Sky News Arabia manager suggests Arabs must choose between Gaza and Abu Dhabi

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Nadim Koteich, a Lebanese-Emirati national, is the general manager of Sky News Arabia, which broadcasts from Abu Dhabi (X)
‘On one side there is famine, on the other, investments in AI,’ Nadim Koteich told viewers, as he contrasted Gaza turmoil with prosperity of Saudi Arabia and UAE

Nadim Koteich, the Lebanese-Emirati general manager of Sky News Arabia, has sparked widespread condemnation after suggesting that Arabs must choose sides between Gaza and Abu Dhabi.

In his Tonight with Nadim show, broadcast on the Abu Dhabi-based channel on Monday, Koteich drew a contrast between Palestine on the one hand and the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia on the other, saying they represent “two Middle Easts”.

“A million Palestinians in Gaza are on the brink of famine. Their biggest dream is a loaf of bread,” he said.

“But three hours away by plane, in Abu Dhabi, an announcement was made that an IT investment company was established, focusing on AI [artificial intelligence] and semiconductors. It will sign deals worth more than $100 billion,” he added.

“Saudi Arabia is also three hours away by plane from Gaza. It will also invest $40 billion in AI,” the presenter said.

He then went on to compare the two models, claiming the UAE and Saudi models were more conducive to peace and success.

“On one side there is famine, on the other, investments in AI. This is not one Middle East. These are two Middle Easts: one Middle East whose priority is resistance and its results are famine, and another whose priority is peace and the results are success. One Middle East is living in the past, and the other is creating the future. Which one do you support?”

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In response to the video, many social media users rejected Koteich’s argument, and questioned whether the UAE is doing enough to prevent famine in Gaza, after more than five months of an Israeli siege and onslaught that have killed over 32,000 Palestinians.

“If they had an ounce of honour and dignity, they would not have allowed famine to happen three hours away,” one X user wrote.

Another wrote: “At first, I expected him to say: Shame on us for investing in artificial intelligence while our brothers in Gaza are dying of starvation. Whoever does not do good for his brothers in their time of distress will never do good.”

A third X user said the contrast was based on unsound logic.

“Could the UAE have achieved these achievements if it had been under brutal occupation for 75 years? Please have some logic in your argument.”

The UAE joined other Arab countries, including BahrainMorocco and Sudan, in establishing ties with Israel as part of US-brokered normalisation agreements in 2020. Palestinians denounced the deals as “a stab in the back“.

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Disclaimer: Sky News Arabia manager suggests Arabs must choose between Gaza and Abu Dhabi - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect point-of-view

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