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Monday, March 26, 2007

Some hypocrisy from Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Saud Al-Faisal said Monday that the Palestinian cause is the first of Arab cause and the axis of the problems that plague our region.
It warms my heart to know that Saudi Arabia is so concerned with the welfare of Palestinian Arabs.

Especially since Palestinian Arabs are the single exception to a 2004 Saudi naturalization law:
JEDDAH, 21 October 2004 — Expatriates of all nationalities are entitled to apply for Saudi citizenship and their travels abroad with re-entry visas will not disqualify them, press reports said yesterday quoting senior officials.
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Shubaily ibn Majdoue Al-Qarni, chairman of the security committee which supervised amendments to the law, said Saudi citizenship would be open for all nationals working in the Kingdom. “The law does not aim at a particular nationality. On the other hand, it covers all expatriates in the country,” he told Al-Madinah.

But Al-Watan Arabic daily reported that the naturalization law would not be applicable to Palestinians living in the Kingdom as the Arab League has instructed that Palestinians living in Arab countries should not be given citizenship to avoid dissolution of their identity and protect their right to return to their homeland.

Diplomatic sources have estimated the number of Palestinians in the Kingdom at about 500,000. There are large concentrations of Palestinians in the country’s western, central, eastern and northern provinces.
So the Kingdom has no problem disenfranchising a half-million Palestinian Arabs, most of whom would undoubtedly be happy to become citizens of Saudi Arabia, to "avoid dissolution of their identity."

If Palestinian Arabs have such a strong identity, why would they need the Arab League to protect it by punishing millions of them, leaving them stateless?

Apparently, when Arabs speak about "helping the Palestinian cause," they really mean "keeping Palestinian Arabs in misery for the next few generations."