Israel-Hamas war: Former Saudi intelligence chief advocates India-like civil disobedience resolution (WATCH)
A speech by former Saudi intelligence chief Turki Al Faisal condemns both Hamas and Israel, advocating civil disobedience, criticising actions in the Gaza conflict, and emphasising the need for empathy for victims.
In a compelling speech addressing the ongoing conflict in Gaza, former Saudi Arabia intelligence chief and prince, Turki Al Faisal, criticised both Hamas and Israel, emphasising that there are "no heroes in this conflict, only victims." Al Faisal delivered this speech at a US university and drew parallels to India's Independence movement as an example of resisting occupation through civil disobedience.
The viral video of his address begins with the 78-year-old prince asserting that all occupied people have the right to resist their occupation, even if it involves military means. However, he expressed a preference for civil insurrection and disobedience as a more effective approach.
"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 said during an address at the Baker Institute.
Al Faisal criticised Israel for its overwhelming military superiority and the devastating impact it has had on Gaza. He condemned Hamas for the October 7 attacks that triggered the conflict, stating his strong opposition to their alleged targeting of civilians, regardless of age or gender. He questioned Hamas's claim to an Islamic identity when Islamic teachings forbid the killing of innocent children, women, the elderly, and the desecration of places of worship.
"I categorically condemn Hamas' targeting of civilian targets of any age or gender as it is accused of. Such targeting belies Hamas' claims to an Islamic identity," he said.
The conflict between Hamas and Israel, marked by surprise attacks and brutal retaliation, has resulted in a significant loss of life, with over 5,800 casualties according to UN estimates.
The Saudi prince slammed Hamas for "gifting the high moral ground to an Israeli government that is universally shunned". "I condemn Hamas for giving this awful government the excuse to ethnically cleanse Gaza of its citizens and bombing them to oblivion," he said.
Al Faisal criticised Hamas for undermining Saudi Arabia's efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the Palestinian issue, which had an impact on the normalization of Israel-Saudi Arabia relations.
The former Saudi intelligence chief didn't mince words in his criticism of Israel, condemning its actions, including targeting innocent civilians in Gaza and the West Bank. He stressed that two wrongs don't make a right.
Al Faisal challenged the portrayal of Hamas's offensive as an "unprovoked attack" in the US media, stating, "What more provocation is required to make it provoked than what Israel has done to the Palestinian people for three-quarters of a century?"
He also raised concerns about alleged Israeli excesses in Palestine, accusing Israel of land appropriation, targeted killings of Palestinians, and the detention of civilians. "This bloodletting must stop. I condemn Israel's stealing of Palestinian lands," he said.
The Saudi prince further criticized Western politicians for showing more empathy when Israelis are killed by Palestinians compared to when the situation is reversed. He concluded by emphasizing that in this conflict, there are no heroes, only victims.
Notably, while Turki Al Faisal currently holds no public office, his remarks are widely seen as reflecting the position of the Saudi leadership, making this speech a significant articulation of Riyadh's stance on the ongoing conflict.