Palestinians and Saudis Stand Together Against Normalization with Apartheid Israel
The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) stands with the majority of the fraternal people of Saudi Arabia in its overwhelming condemnation of the normalization efforts between the Saudi dictatorship and apartheid Israel.
These direct and indirect talks, brokered by the US administration and promising the Saudi regime with a US military shield, primarily serve the interests of Israel's far-right government, providing it a lifeline at a time when it is facing unprecedented internal turmoil, growing international pressure, and a looming economic crisis. They also serve to prop up the Saudi regime despite its crimes and grave human rights violations.
Palestinian civil society strongly condemns the involvement of the Palestinian Authority in these normalization talks, as it provides a fig leaf to cover up a potential Saudi-Israeli agreement that undermines the internationally recognized rights of the Palestinian people. The most reliable public opinion survey in the Arab region has shown that 70% of people in the Arab Gulf region oppose diplomatic relations with Israel, while only 8% support them. In Saudi Arabia, the ratio of those against such relations to those supporting them is almost 8:1.
Israel’s regime of military occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid will use any diplomatic achievement with Saudi Arabia to whitewash and divert attention from its ongoing war crimes and crimes against humanity against the Indigenous people of Palestine. These include massacres; ethnic cleansing, especially in Jerusalem, the Naqab and the Jordan Valley; the brutal siege of Gaza; home demolitions; decimation of ancient olive groves; and the destruction or appropriation of cultural and archeological heritage.
As the Abraham Accords have shown, so-called “peace” agreements between Israel’s apartheid regime and Arab despotic regimes are largely military-security alliances that help Israel maintain its apartheid regime while entrenching the ruthless rule of Arab dictators, aggravating internal repression.
Without exception, such agreements have served to undermine the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, especially the right to self-determination and the right of refugees to return and reparations.
These normalization agreements also try to hide what Palestinians, most Arabs, and progressives worldwide have known for decades–relations with Israel harm not only Palestinians but millions of others around the world as well. Israel has become a model for much of the world’s far-right and white supremacists, partnering with authoritarian regimes and with fascist groups in the West, most of whom are antisemitic to the core. It sells its military-security technologies as “battle-tested” and exports its military doctrines and weaponized spyware technologies, like NSO's Pegasus, and other cyberwarfare, disinformation and election-rigging services as a diplomacy tool worldwide.
The Abraham Accords present the latest evidence of this pattern, as they have led to a 24% increase in Israeli arms sales in a single year. Another example is Saudi Arabia’s despotic regime's use of Pegasus spyware in tracking Saudi dissident Jamal Kashoggi, who was then brutally murdered in the Saudi embassy in Turkey in 2018. The BNC at the time called for imposing a military embargo on the Saudi regime.
The Saudi dictatorship is seeking to whitewash its own horrific crimes against Yemeni civilians, perpetrated in cooperation with the UAE regime, and its ongoing grave human rights violations against Saudi human rights defenders, Saudi women, and migrant workers.
As Israel's regime of military occupation, settler-colonialism, and apartheid continues to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity against the Palestinian people, it is our ethical duty to stand for justice and freedom everywhere and to oppose racism and oppression anywhere. We call on people of conscience worldwide to vigorously oppose the US-brokered security-militarization-and-normalization talks involving the regimes of Israel and Saudi Arabia and to escalate boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns to help dismantle Israel’s apartheid regime just as was done against South African apartheid. An Israeli-Saudi-US agreement would severely harm human rights and the struggle for freedom, justice, and equality for all.