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MBS will get sure protection in Arab media for his statements about Israel normalization

The rare English-language interview with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) by Fox News anchor Bret Baier on Wednesday received overwhelmingly positive coverage in Arab media outlets across the Middle East.

Most news outlets provided the facts, quoting statements from MBS without condemning him for his open statements regarding the negotiations with Israel, which would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.

The media mainly focused on MBS’ comments about the possible deal with Saud-Israel normalization deal, which according to the crown prince, is getting “closer every day.”

MBS added that he hopes to “reach a place that will ease the life of the Palestinians and get Israel as a player in the Middle East.”

The Saudi leader received attention from the media for warning that if Iran acquired a nuclear weapon, Riyadh would get one, too.

On Thursday morning, the headline from the United Arab Emirates’ National News, stated: “Prince Mohammed bin Salman says Saudi Arabia closer to establishing Israel relations.”

Other media outlets, like Riyadh-based Arab News, focused their coverage on Saudi-U.S. ties and the comments made about Iran, but many of those prominently included MBS’ statements about Israel, as well.


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The famously anti-Israel news site Al-Jazeera covered the interview in a straightforward and factual manner, while other news outlets – typically considered pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel – covered the interview by giving more weight to the Saudi prince’s comments on the Palestinian situation.

Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, a London-based Qatari site founded by former Arab-Israeli Knesset member Azmi Bishara – who fled Israel after being accused of aiding the enemy during wartime – featured this headline: “The Saudi Crown Prince on normalization with Israel: Every day we get closer, and the Palestinian issue is very important.”


(Photo: Screenshot)


Another London-based newspaper founded by Palestinians, Al-Quds Al-Arabi, also highlighted the Palestinian situation in their headline, adding “… but the Palestinian issue remains important in the negotiations.”

Despite the absence of open criticism for the Saudi Kingdom’s openness to a peace deal with the Jewish nation, the second-most read story on Al-Quds Al-Arabi on Thursday morning was titled, “I am a Muslim and I reject normalization. A young Moroccan man affected by the earthquake rejects Israeli assistance.”

The popularity of the story indicates that parts of the Arab world remain opposed to normalization with Israel, despite the historic statements made by MBS the day prior.


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