Saudi Prince Makes Rare Concession to Israel
Mohammed bin Salman says Israelis have right to live on their own land
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2018 10:31 AM CDT
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis at the Pentagon in Washington on March 22, 2018.   (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

(Newser) – The crown prince of Saudi Arabia is in the midst of a long US trip looking to drum up business and support for the kingdom he may inherit soon, and Mohammed bin Salman has made headlines with a newly published interview in the Atlantic on two points:

  • Israel: The prince, known as MBS, declared in what is a rare if not unprecedented statement for an Arab leader that he recognizes the right of Jewish people to have their own nation-state, writes interviewer Jeffrey Goldberg. "I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land," said MBS. Goldberg talks to former US diplomat Dennis Ross, who says it's the first time an Arab leader has acknowledged the right of a Jewish ancestral homeland to exist. Saudi Arabia doesn't currently recognize Israel.

  • Iran: MBS and Saudi Arabia see Iran as an archenemy, and the prince didn't mince words about Ayatollah Khamenei. "I believe the Iranian supreme leader makes Hitler look good," said the prince. "Hitler didn't do what the supreme leader is trying to do. Hitler tried to conquer Europe. ... The supreme leader is trying to conquer the world."
The trip is about more than foreign policy, however. The Hollywood Reporter notes that MBS is now in Los Angeles, where he dined at Rupert Murdoch's Bel Air mansion with the likes of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, James Cameron, and other Hollywood big shots.

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