Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir is accusing Qatar of demanding the internationalization of the Islamic hajj pilgrimage, according to a report on the Lebanon Daily Star website.
The Saudi foreign minister said in a statement on Sunday to his own country’s Al Arabiya website, “Qatar’s demands to internationalize the holy sites is aggressive and a declaration of war against the kingdom.
“We reserve the right to respond to anyone who is working on the internationalization of the holy sites,” he continued.
Internationalization of the holy sites, however, is precisely what the Saudis had in mind as a solution to the knotty problem of how to deal with the Palestinian Authority’s intractable demand for half of Israel’s capital city to use as a capital for its own hoped-for independent state.
Moreover, it’s not even clear whether Qatar actually even made such a demand in the first place. There has been no response from the Qatari government to al-Jubeir’s statement. On Saturday, however, prior to the excitement, Doha had indeed accused Riyadh of politicizing the Hajj.
It is more than ironic for the Saudis to express such outrage when Riyadh purports to suggest precisely the same plan for Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem, as a means of resolving the endless conflict between the Jewish State and the Palestinian Authority, which began in the first place because Arabs in the region were unwilling to be content with what they had.
Needless to say, Israelis have rejected this plan.