by: Ben-Dror Yemini
Thursday, 17 September 2020 | The Israeli–Arab conflict has been dying for years, and on Tuesday, its death was officially declared.
The Israeli–Palestinian conflict, however, is still alive and kicking and should not be underestimated. The Palestinians insist on immortalizing it, and Arab countries continue paying it lip service.
But they won’t do anything more. They have realized Israel was not their enemy or their problem, but a powerful strategic ally.
Welcome to the new Middle East. It is finally starting to take shape.
While the White House ceremony was taking place, I was taking part in a panel on one of the foreign news channels, alongside Bahraini journalist Yusuf Mubarak. His words, though nothing new, were clear and candid: no more pan-Islamism, no more pan-Arabism. We want peace and mean peace.
Mubarak did not spare any criticism of the Palestinians and did not try to pay them any lip service.
Their leadership had led them from one mistake to another, from recalcitrance to terror, from hijacking airplanes to suicide bombings.
“We want peace, a new era,” he said in perfect English.
We also need education to ensure that peace will become more than a ceremony and warm words.
Prior to the signing of the peace treaty, the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) found that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had already rewritten its school textbooks and added praise for this historic peace that stems “from the true values of Islamic religion.”
It did not happen after the peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan, and certainly not in the Palestinian education system. But here it is happening now.
Israeli–Arab relations have seen more moving moments: for example, when Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s airplane touched ground in Israel before the peace deal between Egypt and Israel was signed, or when the Oslo Accords were signed in Washington.
At the time, we hoped a new era was about to begin, but had seen only a cold peace with Egypt and much, much more violence from the Palestinians.
Tuesday’s agreement, with the rocket salvo fired from the Gaza Strip to Israel as the Emirati foreign minister was speaking, symbolizes the shift that has been taking place in the Arab world for the last two decades.
The Arab world has split into two factions—one that supports jihad [Islamic war with unbelievers], the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist movements that is aligned with Iran, Turkey and Hamas; and another faction that has grown tired of all the violence.
Thirty years ago, the Palestinians supported Saddam Hussein while most of the Arab world turned against him after he invaded neighboring Kuwait. Now they are repeating the same mistake and supporting the axis of violence once more.
Posted on September 17, 2020
Photo Credit: Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour/flickr.com
Photo License: flickr.com
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