Arab states’ geopolitical shift from anti-Israeli to anti-Iranian focus is fragile: Richard Falk

August 24, 2020 - 22:7

TEHRAN - Richard Falk, a professor of international law from Princeton University, has said Arab countries have shifted their alliance which was against Israel toward Iran.

“The primary alignment of the Arab countries has shifted from antagonism toward Israel to Iran, with Israel becoming a tacit partner and coupled with U.S. backing,” Falk said in interview with Counterpunch published on August 11.

Falk, who posted the text of the interview on on August 23, made the remarks two days before Donald Trump announced normalization of ties between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel.

The international law professor, who served as UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, said this policy shift has left the Palestinians alone in their struggle to resist the Israeli occupation and annexation plans.
“This has effectively marooned the self-determination struggle of the Palestinian people, leaving them more dependent than ever on their own efforts to resist Israeli occupation and annexation as reinforced by global solidarity initiatives such as the BDS campaign,” Falk stated. 

He added, “It should be noted that this geopolitical shift from an anti-Israeli to an anti-Iranian focus is fragile, reflecting elite recalculations that ignore the continuing solidarity of the citizenries of the Arab countries with the Palestinian struggle.”

Abdullah al-Tawil, an Emirati political activist who lives outside the country, told the Tehran Times that "the Emirates-Israel normalization agreement pours salt on Palestinians’ wound and it is a bridge over the rubble of the Palestinian cause." 

Iran, a non-Arab country whose population is more than 90 percent Shia, has announced that the UAE move in normalizing ties with Israel is a “betrayal” of the Palestinians.

Saleh Gharib, a Qatari analyst, also told the Tehran Times that the new peace agreement between the UAE and Israel, which is known as the Abraham Accord, will threaten Arab countries and Iran's interests by bringing Israel to the region.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Israel on Monday to start a five-day tour of the region focused on normalization of ties between the UAE and Israel and pushing other Arab states to follow suit.

After concluding visit to Israel, Pompeo will visit Sudan, Bahrain and the UAE, the State Department said.
The surprise announcement of the Israel-Emirati pact sparked huge speculation on who might be next, with frequent mentions of Bahrain and Sudan.

According to al Jazeera, Sudan's Foreign Ministry spokesman was fired last week after he made allegedly unauthorized comments indicating contact had been made with Israel regarding normalizing ties.

But the State Department said Pompeo would meet Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok during his tour to "express support for deepening the Sudan-Israel relationship".



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