An urgent call for a change in course amidst deepening conflict
The recent Israeli war on Gaza, which lasted for more than 30 days and killed more than 10,000 Palestinians, including 5000 children, and injured thousands more, has exposed the moral bankruptcy and political complicity of the Arab regimes that claim to support the Palestinian cause.
While Israel unleashed its full military might on the besieged and densely populated coastal strip, bombing residential buildings, media offices, health facilities, roads, and infrastructure, the Arab governments offered nothing but empty words and meaningless actions.
Some of them issued official statements condemning Israel’s aggression and expressing solidarity with the Palestinians. Some of them called for an urgent meeting of the Arab League or the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to discuss the situation. Some of them sent a small trickle of humanitarian aid to Gaza or pledged to contribute to its reconstruction.
But none of them took any concrete steps to pressure Israel to stop its war crimes and end its occupation, colonization, apartheid, and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. None of them used their diplomatic, economic, or military leverage to challenge Israel’s impunity and hold it accountable. None of them dared to sever their ties with Israel or suspend their normalization agreements with it.
On the contrary, some of them continued to deepen their relations with Israel, even as it was massacring Palestinians in Gaza and repressing them in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan, which signed the so-called Abraham Accords with Israel last year under the auspices of the former US administration, did not show any remorse or regret for their betrayal of the Palestinian cause.
They did not even consider revising or reconsidering their normalization deals, which were based on the false premise that Israel would respect the rights of the Palestinians and abide by the two-state solution. Instead, they tried to justify their stance by claiming that they were pursuing their own national interests and that they could influence Israel’s behavior from within.
But this was nothing but a delusion and a deception. The Arab regimes that normalized with Israel did not gain any real benefits or advantages from their deals. They only secured their survival and legitimacy in the eyes of the US and the West, which have always supported Israel and its expansionist agenda.
They also did not have any positive impact on Israel’s behavior or policies. They only emboldened and empowered Israel to continue its violations and atrocities against the Palestinians, knowing that it would not face any serious consequences or repercussions from the Arab world.
The Arab regimes that normalized with Israel have not only betrayed the Palestinians, but also their own peoples, who have expressed their outrage and anger at their leaders’ hypocrisy and complicity. They have also betrayed their own dignity, sovereignty, and identity, which are inseparable from the Palestinian cause and the Arab-Islamic heritage.
The Arab regimes that normalized with Israel have proven that they are not part of the solution, but part of the problem. They have proven that they are not allies, but enemies of the Palestinian people and their struggle for freedom, justice, and dignity.
It is time for the Arab regimes to change course and to sever all ties with Israel. This is not only a moral duty, but also a strategic necessity. This is not only a matter of solidarity, but also a matter of self-interest.
Severing all ties with Israel is one step that the Arab regimes should take to stand up to Israel and to restore their legitimacy and credibility with their own peoples and with the international community. It is also one step that they should take to protect their own security and stability, which are threatened by Israel’s aggression and expansion.
Israel is not a friend, but a foe of the Arab world. It is not a partner, but a rival of the Arab world. It is not a neighbor, but an occupier of the Arab world. It is not a state, but a settler-colonial entity that seeks to erase the Arab presence and identity in the region.
The Arab regimes should realize this reality and act accordingly. They should not be fooled by Israel’s propaganda and deception. They should not be seduced by Israel’s promises and incentives. They should not be intimidated by Israel’s power and pressure.
They should instead join the Palestinian people and their resistance in their quest for liberation and self-determination. They should instead support the global movement of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and human rights. They should instead demand the end of the US military and financial aid to Israel, which enables its oppression and occupation of the Palestinians.
The Arab regimes should not wait for another Israeli war on Gaza or another Israeli massacre of Palestinians to take action. They should act now and act decisively. They should sever all ties with Israel and end their normalization with it. This is the only way to uphold their principles and values, to honor their history and culture, and to secure their future and destiny.
|The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Al-Sarira.