The True Motive of the Peace Deals
The clouds of diplomatic sophistication and hollow promises of peace conceal the true motive of the Arab regimes’ peace deals with Israel, which is nothing but to counter Turkey and Iran’s alleged agenda of “regional expansion”. Ilan Pappé, an Israeli historian, notes that “half of the indigenous people living in Palestine were driven out, half of their villages and towns were destroyed, and only very few among them ever managed to return.”
Saudia Arabia and the UAE have only employed only lip service for the Palestinian cause and its people in lavish Arab League summits and futile OIC meetings, at most allowing Palestinian organizations to raise funds but that also faced crackdowns in 2019.
The Israel-Saudi alliance has been clear for quite some time: Israel’s Minister of Energy, Yuval Steinitz, admitted Intelligence sharing with Saudia counterparts in 2017 against a common enemy; Netanyahu supported Muhammad Bin Salman in a rough time after Khashoggi’s assassination in 2018 when Erdoğan was putting everything in an attempt to unseat MBS as he found him an obstacle to fruitful Saudi-Turkey relations.
Israel’s official foreign policy has always been about propagating two fundamentals: first, to depict themselves as surrounded by enemy Arab states from all sides and justifying all illegalities in the name of “self-defense”; and second, to claim friendly relations with all other Arab states and even some non-Arab states.
Threats to Arab monarchs from Turkey and Iran increased dramatically after Arab Spring, and Muhammad Bin Salman, following the death of the usually reluctant and cautious King Abdullah in 2014, with the aim to end Iran and its proxies, took many destructive steps on the foreign front such as ordering multiple bombings in Yemen as Defence Minster and accepting Israel’s right to its own land.
The continuous threat to heredity rule from Qatari-funded Muslim brotherhood groups in the region, Tehran’s alleged agenda of expansion, and an aim to reduce the dependency on oil, brought many regimes closer to Israel more than ever before.
Although It wasn’t difficult for the UAE to sell out the Palestinian cause, considering it had never participated in any of the six Arab-Israel wars, it was still a lot to ask from the masses in the Arab streets to accept the end of the decades-long enmity with Israel even if it was just limited to hollow words and diplomatic blockade.
Israel and Its Alliances
Morocco claims to already have had overt relations with Israel in view of the 1 million Jews having partial family origin from Morocco; Moroccan Jews making the second largest Jewish community after Russian Jews. Several intellectuals and experts have envisioned a greater possibility for the resolution of Palestine’s conflict, ignoring the fact that the Abraham Accords were never signed for that purpose.
Bahrain’s discriminated Shia majority makes it most vulnerable to proxies that the Trump administration and Bahrain allege Iran controls. For example, Bahrain claims that a 2017 oil pipeline explosion a few miles away from the Headquarters of the United States’ fifth fleet was executed with Iran’s help. As a country that faced decades of global isolation, a ban on investments and financial aid, a civil war, a revolution, Sudan declared an economic emergency in September. Since normalization with Israel, Sudan was removed from the United States’ blacklist of terrorism-sponsoring states.
Morocco’s sovereignty on Western Sahara has been officially recognized by the United States, a source of identity for the North African country in return for agreeing to normalization and cooperation in technology and economy. Although Morocco and the United States both are hoping that it will help in settling the dispute in the United Nations over Western Sahara, that may not be the future case “because the issue is divisive in the UN.” said William Lawrence, a professor of political science and international affairs at the American University.
Opposition to the Peace Deals
Every country going into normalization with Israel is facing some kind of domestic resistance and Morocco is no exception. While Moroccan Jews living in Morocco and Israel welcomed this agreement, Rabat, the Moroccan capital witnessed a protest before the Parliament against the normalization.
The Trump administration even offered Indonesia, the country with the largest Muslim population, a billion dollars in return for normalization with Israel. Chief Executive of United States International Development Finance Corporation, Adam Boehler, said that they would double the already established portfolio of 1 billion dollars for Indonesia if they agree.
However, Senior Indonesian MP and Chair of the Committee on Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation in the Indonesian House of Representatives, Fadli Zon, has made clear that Indonesia will never recognize Israel. According to the 2019-2020 Arab Opinion Index, it was found that 88% of Arabs disapproved of Israel’s recognition by their respective home countries, while only 6% agreed to diplomatic ties.
A few days after the normalization deal between Israel and the UAE, reports came of protests in Abu Dhabi by a resistance union, an alliance built by six UAE dissidents, who also held a seminar later in September, inviting intellectuals and writers to increase awareness to the fight against normalization. Even Dhabiya Khamis al Muhairi, a famous Emirati poet, received a travel ban from UAE authorities for having anti-normalization and anti-Israel views.
Turkey, one of the most powerful middle eastern country, both economically and militarily, stated that it wanted to establish better ties with Israel, but Palestinian policy would continue to be their red line. As Erdoğan strengthened his grip over the country, Turkey’s support for Muslim Brotherhood in Arab Spring, aggressive diplomatic and strategic policy on the Syrian front, sending Syrian fighters in Libya and Azerbaijan, among others, were seen by Israel as an agenda of expansion and thus forced Israel to consider Turkey as a threat instead of a partner.
Pakistan has also made clear its position multiple times since the announcement of the Abraham Accords, including one recent statement by Pakistan’s Foreign Minister. Pakistan and Israel have a history full of tension where Pakistan tried to supply 250,000 rifles, three military aircraft, and even its own troops in the first Arab-Israel war.
Israel planned to attack Pakistan’s nuclear facilities in the 80s even without Indian assistance, similar to what it did with Iraq in Operation Opera and with Syria in Operation Outside the Box; even the decades full of attacks on Iranian facilities and scientists. Some other relevant and meaningful countries like Kuwait, Qatar, Algeria, and Tunisia have also openly come out against these deals.
Qatar’s Foreign Minister, Sheikh Muhammad bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, stated that he didn’t see the normalization deals adding any value for Palestinian people and that his country would always be committed to a two-state solution. Algerian Prime Minister, Abdelaziz Djerad, also condemned the Moroccan agreement of normalization with Israel. An Algerian lawmaker has also proposed a bill to ban the pushing of normalization talks with Israel in Algerian media.
The Tunisian Prime Minister, Hichem Mechichi, also ruled out any possibility of diplomatic ties with Israel. Netanyahu made clear in August last year that Israel will not have to retreat from occupied territories for peace. With the conclusion of several peace deals, there will be now nothing to force Israel to agree with a two-state solution.
If you want to submit your articles and/or research papers, please check the Submissions page.
The views and opinions expressed in this article/paper are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of Paradigm Shift.