Jordanian Palestinian journalist Yousef Alawneh has justified his sudden move from criticising Saudi Arabia to supporting it in his articles.
“We didn’t know what’s going on and we were following the delusion … of people. Now, we know how Saudi Arabia is a god-granted country and whoever is close to Saudi Arabia wins and those who deviate lose,” he wrote.
Looking on the official YouTube channel of the journalist would give the impression that he is an absolute defender of Saudi institutions and the first to attack for the Mullah’s regime.
The sudden movement in Alawneh’s position requires explanation.
The answer lies in Abu Dhabi, where Muhammad Dahlan and Muhammad Bin Zayed are forming a network of journalists under the directions of the UAE ambassador to the US, Yousef Al Otaiba (pictured, on the right).
First, they launched Alghad TV in order to challenge Al Jazeera, but when they failed, they changed its focus to local issues and assigned the task of facing Al Jazeera to Muhammad Dahlan, who recruited Journalists to speak with a Saudi voice. Alawneh is one of them.
The contradictions between the interests of the UAE and Saudi Arabia clarified the UAE inclination of the journalists.
The relationship between the UAE and Saudi Arabia is not going as well as it might seem, especially as the UAE is trying to weaken the Saudi influence in the area after the absence of an Egyptian presence for several years.
The war in Yemen shows the clear contradiction between the two countries. The UAE controls South Yemen completely and there were leaks suggesting that it was intending to oust the Saudi-backed president Abed Rabbu Mansour Hadi to replace him with the son of the former Yemeni president, Ahmed Bin Ali Abdullah Saleh.
These contrasting agendas of the two countries goes back to 2008. A Wikileaks document showed Bin Zayed’s contempt for Saudi Arabia, confirming that they are not his friends. Moreover, he insulted former Saudi crown prince Naief Bin Abdul Aziz.
The absence of most UAE rulers at King Abdullah’s funeral also illustrates the Saudi-UAE conflict.
Otaiba’s policies saved the situation, especially when Mohammad Bin Zayed came to office and the UAE started providing him with unlimited support as they launched a strategic alliance against Qatar and regional Islamists.
Alawneh started to follow Saudi Arabia’s leadership when he was ousted from Kuwait due to his sectarian tweets against Iran.
Many observers say that his perspective before being ousted from Kuwait was purely pro-Saudi, as he was attacking Iraqi Shiites and calling for the return of Saddam Hussein’s party to the Iraqi political scene.
Leaks confirm Otaiba’s connections with Western journalists, and Dahlan’s connections with Arabian journalists, as tweeted by “Mujtahid”.
Alawneh confirmed his meeting with Mohammad Bin Zayed through his own YouTube channel.
Alawneh speaks to his Arabian followers about Saudi interests, according to the directions he gets from Dahlan in the UAE.
Observers have said that the crackdown against the Emirati owners of the major TV networks Rotana, ART and MBC is an attempt by the Saudi crown prince to oust King Abdullah’s old supporters and replace them with his own.
The resignation of the former director of Arabia TV, Abdul Rahman Al Rashid, comes alongside the crackdown against old media figures and their replacement with supporters of Salman.
Alawneh depended on the fact that the mass memory was too short, and he turned his position upside down and started attacking those whom he had previously supported, starting with the journalist Abdul Bary Atwan.