Interview with Alfred Lilienthal 1954 King Saud states: The Arabs antagonize no one but Zionists. The plight of Palestine was created by world Zionism

In an important interview granted the American writer, Mr. Alfred Lilienthal,
during his visit to the Arab region, King Saud, commenting on Arab causes and
Zionism, highlighted the real reasons behind the plight of Palestine and the
proposals put forth by the Arabs and Muslims for a just solution. He outlined the
action that should be taken by the West in this regard to establish peace and security
in the Middle East.

At the outset of his interview, Mr. Lilienthal, author of the book 'What Price
Israel?" expressed his pleasure at visiting Saudi Arabia and being given the
opportunity to meet the King. His Majesty said: "You may have noticed that our
country differs from others you visited in the Middle East, because our programmes
of action related to reform and development in the scientific, social and economic
fields have only been recently launched. For a very long time our country did not
have the means to progress and develop. Our reform programmes are long and
arduous but we are resolved, God willing, to carry out this duty which we owe to
our people in order to provide them with the amenities of modern life."

The justice of the Arab cause

Lilienthal: "Until two years ago, the American public opinion was ill-informed
about Arab countries and their issues particularly the issue of the Arabs and
Zionism. However, lately, they have read a number of books and articles and
listened to lectures and broadcasting programmes that made them aware of the
views of the Arabs on this issue and ensuing consequences. Consequently, the
Americans have started to perceive the justice of the Arab cause and sympathize
, with it particularly, with the problem of Arab refugees. What are the comments of
your Majesty on these issues?"

His Majesty: "We would like to convey our thanks to you and to all those who

write on the justice of the Arab cause, because the Arabs cannot launch efficient
publicity campaigns to demonstrate the justice of their cause. However, at all times
and places there are advocates and protagonists of truth whose sole aim is to
enlighten the people.

"Being frank, I am in the habit of stating my opinion openly according to my
beliefs and as dictated by my conscience. I have met a number of Arab statesmen
who expressed their views on the matter. I would like to emphasize that peace and
security in this part of the world are determined, to a large extent, by this issue. The
plight of Palestine was created by world Zionism with the assistance, influence and
support of British, and American policies, in addition to the negative stance of a
number of Arab statesmen.

"The legitimate rights of the Arabs to Palestine are just. It is their country and
homeland that they inherited from their forefathers. If the Jews have lived and
belonged there in the remote past, there were also different people living in the
USA., other than its present population, but no one would ever think that the
indigenous people, i.e. the Red Indians and British, could ask the present citizens to
leave, because they once resided there."

The American writer: "Your Majesty, what could be done to promote peace and
understanding between the two belligerent parties?"

His Majesty: "I would like to remind you of the times when the Arabs and Jews

were living together in Palestine under the British mandate and prior to it. They
were peaceful neighbours. The Arabs used to observe and protect the rights of the
Jews, respect their holy places and they lived together in peaceful co-existence.

"The resumption of such a life could be brought about only through one of two
solutions: that Zionists should heed right and stop claiming what is not rightfully
theirs. Should the major powers wish to establish peace in this part of the world,
they should repatriate all the Palestinian refugees and restitute to them their homes,
farms, and stores, in addition to compensating them for any damage, loss, harm or
plundering caused by Zionists. Moreover, those powers should compel the latter to
comply with all United Nations resolutions on the Palestinian issue, and put an
immediate end to the continuous influx of Zionists from all over the world to this Arab territory.

"However, if the Zionists persist in their aggression and threaten Arab
existence, the Arab world and the Muslims will have no other alternative but to
defend themselves and their countries by all means available to them, human and
ma terial."

Arab wareness today

"All Arabs will join hands with all Muslims of all ages and sexes to defend their
country because we do not have any other alternative. An Arab poet wrote:

If arms are the only solution,

We shall be compelled to use them.

"I am serious when I tell you that millions of Arabs and Muslims are willing to

sacrifice their lives to defend Al Aqsa Mosque and its sacred soil against Zionists.
Whether in the short or long run, Palestine will be restored to the Arabs. To them,
and to all Muslims, it is the first of the 'Kiblas' and the Third Holy Mosque, and an
integral part of their holy places.

"Nations concerned with maintaining stability and peace in the Middle East
should understand this fact and bear it in mind. If those nations found supporters to
implement the Zionist plan by establishing Israel on Palestinian soil, Arab awareness
today is by far keener than it was before. No Arab will condone reconciliation with
Israel, nor advocate any sort of understanding or co-operation, as long as the
Palestinian Arabs of all ages and sexes are prey to injustice, homeless and dispersed
in camps; expatriated from their homes, farms, stores and homeland. As long as
Western nations, at the United Nations, support Zionism in its non-compliance with
the relevant resolutions, while giving no heed or attention to the Arabs, nor to their
repatriation or compensation, there can be no hope of a solution."

Palestine is an Arab country first and foremost

Thanking His Majesty for his frankness, the American author asked him: ''What
kind of government does your Majesty propose for Palestine if Arab refugees are
repatriated, their rights restored and the United Nations resolutions implemented
and all obligations fulfilled?"

His Majesty: "Palestine is an Arab country. This is the basis of any future

understanding. The Arabs, as proven throughout .history, and as recognized by the
Jews who have lived with them, are generous, loyal and fair. They will protect the
rights of the Jews in Palestine and live side by side with them striving to promote
their common well-being. We Arabs fight only the Zionist Jews who have usurped
our rights, who have been hostile to us and have caused all those calamities and
problems to the Arab countries. Long before the emergence of Zionism, and during
the plight of the Jews in different parts of the world, both Muslims and Arabs were
their best supporters against any injustice perpetrated against them. Islam has
unfailingly protected their rights as subjects and citizens.
Therefore, we are enemies of Zionism and oppose it as long as it fights us in our own countries
and usurps our rights. You are a Jew, and I would like to tell you that this is my belief and the
principle I advocate which is shared by every Muslim and Arab."

Force in the face of Israel's expansionist designs

The American writer: "There are Jews in different parts of the world who hate
and oppose Zionism as much as Arabs do because they do not approve of the
usurpation of other peoples' rights to promote the Zionists' own existence and
progress. I heard a similar declaration from Your Majesty a few months ago when
you said that Arabs are willing to sacrifice their lives by the millions in order to
eradicate Zionism from Palestine. "

His Majesty: "l wish to tell you that this is my stand. It is the only reply I have
to the statement broadcast then by a number of Israeli officials, according to which
Israel should expand to encompass the Tigris and Euphrates Basin, the Sinai
Peninsula, the northern part of Saudi Arabia including Al Madinah where stands
one of the two holy mosques and which is the final resting place of the Prophet,
prayers and peace be upon him, in addition to being my homeland and the
homeland of all Arab Muslims. The ambitions of Zionism have been confirmed by
the statements of Israeli leaders and those who have supported it in the past and at
present. It is a plan made public and is included in school curricula in Israel where
.such illusions and fantasies are instilled into the mind of schoolchildren. This is the
only reply to their action, in addition to mobilizing our forces and potentials."

Assistance from the American people to Arabs

The American writer: "l thank your Majesty for this interview. I would like to
reiterate my thanks and appreciation for your frankness. It is a pleasure for me to
note that Your Majesty differentiates between Zionists and the peaceable Jews who
like to live peacefully and calmly in Arab territories, enjoying security and protection
for themselves, their places of worship and their rights as loyal subjects to the
homeland in which they live.
"It has been a pleasure for me to listen to your views and when I go back to the
United States, I shall communicate them to the people and publish them in a book on
my tour in the Arab countries. This will help Americans to have a better
understanding of the justice of the Arab cause, and prompt them to offer aid and
assistance to enable them achieve their goal and help them in their struggle. Your ambassador
(the ambassador of Saudi Arabia in Washington attended the interview)
is well aware of this fact and of the readiness of the American people to assimilate
the truth once it is explained to them."

His Majesty graciously thanked him, and wished him a safe journey back
home. Mr. Lilienthal, in return, expressed his thanks and appreciation.