Saudi Arabia May Be Changing, but Its Schools Still Teach Anti-Semitism

Feb. 13 2020

In December of last year, an officer in the Saudi air force opened fire at an American military base, where he was participating in a training program, killing three U.S. Navy personnel. This act of terror is a reminder that, despite major reforms that include allowing women to drive and a quiet warming to Israel, the kingdom is still an incubator of hostility toward the West. According to a recent report, Saudi textbooks—which were also used in schools run by the Islamic State—continue to instruct students to hate Christians, the West, and above all Jews. Kimberly Dozier writes:

In 2019, Saudi students were still being instructed to keep Westerners at a distance, to consider Jews “monkeys” and “assassins” bent on harming Muslim holy places, and to punish gays by death. All those sentiments are included in textbooks that are required reading for Muslim children in Saudi Arabia from kindergarten through high school. . . . “Students are being taught that Christians, Jews, and other Muslims are ‘enemies’ of the true believer, and to befriend and show respect only to other true believers, specifically the Wahhabis,” the strict sect of Islam upon which Saudi Arabia was founded, says Ali Al-Ahmed of the Washington, DC-based Institute for Gulf Studies.

Yet there have been some very small efforts at reform, no doubt in response to American pressure:

[T]he gradual changes . . . include striking several references to Christians as “pure infidels” or unbelievers, and removing the statement that “Christianity in its current state is an invalid and perverted religion.” The Christian faith is no longer defined as a “colonial religious movement that subjected Muslims to Western ideas and stopped the spread of Islam.” . . . Also deleted is the claim that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are “a secret Jewish plan to take over the world,” and that Jews believe the world was promised to them and that it’s their right to control it. But Zionism is still described as a racist movement that uses money, the media, drugs, and women to achieve its goals.

Read more at Time

More about: anti-Americanism, Anti-Semitism, Arab anti-Semitism, Islamism, Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Saudi Arabia


Israel Is Courting Saudi Arabia by Confronting Iran

Most likely, it was the Israeli Air Force that attacked eastern Syria Monday night, apparently destroying a convoy carrying Iranian weapons. Yoav Limor comments:

Israel reportedly carried out 32 attacks in Syria in 2022, and since early 2023 it has already struck 25 times in the country—at the very least. . . . The Iranian-Israeli clash stands out in the wake of the dramatic events in the region, chiefly among them is the effort to strike a normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and later on with various other Muslim-Sunni states. Iran is trying to torpedo this process and has even publicly warned Saudi Arabia not to “gamble on a losing horse” because Israel’s demise is near. Riyadh is unlikely to heed that demand, for its own reasons.

Despite the thaw in relations between the kingdom and the Islamic Republic—including the exchange of ambassadors—the Saudis remain very suspicious of the Iranians. A strategic manifestation of that is that Riyadh is trying to forge a defense pact with the U.S.; a tactical manifestation took place this week when Saudi soccer players refused to play a match in Iran because of a bust of the former Revolutionary Guard commander Qassem Suleimani, [a master terrorist whose militias have wreaked havoc throughout the Middle East, including within Saudi borders].

Of course, Israel is trying to bring Saudi Arabia into its orbit and to create a strong common front against Iran. The attack in Syria is ostensibly unrelated to the normalization process and is meant to prevent the terrorists on Israel’s northern border from laying their hands on sophisticated arms, but it nevertheless serves as a clear reminder for Riyadh that it must not scale back its fight against the constant danger posed by Iran.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Saudi Arabia, Syria