Dumping Israel love-fest, Dubai security chief embraces anti-Semitism

Dhahi Tamim, who surprised the Arab world by tweeting calls for ties with Israel and friendship with Jews, changes tune radically

Dov Lieber is The Times of Israel's Arab affairs correspondent.

Dahi Khalfan Tamim (screen capture AlJazeeraEnglish/YouTube)
Dahi Khalfan Tamim (screen capture AlJazeeraEnglish/YouTube)

The Dubai security chief who made headlines last month by calling for an Arab coalition with Israel has since made numerous anti-Semitic comments online, apparently backtracking on his congeniality toward the Jewish state.

Lt. Gen. Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, deputy head of Dubai Police and General Security, embarked on a days-long Twitter screed in mid-March calling for open ties with Israel and accepting the possible failure of an independent Palestinian state. He also said Arabs should not treat Jews as enemies

However, later in March, he appeared to pull an about-face, predicting the destruction of Israel and lashing out at what he called “Jewish control” of the US.

“Israel will fall on its own evil actions. I suggest to my Jewish cousins to give the Palestinians a state on 1947 borders,” Tamim wrote on March 29, referring to the year before the creation of the State of Israel.

Earlier the same day, he hinted that Israel is supporting the Islamic State terror group which managed to strike at the “heart of Europe,” likely referring to the March 22 Brussels bombings.

On April 8, while debating with an Israeli woman on Twitter about Israel-US relations in the eyes of the Arab world, the Dubai security chief wrote, “The Jews run America.”

In a similar tweet on the same day Tamim wrote, “the US isn’t a Jewish country but suffers from Jewish control.”

On April 7, Tamim accused Jews of having a collective personality disorder and causing trouble wherever they are.

“Jews need psychologists to analyze their personality,” he wrote, unprompted. “They have never left a country without angering its people. In a hundred years, Americans will leave as refugees due to the oppression of our cousins.”

It wasn’t clear what had precipitated the apparent change of heart.

Tamim’s earlier statements supporting Israel and Jews had drawn interest for flouting a long-standing Arab taboo on speaking positively about the Jewish state.

“America is trying to get closer to Israel…the entire world is…Rapprochement will solve problems. Why shouldn’t we have a coalition with the Jews against the enemies of the Middle East,” Tamim, known as a conversational and rare unimpeded voice in the Arab world, wrote to his 1.3 million Twitter followers on March 21.

Tamim’s comments came after he tweeted about Israel’s announcement on March 21 that the last Jews of Yemen who wished to escape the war-torn country had been brought to the Jewish state in a secret mission.

He also entreated his followers “not to treat Jews as enemies, rather as cousins with conflict over land inheritance.” He argued for an eventual Palestinian-governed binational state, which would be able to join the Arab League.

His statements were harshly criticized in the Arab press, which accused him of pandering to Jewish interests.

Tamim is considered one of the Emirates’ top security officials.

In 2010, he butted heads with Israel when he accused the Mossad spy agency of carrying out the assassination of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel room.

Tamim published names and pictures of 19 operatives involved, setting off a diplomatic scandal when it emerged the passports and identities they had used were stolen.

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