Op-ed: Mideast peace agreements with Israel are driven by political vested interests

It is an established fact, that there are no permanent foes nor permanent friends in international society. These are the relations that always run by personal interests, writes Waseem Shabbir.

blank

News is circulating in political spheres about Oman and Sudan as the next countries in line to recognize Israel after UAE and Bahrain. These are just the assumptions drawn from the inclination and proximity of Oman and Sudan to Saudi Arabia and recognizing gulf states and the stronger influence of the latter in the former’s politics is what pushing them both to go for normalization with Israel as Bahrain normalized its ties just a month after UAE recognized Israel.

Read more: Normalization with Israel to provide Gulf states cover against growing influence of Iran

These diplomatic developments are not a surprise because Arabs are in relations with Israel for years; therefore, the official announcement of those relations is being made now. Driven by personal interests in the Middle East, such peace agreements with Israel by Arab states is a clear deviation from their pan position for Palestine cause. Bahrain is the fourth Arab country that inked this peace agreement with Israel after, Egypt in 1977, Jordan in 1993, and UAE on 13 August 2020.

Three political dimensions behind peace deals with Israel 

Brokerage of Bahrain-Israel peace agreement and that of UAE-Israel by Donald, J Trump can be ascertained in three political dimensions. One, the main reason for normalizing ties with Israel lies in Trump and Netanyahu’s collective political interests. Trump was in dire need of these peace agreements for his success in US Presidential elections, going to take place on 3rd November. Because, Trump, during his tenure, did not have exceptional success inside and outside of US to satisfy and convince American people to get their favor for him.

Moreover, incessant incidents of sectarianism are what caused unprecedented decline in Trump’s popularity across US. On the other hand, Netanyahu’s authority as PM of Israel, is also in jeopardy these days. The increasing number of protests have gained momentum against Netanyahu for being levelled by accusations of corruption and embezzlements. It proves that, aforementioned two leaders inked these diplomatic peace accords solely for their political objectives.

Read more: The UAE-Israel deal’s historicity is in the fine print

Second, normalization between Israel and Arab states can be perceived as efforts to construct a new block between US, Israel and Arab states against their common adversary, a Shia majority, Iran. This alliance can be more to contain the expanding unprecedented influence of Iran across Middle East.

Third, as evidently, US and China are grappling with each other on almost all diplomatic fronts directly or indirectly. Since China’s mega project of OBOR is progressing rapidly, it is blatantly threatening US hegemony across the globe. Therefore, US brokered peace deals can also be contemplated as efforts to fill the vacuum in Middle East displaying strength to contain China’s influence as well. Indeed, the deals are the outcome of months’ long diplomatic efforts by Trump of US who was surreptitiously cultivating these proximities between Israel and recognizing Arab States.

US’ interest in the petro-world can be gauged from the fact that Trump after coming to power made his first visit to Saudi Arabia.

Bahrain and UAE as Sunni States are associated more with Saudi Arabia in handling their foreign policies. Their dependence on Saudi Arabia compelled them both to normalize their ties with Israel without any reluctance; because, Saudi Arabia is already has close connections with Israel and US. Saudi Arabia also allowed Israel to use its airspace for commercial flights and gave it number of relaxations attempting to get closer to Israel for the acquisition of various objectives in the region, one of them is to subdue and surmount Iran since Iran is a mutual enemy to both Israel and Saudi Arabia. Sectarian rife and respective ideologies between Iran and Saudi Arabia can be taken as the main cause of antagonism between them.

Read more: No deal with Israel, but Saudi Arabia pushes outreach to Jews

As per architected plot, countries like Oman and Sudan can be considered the next ones to give their recognition to Israel under the influence of Saudi Arabia. This will ultimately lead the Saudi Arabia to recognize Israel and officially normalize it’s ties with them.

Will Saudi Arabia recognize Israel? 

However, Salman of Saudi Arabia, father of Muhammad bin Salman, a conservative person, is not ready to swerve from the Arab world’s collective resolution for Palestine cause. Furthermore, the Israelis’ shifting of embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is what offended the Saudi Kings. Nevertheless, these remonstrances  are overcame by various favors including the provision of an exit by US to Prince Muhammad Bin Salman in Khashogi’s assassination case, US full backing of Saudi Arabia in Yemen, and it’s growing animosity against Iran and imposition of economic sanctions on it. In return for these favors by US,  Saudi Arabia, will be necessarily recognizing Israel in near future under US pressure.

Palestinians fear the move by the UAE and now Bahrain will weaken a long-standing pan-Arab position that calls for Israeli withdrawal from occupied territory and acceptance of Palestinian statehood in return for normal relations with Arab countries

Embarking on nefarious designs, US is on Israel’s back for it’s crafty schemes in Middle East where Israel is much engrossed in working to have a deep rift and division among Arab states with sole objective to dominate this oil rich region and make all Arab states recognize Israel. US’ interest in the petro-world can be gauged from the fact that Trump after coming to power made his first visit to Saudi Arabia.

Read more: Hezbollah says border talks not ‘normalisation’ with Israel

Bahrain and UAE’s recognition of Israel and their divergence from Palestine cause, amidst Israel’s innumerable human rights violations and war crimes in Palestine, is beyond humanity. According to authentic resources, Israel has, in total, annexed up to 78% land of Palestine including the occupation of 20% of West Bank to date. As per world reports, 25000 Palestinians have been martyred in belligerence between Israel and Palestine from 1948 to date. Thousands of women have been raped at the hands of Israeli troops.

Israeli atrocities and barbarism in Palestine are still unceasing as 310 Palestinians were reportedly killed, injured 29000, including hundreds of children, women, paramedics, and number of journalists in between 2018 to 2020. Reports disclose that, Israel, while transgressing the Security Council resolutions, has constructed 121 illegal settlements in West Bank, which is a flagrant violation of international law. Israeli authorities also unlawfully detained thousands of Palestinians and held hundreds in administrative detention without a charge or trial.

Betrayal of the Palestinian cause

Palestinians fear the move by the UAE and now Bahrain will weaken a long-standing pan-Arab position that calls for Israeli withdrawal from occupied territory and acceptance of Palestinian statehood in return for normal relations with Arab countries

Deplorably, Palestine cause, which was depending on the disposal of Arab world, is crumbling, after their obvious tilt towards Israel in form of its recognition. Newly established ties between Israel and Bahrain are totally unjustifiable in context to Palestine cause. How hypocritical it is that Israel is all bent upon erasing complete existence of Palestine and Bahrain and UAE are embracing it?

The Palestinian Liberation Organization said in a statement that the peace deal with Bahrain is “another treacherous stab in the back for the Palestinian cause.”

Read more: Bahrainis protest US-sponsored Israel normalisation deal

“By normalizing ties with the occupation, Bahrain is breaking all Arab resolutions. It is rejected, condemned and it represents a betrayal of the Palestinian cause,” said Wassel Abu Youssef, a senior PLO official in Ramallah. Hamas commented that the deal is an implementation of Trump’s Middle East peace plan, which aims to bring an end to the Palestinian cause. The Turkish foreign ministry strongly condemned Bahrain’s decision to establish diplomatic ties with Israel, adding it will deal a fresh blow to the efforts to defend the Palestinian cause.

It is an established fact, that there are no permanent foes nor permanent friends in international society. These are the relations that always run by personal interests.

Clasping Israel will certainly have devastating impacts on the whole region in general and for Palestine in particular. Such moves will prompt and provoke Iran against Israel and Gulf countries as well, which may trigger a severe belligerence between them leading to dreadful catastrophe. Likewise, Palestine will be shrunk more since no demand was put by UAE and Bahrain before Israel to abandon its occupation from Palestine before they normalized their ties with it.

To encapsulate, there are certainly some principles, rules and regulations that should have been followed by Bahrain and UAE before their recognition of Israel. They could have made their recognitions of Israel conditional with the withdrawal of Israel from Palestine occupied territory and its acceptance as an independent state. However, it is an established fact, that there are no permanent foes nor permanent friends in international society. These are the relations that always run by personal interests.

Waseem Shabbir is a Gujranwala based political analyst and a freelance columnist. He can be reached at waseemshabbir78@gmail.com. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.

 


blank