Why a group of Saudis beat up Palestinians on the Temple Mount
Why a group of Saudis beat up Palestinians on the Temple Mount

In recent days, Saudi blogger Mohammed Said, who was touring the State of Israel as a guest of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was attacked, spit on and cursed by Palestinian Arabs while touring the Temple Mount. 

Saud was attacked merely because he is an Arab media personality who supports the State of Israel.  He was told by local Palestinians, “Go to a synagogue.”  Local Palestinian Arabs also called him “an animal” and “Zionist trash.”  Chairs were even thrown at him. 

In response, a group of Saudis, enraged by how local Palestinian Arabs treated Said, beat up a group of them on the Temple Mount.  The question is, what stands behind these Saudi protesters' anger at the Palestinians?

In an exclusive interview, Syrian analyst Wael Ashaq explained that many people in Saudi Arabia despise how the Palestinian Authority is assisting the Assad regime: “They only care about what is good for them.  They don’t care about the millions killed every day by the Assad regime.  If we look at the issue historically, the Palestinians went everywhere in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan and created many problems and troubles.  We as Syrians helped the Palestinians but when we have a problem with our dictator, they stand with this terrorist regime and help them politically as well as militarily.  This is true for both Fatah and Hamas.  They are both the same on this.”  

On top of that, he added that many people in the Arab world are looking in order to build a strong relationship with Israel: “We want a good relationship with Israel because we know that Israel respects our right to be a free people and a liberated country.  Israel is the only democratic state in our area.  We don’t see any other free and democratic governments in the area.  We are looking for a free Syria that will be just like Israel.  The region has changed in favor of a new alliance.   Any government has to make good relations with Israel if they want their country to be free and democratic and for their people to live with dignity and to have a good life.  Therefore, we condemn Palestinian terrorist practices against Israeli civilians and those who support Israel.”

Mendi Safadi, who heads the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights, added that many people in the Arab world are waking up and discovering not only how the Palestinian Authority and Hamas have abandoned the Syrian people but also have been taking hostile actions against Saudi Arabia.  He noted that the Saudis are greatly disturbed with Hamas and the Islamic Jihad for building a relationship with Iran.  

Safadi stressed that the Saudis view Iran to be their number one enemy for the Houthis, Iran’s proxy in Yemen, have fired rockets at Saudi Arabia.   In addition, they view Iran’s nuclear program to be a major threat to the Saudi Kingdom and its regional sphere of influence.   In light of this, many Saudis are greatly disturbed over the fact that many Palestinians don’t share their hostile perception of the Iranian regime and are actually working in order to have a good relationship with Iran. 

According to Safadi, another factor that disturbs the Saudis is the popularity of the Muslim Brotherhood among Palestinians.  The Saudis consider the Muslim Brotherhood to be a terrorist organization.  In light of this, they are not huge fans of Hamas, which is essentially the Palestinian Arab branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. 

But these are not the only reasons many Saudis are disturbed with the Palestinian Arabs.  Safadi noted that there are other reasons that enrage the Saudis towards the Palestinians: “The Palestinians have also taken hostile actions against the Emirates and supported the radical government in Bangladesh.”   In particular, their activities against the Emirates, a fellow Gulf Arab country, makes the Saudis greatly angry.    

In light of all of these developments, a group of Saudis felt that enough was enough.  Therefore, video documentation has emerged of a group of Saudis doing to a group of Palestinians on the Temple Mount exactly what a group of Palestinians did to Saudi blogger Mohammed Saud and other pro-Israel Arabs.  In Arab culture, it is literally an eye for an eye. 

While the Israeli Foreign Ministry condemned the violence against Saud, a group of Saudis took matters into their own hands and did employ violence against Palestinian Arabs.  However, this video documentation of Saudis beating up Palestinians represents a greater power struggle in the Arab world between the radical axis backed by Iran and the Gulf Arab states, who are all presently seeking better relations with the State of Israel. 

The Saudis want the center of the Muslim world to remain focused on them while the Palestinian Arabs and their Iranian allies want the focus to be elsewhere. In light of this, more public confrontations between Saudis and Palestinian Arabs can be expected in the future.