From Hitler to Saddam, 3 times Palestine’s leaders bet on wrong side: Prince Bandar

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During his exclusive sit-down interview with Al Arabiya, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Bandar bin Sultan highlighted four ways in which Palestinian leadership figures over the years have backed the wrong horse and paid the price.

Prince Bandar spoke on four examples, including one of Amin al-Husseini in the 1930s who visited Germany and Adolf Hitler. Al-Husseini was the then Mufti of Jerusalem. He famously flew to visit Hitler in Berlin in 1941 and archival footage showed him performing the Nazi or Hitler salute a gesture that was used as a greeting in Nazi Germany.

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“There is also something that successive Palestinian leadership historically share in common; they always bet on the losing side, and that comes at a price,” Prince Bandar told Al Arabiya.

“Amin al-Husseini in the 1930s was betting on the Nazis in Germany, and we all know what happened to Hitler and Germany. He was recognized by Germany, Hitler, and the Nazis for standing with them against the Allies when Berlin’s radio station broadcast recordings by him in Arabic, but that was all he got, which was no good as far as the Palestinian cause was concerned,” he added.

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Prince Bandar bin Sultan then spoke about the time the late Yasser Arafat, the former Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) backing Saddam Hussein in 1990 after the Iraqi leader invaded Kuwait.

“An Arab people were occupied and Kuwait, alongside the other Gulf states, had always welcomed the Palestinians with open arms and was home to Palestinian leaders. Yet we saw Abu Ammar in Baghdad, embracing Saddam, and laughing and joking with him as he congratulated him for what had happened. This has had a painful impact on all the peoples of the Gulf, especially on our Kuwaiti brothers and sisters, specifically the Kuwaitis who stayed in Kuwait and resisted the occupation,” Prince Bandar said in his interview.

“Months later, as another example of failure in choosing sides, the battle for the liberation of Kuwait begins and Saddam Hussein strikes the capital of Saudi Arabia with missiles. That was the first time anybody launched missiles at the capital of Saudi Arabia. Even Israel did not launch missiles at the Kingdom. We were the ones, by the way, who bought these missiles for Saddam to support him in his war against the Persians,” Prince Bandar added.

Prince Bandar then spoke on the example of the Arab world witnessing footage of youths in Nablus dancing joyfully in celebration of the missile attack on Riyadh, holding pictures of Saddam Hussein.

“These incidents cannot be forgotten, but we rose above them, not for the sake of the Palestinian leaders, but for the Palestinian people,” Prince Bandar said.