(Jerusalem, Israel) — In a story headlined, “Israeli In Saudi,” Israel’s Channel 10 News broadcast a report Wednesday evening about our Evangelical Delegation’s meeting with the Saudi Crown Prince, putting a special focus on my dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship.
The report was by Barak Ravid, one of the nation’s leading diplomatic correspondent’s. It ran during the 8pm broadcast.
Ravid published a separate report via Axios, the U.S.-based news wire system (see below).
You can watch the TV segment with English subtitles by clicking here.
By Barak Ravid, Axios, November 7, 2018
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) told a group of American evangelical leaders last Thursday that he is going to punish those responsible for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi but stressed that the crisis must not shift the focus away from the Iranian threat in the region and the world, Joel Rosenberg, who organized the delegation and attended the meeting, told me.
Inside the room: Rosenberg said MBS attacked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Iranians and even the Russians. “He said his enemies are using everything they can to exploit this situation and make it worse,” Rosenberg said. “He said, ‘Listen, I am arresting people, firing people. Iran? When they kill people are they arresting people? No. You get promoted. What about the Russians? What about the Turks?'”
(Jerusalem, Israel) — On Wednesday, The Jerusalem Post published the first in-depth story on our Evangelical Delegation to Saudi Arabia, why we went, and what the Crown Prince told us behind closed doors.
As I told editors Yaakov Katz and Seth Frantzman in the Post’s offices yesterday, the entire meeting in the Royal Palace was on the record, except for what MBS told us regarding his views of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Our team took detailed notes and I provided some of the excerpts of our conversation to the Post. Here’s the article.
MBS TO EVANGELICALS: KHASHOGGI MURDER WAS TERRIBLE “HEINOUS ACT”: But he won’t let it stop his ability to take his country where he wants to go, the delegation head says.
By Seth Frantzman, The Jerusalem Post, November 6, 2018
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman said he will not let the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi hinder the vision he has for his country, a visiting Evangelical delegation relayed.
“The crown prince called it a heinous act,” Joel Rosenberg, who led the delegation of Evangelical Christians from the US on November 1, told The Jerusalem Post, adding how the Saudi leader is reshaping the Middle East. “He said it was a terrible mistake.”
According to Rosenberg, the Saudi leader was convincing in seeking to put the perpetrators in prison.
“He also wants to keep moving. He doesn’t want it [the killing] to implode his ability to take his country where it wants to go.”
MBS was willing to discuss the killing and understood concerns over it, but wanted to stress that the tragedy would not cause him to stop his reforms. “My enemies are exploiting this to the fullest,” he said.
The crown prince also said the head of Egyptian intelligence recently came to Riyadh, and a terrorist cell with Saudi citizens had been caught in northern Sinai. “They were planning to assassinate me,” MBS told the delegation.
“We must fight the extremists and defeat them or they will stop us and the reforms we are making to make life better for the people of Saudi Arabia,” he said during the historic meeting at the Royal Palace in Riyadh. “We are fighting extremists in the ideological war and we are fighting terrorists in a physical war,” he said, sketching out a plan to bolster an alliance in the region with the US and other Saudi allies.
The visit came at a time of great change in the region. Rosenberg arrived in Riyadh a week after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned from Oman and days after Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev was in the United Arab Emirates. It also came in wake of the Manama Dialogue summit where Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir had praised the US for defeating ISIS and confronting Iran.
The crown prince sat for hours with the delegation of Christian leaders. For Rosenberg, a dual US-Israel citizen, it was the culmination of a series of similar discussions. He has met multiple times with….
(Cairo, Egypt, November 5, 2018) — Completing an 11-day swing to three Arab states — the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt — on Sunday evening I met with Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II, and Dr. Andrea Zaki, head of all the Protestant churches in Egypt. We met in Cairo in the office of His Holiness the Pope.
I expressed to both leaders my deepest condolences for the horrific terrorist attack against Egyptian Christians on Friday in Minya. ISIS jihadists killed seven Christians and wounded 18 more, including children. They were returning from a child’s baptism celebration. Overall the security situation in Egypt has been improving. But this was the deadliest attack against Christians in Egypt this year.
In addition, I briefed both leaders on the work of our Evangelical Delegation in the region, and particularly on our meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS). Pope Tawadros welcomed the Crown Prince to the church he shepherds earlier this year in an historic and unprecedented moment. I had mentioned to MBS when we met with him on Thursday that I would be seeing the Pope a few days later. It should be noted that the Archbishop of Canterbury in the UK also met with MBS earlier this year in London, which was also unprecedented and very encouraging. (see pictures below.)
Please keep the Christians of Egypt — and all Egyptians — in your prayers as they battle terrorists and extremists and work to transform their society towards a safer and more prosperous future. The Bible is clear: God loves Egypt. We should, too.