Which Arab rulers trying hard to remain in power via appeasing Israel?

May 9, 2020 - 11:34

Certain Arab rulers, mainly along the southern coast of the Persian Gulf, have resorted to propagating a series of fake historical fables to pave the ground better than ever to normalize relations with Israel to enjoy more supports by the Tel Aviv and its western allies, ignoring the Palestinian cause and even their own people's viewpoints.  

Mohammad Ayesh, a senior journalist and analyst, has condemned approach of a new generation of Arab rulers who try hard to resume all-out relations with Israel.

"There is a significant shift in the Arab world concerning relations with Israel. Jordan and Egypt previously signed peace agreements with Tel Aviv and established public and official relations with the occupying power. However, the current situation in the Arab region is unprecedented. In the past, no one was trying to pave the way for normalization with the occupation through offending Palestinians or demonizing them, nor trying to portray the occupation as a victim that must be compensated for the years of deprivation in which it was regarded an outcast in our Arab region," Ayesh wrote in his article published by the Middle East Monitor.

The new normalization campaign, based in the Persian Gulf area, appears clearly in the Ramadan drama shows of a number of the Persian Gulf states. It cost huge budgets and is characterized this time by an attempt to change the ideological logic adopted by the public towards Palestine ‑ a matter that is unique. Historically, countries such as Jordan and Egypt attempted only to persuade people of justifications that drive them to establish relations with Tel Aviv, but never tried to change the perception of the occupation.

Rather, Jordan and Egypt continue to consider Israel as an occupying country and demanded that it abides by international resolutions. As for some of the Persian Gulf countries, lies and fables are being promoted, such as, “Israel is mentioned in the Qur’an… it is the same as the Children of Israel… Palestinians sold their lands to the Jews…  the current drama shows obtained the approval of the Palestinian Authority…” These are all myths and lies that are baseless and have no explanation, except that they are used as justification for normalization with the occupation, which is a forbidden relationship that people refuse.

This campaign for normalization with the Israeli occupation is based on a number of very dangerous deceptions and fallacies. It aims at changing the facts of history and transforming the convictions of ordinary people towards the conflict in Palestine. It begins with demonizing the Palestinians on an ethnic and racial basis, aiming to portray Israelis as friends, and Palestinians as enemies. It is becoming very clear that we are facing a new wave of normalization with the Israeli occupation and those Arab countries which used to believe that the Palestinian case is a central national case, no longer believe so. There is also a new generation of Arab rulers, who want to reach power through US and Israeli consent, rather than through public approval and elections, which have become rare in the Arab region.

One positive aspect regarding the current events is that the new normalization campaign is exposed, and it does not seem to be successful. This is evident through the fact that it started years ago but is still draining huge amounts of money, and all in vain. Had electronic armies, on Twitter and other social media networks, succeeded in what they have been doing over the past five years, there would have been no need for producing Ramadan shows with such large budgets. What is certain is that the public masses in the Persian Gulf area still believe in their causes, and they are still an integral part of the nation. They still remember their history which cannot be forged, and they know that Jerusalem is at the heart of Palestine, that it is the capital of Palestine, and that this holy land has a profound religious status that politics cannot alter. Therefore, a Ramadan show or a hashtag on Twitter, cannot possibly change these facts because they are solid unchanging beliefs.

A report published by Anadolu in mid-February revealed a number of attempts done by certain Arab officials to broaden relations with Israel.    

Since the beginning of 2020, the pace of normalization between Israel and Arab countries has accelerated considerably on the political, military, economic, and even sports fronts, the report read.

Tel Aviv has been keen to publicly announce secret relations with Arab countries in a bid to break with political tradition.

Current developments coincided with the announcement of the so-called "Deal of the Century" the White House unveiled late last month.

Notably, Egypt and Jordan are the only Arab countries that have public diplomatic relations with Israel.

The following are the main developments since the beginning of 2020:

Jan. 19: Israel officially announces its participation in Expo 2020 Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The exhibition will be held from Oct. 2020 until April 2021.

The UAE, for its part, did not comment on the Israeli announcement.

Jan. 28: Ambassadors of the UAE, Bahrain, and Oman take part in the White House unveiling ceremony for the so-called "Deal of the Century" in Washington, D.C.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked them for attending the event.

Jan. 30: French website Intelligence Online announces that Morocco has received three Israeli-made aircraft.

Three Israel Aerospace Industries Heron drones were purchased for $48 million to spy on desert areas.

Rabat neither confirmed nor denied the report.

Jan. 31: Emirati Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan retweets the link to an article calling on Palestinians not to refuse the "Deal of the Century."

The article was an opinion piece published by The New York Times titled "Every Time Palestinians Say ‘No,’ They Lose."

Feb. 3: Netanyahu meets General Abdul Fattah Al-Burhan, the chairman of Sudan’s ruling Sovereign Council, in Entebbe, Uganda where both of them agreed to "start cooperation that would lead to normalization of relations between the two countries."

The Times of Israel newspaper cited a high-ranking Sudanese military official as saying that the UAE organized the meeting.

The Sudanese official said only a “small circle” of senior officials in Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt were informed about the meeting.

The source added that al-Burhan agreed to meet Netanyahu because officials thought this would help "accelerate" the process of removing Sudan from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism.

“We agreed to begin cooperation that will lead to normalization of relations between the two countries,” Netanyahu tweeted.

However, Israel said the meeting was arranged by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

Feb. 6: The Israeli Cycling Academy announces it has signed Moroccan bike champion Mahdi Shukri as the first Arab to join a cycling team in Israel.

The academy welcomed Shukri on Twitter, stressing he is the first Muslim Arab cycler to join it.

Feb. 7: The Israel Hayom daily newspaper says intensive talks have been underway to hold a "historic meeting" in Cairo between Netanyahu and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

It said there have been discussions between Washington, Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia to arrange a summit meeting in Cairo soon.

The talks were pushed for by the US' Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has been, according to the same daily, mediating between Israel and Saudi Arabia on the matter for several months.

It pointed out that the summit meeting would be attended by "the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and also the leaders of the United Arab Emirates, Sudan, Bahrain, and Oman."

The newspaper cited senior Arab diplomatic sources who said the summit would be held "as early as the coming weeks, even before the election in Israel" slated for March.

For his part, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud denied the report, saying: "There are no plans to hold a meeting between Saudi Arabia and Israel."

Feb. 12: Israeli Arabic-speaking i24 News channel reveals that Ahmed bin Sulayem, chairman of the Dubai Diamond Exchange, will visit Israel for three days to participate in International Diamond Week in Tel Aviv. The Israeli daily of The Jerusalem Post confirmed that the visit had already taken place.

The UAE did not comment on the report.

According to Anadolu, Palestinian factions in early May called on Arab societies to combat campaigns aimed at normalizing relations with Israel.

"Those campaigning for normalization are a small fraction, who don't represent the Arab nation; they are affiliated with international parties like the US," Hani al-Thawabta of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) group told a press conference in Gaza City.

He described the broadcast of TV shows promoting normalization with Israel by an Arab TV channel as a "crime against the Arab mind".

The PFLP leader was referring to TV series Exit 7 and Umm Haroun, which are being aired by the Dubai-based Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC), which have drawn ire from Palestinians.

"The ethical, national and humanitarian responsibility requires all the free and honorable people to reject all forms of normalization," Hani al-Thawabta said.