Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday released a video in which senior Gulf Arab officials minimize the Palestinian cause and describe Iran as the greatest threat in the Middle East, AP reported.
The leaked video comes after months of reports that Gulf Arab states have sought normalization of ties with Israel.
— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) February 14, 2019
Bahraini Foreign Minister Khaled al-Khalifa says in the video taken during a closed meeting at the US-led Middle East summit in Warsaw:
“We grew up talking about the Palestine-Israel dispute as the most important issue. But then at a later stage, we saw a bigger challenge. We saw a more toxic one, in fact, the most toxic in our modern history, which came from the Islamic Republic, from Iran.”
Khalifa reportedly secretly met with former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni in 2017 to seek diplomatic ties with Israel, which most Arab states have boycotted since the forced displacement of Palestinians during the formation of the state of Israel in 1948.
"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office on Thursday leaked a video in which the foreign ministers of three Arab countries can be seen harshly attacking Iran and defending Israel…"https://t.co/7LlaMmrrOH
— Ben White (@benabyad) February 15, 2019
Netanyahu on Wednesday declared he would use the summit as an opportunity to make public his country’s long-rumored normalization of ties with Gulf Arab states.
It seems the leaked video is one such opportunity to showcase the essence of the backroom talks the prime minister frequently boasts of.
Although most Gulf Arab states have made their animosity toward Iran well known, minimizing the importance of the Israel-Palestine conflict is more taboo.
“Who is supporting Hamas and Islamic Jihad and undercutting the Palestinian Authority?” asked Saudi Arabia’s minister of state for foreign affairs, Adel al-Jubeir. “Iran.”
WATCH: Video of Arab foreign ministers slamming Iran in a closed door session at the Warsaw conference that was leaked by Netanyahu's office
— Barak Ravid (@BarakRavid) February 14, 2019
Jubeir accused Iran of hurting the Palestinian cause through its support for militant groups such as Hamas.
The edited, 25-minute video, recorded on a mobile device, was briefly made available to a group of journalists traveling with Netanyahu before it was swiftly removed from YouTube. It was not clear whether the video was intentionally leaked or accidentally uploaded.
— mary (@maryazizi1) February 15, 2019
Netanyahu on Wednesday tweeted he hoped the summit would be an opportunity for Arab states and Israel to advance their “common interest of war with Iran”.
The tweet was quickly deleted. His office later claimed his comments had been mistranslated from Hebrew, and that he was instead calling for everyone to “combat” Iranian influence.
(Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, PC, Social Media)