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Robert Bain

Kuwaiti writer's support for Israel provokes social media backlash

Hadlaq implied Israeli soldiers were merely defending themselves against attack, ignoring the occupation [Getty]

Date of publication: 19 October, 2015

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Blog: Abdullah al-Hadlaq has provoked a backlash for his views on Israel's right to defend itself against the "terrorism of Palestinian knives".
A Kuwaiti columnist known for his pro-Israeli views provoked a storm of criticism on social media when he wrote this weekend that Israel had a legitimate right to defend itself against the "terrorism of [Palestinian] knives".

Abdullah al-Hadlaq was referring to the recent wave of violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories some have dubbed "the intifada of knives", because of the number of stabbing attacks against Israelis.

Hadlaq's latest article, The terrorism of knives and the right of Israel to self-defence, was published in the Kuwaiti daily al-Watan on 17 October, but had apparently been taken down by the morning of 19 October.

"With the increase of [Palestinian] crimes, and the terrorism of knives against Israeli soldiers... and against innocent civilians," Hadlaq wrote, "Israel's legitimate right to defend itself and kill [Palestinian] terrorists, whatever their age, children, youths, male and female, is clear," Egyptian news site Rassd reported.

Strong reactions on social media

Kuwaiti poet Ahmed al-Kandari took to Twitter to express his strong opposition to the article and called for it to be taken down.

Translation: "As a Muslim and a Kuwaiti citizen, I strongly oppose the article of Abdullah al-Hadlaq that attacks the rights of the Palestinians and request it be removed from the site."

Ahmed al-Hojairat, a blogger from Kuwait, tweeted that Hadlaq's article must have been published in error:

Translation: "The writer Abdullah al-Hadlaq published this article in the newspaper al-Watan by mistake, instead of publishing it in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz."

Abdallah Marouf, a teacher at Taibah University in Medina, was more blunt in his feelings about Hadlaq:

Translation: "I would savour the moment before I spit in the face of the contemptable Kuwaiti writer (Abdallah al-Hadlaq) and his newspaper, falsely called al-Watan ["The Nation"] after it published this article..."

A long-standing supporter of Israel

Hadlaq is known for his long-standing support of Israel. In the past he has urged Kuwait to normalise relations with Israel, asserted the right of the "people of Israel" to control Jerusalem and praised Israel's model of democracy, contrasting it with Arab autocracy.

In his most recent article, he wrote: "The [claims of the] Palestinian diaspora are void in the face of Israel's clear right to defend itself and its people and its soldiers, despite the feeble response of the international community."

He also called on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to "stop inciting hatred" and to condemn attacks against Israelis.

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