Zionist agitation throughout the early decades of the twentieth century, given renewed impetus by the Nazi persecution of the Jews in Europe in the 1930s and throughout the Second World War, eventually led in 1948 to Ben Gurion’s declaration of a new State – the State of Israel – thus fulfilling Jewish aspirations for their own homeland.
But what is seen in the West as a truly epic story, as the legitimate aspiration of a people to find a home, was and is seen in the Arab world as the ruthless and systematic persecution and dispossession of the Palestinians by an immigrant, if not a colonial, power. The land where Israel was founded was not a vacuum, waiting to be filled; it was Palestine, a land peopled by Palestinians for centuries. Thus, as one people found, or perhaps more accurately occupied, a home, another lost theirs.
Throughout the history of Saudi Arabia, from the time of King Abdul Aziz, the Kingdom has resolutely supported the Palestinian cause and has condemned Israel’s conduct in the harshest possible terms. King Fahd has continued this policy and has done everything in his power, politically, diplomatically and financially to fight for the legitimate rights of the Palestinians. It is therefore essential to set out here the Arab perspective on the Palestine–Israel problem, partly to explain why King Fahd has expended so much energy on trying to find a just solution to the problem and partly to attempt to counter one of the most pervasive distortions of historical truth, and indeed to expose one of the most serious political crimes, of the last century.