Normalization: A Step in the Opposite Arab Direction

The joint statement between the United States, United Arab Emirates and Israel, which calls for the “full normalization of relations” between the two Middle Eastern countries, is considered as a motivation for other Arab countries to start normalizing their relations with Israel.  

Written by: Jihad Harb

The joint statement between the United States, United Arab Emirates and Israel, which calls for the “full normalization of relations” between the two Middle Eastern countries, is considered as a motivation for other Arab countries to start normalizing their relations with Israel.  Therefore, this step imposes a new reality, as it enables other willing Arab states and governments to enter into similar agreements, but in a direction that is opposite to the Arab Peace Initiative. This is based on ending Israel’s colonization of Arab and Palestinian lands occupied in 1967 as a condition for a comprehensive peace with Israel. It further constituted a victory for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s vision, which sought to reverse the aims of the Arab Peace Initiative since its declaration in 2002, namely regional peace, by normalizing Israel’s relations with the Arab countries and then discussing an agreement with the Palestinians, as groups scattered in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

There may be several motives behind the transition from secret relations to public agreements, including to stop or postpone Israel’s annexation plan, to help Donald Trump in his current election campaign, or even as a gift to Benjamin Netanyahu from the US administration because of the internal conflicts that he is encountering, such as the demonstrations opposing him, the coalition government’s crisis and his trial on corruption charges. Some of the other motives may also include the Emirati government’s fear of Iran or as a punishment for the Palestinian leadership for the existing relationship between them. As a result, this harms the Palestinian situation more than it helps and assists Israel to continue its colonial plans, rather than prevent them, and weakens the Palestinian political position. This will also damage the Palestinian-Emirati relationship and brotherly ties that unite them.

I personally believe that this announcement will convey some of the other countries’ rush to establish agreements with Israel and normalize their relations without fear of violating the Arab consensus, especially since Arab parties did not see this agreement as a contradiction to the decisions of the Arab League.

On the other hand, the Palestinian leadership and cause have been abandoned by the Arab countries, as an Arab discord has been created along with a public dispute with the broader Arab front who supports the Palestinian confrontation to achieve liberation and the eradication of Israel colonialism.

According to the US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, the upcoming steps in the coming weeks are based on further revitalizing Palestinian diplomacy with the Arab brothers, working to preserve the Arab consensus, unengaging in side disputes and preventing Arab rejection of the American-Israeli position.

The real action of Palestinians comes in two basic steps: 1. To restore unity and end the Palestinian division. 2. To relinquish peace with Israel not only through negotiations but rather in an open confrontation with colonialism and its colonial tools, foremost amongst which is the settlement invasion of the West Bank. This can be achieved through the strategy of unarmed resistance, with the full and actual immersion of the political leaders in the confrontation process.

The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author and not necessarily the opinion of the Association or donor.

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