Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) admitted in a wide-ranging interview in The Atlantic that Saudi nationals have funded terrorist groups, and quite stunningly – that Israelis are entitled to live peacefully on their own land – yet another indicator that the relationship between Riyadh and Tel Aviv is strengthening.
When it comes to financing extremist groups, I challenge anyone if he can bring any evidence that the Saudi government financed terrorist groups. Yes, there are people from Saudi Arabia who financed terrorist groups. This is against Saudi law. We have a lot of people in jail now, not only for financing terrorist groups, but even for supporting them. –The Atlantic
Bin Salman’s comments come days after a U.S. judge rejected Saudi Arabia’s request to dismiss lawsuits accusing it of involvement in the 9/11 attacks.
The cases are based on the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (Jasta), a 2016 law that provides an exemption to the legal principle of sovereign immunity, allowing families of the victims to take foreign governments to court.
The families point to the fact that the majority of the hijackers were Saudi citizens, and claim that Saudi officials and institutions “aided and abetted” the attackers in the years leading up to the 9/11 attacks, according to court documents. -Middle East Eye
MbS also told The Atlantic when asked if Jewish people have a right to a nation-state in at least part of their ancestral homeland:
“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… 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. This is what we have. We don’t have any objection against any other people”
Saudi Arabia does not currently recognize Israel – maintaining for years that normalizing relations all depends on the withdrawal from Arab lands captured in the 1967 Middle East War – territory Palestinians claim to be theirs for the establishment of a future state.
“There are a lot of interests we share with Israel and if there is peace,” MbS added. “There would be a lot of interest between Israel and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and countries like Egypt and Jordan”
Behold the “Coalition to fight terrorism”