Houston: Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former intelligence chief of Saudi Arabia, while referring to the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, referred to the historic Civil Disobedience Movement in India which brought down the British Empire as the ‘preferred’ option.
He was speaking at the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston.
Addressing the gathering, Prince Turki said, “All military occupied people have a right to resist their occupation, even militarily. I do not support the military option in Palestine”.
“I prefer the other option: Civil Insurrection and Disobedience. It brought down the British Empire in India and the Soviet Empire in Eastern Europe,” he added.
Civil Disobedience Movement was a massive movement led by Mahatma Gandhi against the British Empire, which is considered a crucial chapter in India’s freedom struggle.
The Saudi Prince slammed Hamas accusing it of gifting higher moral ground to an “unpopular Israeli government” that even half of the Israeli public view as “fascist, miscreant, and abhorrent”.
“Israel has overwhelming military superiority and we see in front of our eyes, the devastation and oblivion it is bringing to the people of Gaza,” he said.
Prince Turki also accused Israel of “funnelling Qatari money” to Hamas.
The Saudi Prince slammed Hamas for “targeted civilian killings” and Israel for “indiscriminate bombings” of innocent civilians.
“I categorically condemn Hamas’ targeting of civilian targets of any age or gender, as it is accused of. Such targets belies Hamas’ claims to an Islamic identity. There is an Islamic injunction against the killing of innocent children, women and elders. The injunction is also against the desceration of places of worship,” the former Saudi Intelligence Chief said.
He added, “But equally, I condemn Israel’s indiscriminate bombing of Palestinian innocent civilians in Gaza and the attempt to forcibly drive them into Sinai. I condemn Israeli targeted killing and indiscriminate arrest of Palestinian children, women and men in West Bank. But two wrongs don’t make a right”
The Saudi Prince also slammed the Western politicians and American media, accusing them of not being sympathetic enough for the Palestinians and differential treatment in comparison to Israelis.
“I’ve been hearing a repeated phrase in American media: unprovoked attack. What more provocation is required to make it provoked than what Israel has done to the Palestinian people for three quarters of a century. I refer you to the article in the Middle East Monitor of Feb. 17, 2014, under the title: ‘Israeli army veterans admit role in massacre of Palestinians in 1948’ — read it and weep as I did,” the Saudi Prince said.
He added, “Just this year, from May to July over 450 Palestinians were killed including 67 children. This bloodletting must stop. I condemn Western politicians for shedding tears when Israelis are killed by Palestinians, but refuse to even express sorrow when Israelis kill Palestinians.”
The Saudi Prince further said that Hamas “sabotaged” the attempt of Saudi Arabia to reach a peaceful resolution with Israel.
“There are no heroes in this conflict. Only victims,” Prince Turki said.
Last week, UN chief Antonio Guterres while pointing to the “the wider context” of war, had said that the “two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the only realistic foundation for a true peace and stability.”
He had also said that Hamas’s “reprehensible assault on Israel can never justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.”