The balance between the Arab countries after normalization with Israel
The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan entered into normal relations agreements with Israel since August. Now they face the challenge not to jeopardize this new dialogue with harsh criticism of Israel – and at the same time not to neglect decades of support for the Palestinians.
On Friday evening, the UAE published a moderate statement calling on all parties to pledge to take immediate steps to cease fire, start political dialogue, and exercise maximum restraint. The Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported that Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Sajid expressed his condolences to “all the victims of the recent fighting.” After storming the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the UAE called on Israel in a moderate tone to “avoid practices that endanger the sanctity of the mosque.”
Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan also condemned the clashes at Al-Aqsa Mosque, but did not comment on the situation in Gaza. Your criticism of Israel has remained somewhat restrained in the past few days.
By their rapprochement, the countries turned away from a long line of Arab governments to reject relations with Israel as long as the conflict with the Palestinians remained unresolved. In addition to the economic advantages, they were also interested in an alliance against their common arch-enemy Iran.
However, in some cases, the countries also revert to previously dominant rhetoric. The former UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, described on Twitter “ending the Israeli occupation with a two-state solution and an independent Palestinian state” as a “historic and principled position.”
Similar comments came from Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which have yet to normalize relations with Israel. Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita described the Palestinian issue as a constant concern “in a firm and clear position on the kingdom.”
In September, then-US President Donald Trump described the rapprochement with Israel, mediated by Washington, as “a basis for comprehensive peace in the entire region.” Trump spoke of “the beginning of a new Middle East.” The Palestinian leadership refused to enter into a dialogue with the Trump administration and accused the then American president of unilaterally bias towards Israel. Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, is trying to broker a ceasefire. (dpa / mv)