confront Israel, “Gaza is the sole outlet for an Iranian response. It again became an arena for the settling of accounts between Iran and Israel, when the Palestinian citizens are the ones paying the price.”
UK-based Bahraini journalist Amjad Taha slammed the PIJ for killing three Gazan children: “We condemn and sharply criticize the missile fire by the terrorists of the [Palestinian Islamic] Jihad movement… The video below clearly [shows] how the launch of an Iranian missile by the [Palestinian] Islamic Jihad movement failed. The missile fell to the ground and as a result the massacre occurred in Jabalya, and the children were martyred…”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)