Last Friday the Arab world spoke Hebrew, as three Arab countries raised the Israeli flag. These flags were raised in Qatar as it hosted the Israeli gymnastics team, in the UAE where the Israeli judo team competed and in Oman, where Sultan Qaboos hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife. It was as if the Arab leaders were competing for Israel’s compassion and satisfaction, so much so that I could almost hear Netanyahu saying: “Please wait your turn, Arabs. Everyone will get one”. These countries have flattered the Israeli enemy in their frenzied race towards normalisation; everyone is running towards Israel, as it is the protector of their thrones. This reminds me of the late Nizar Qabbani’s poem “Jogging”.
We are living in the time of jogging,
like sheep before slaughter
We ran, breathless
we scrambled to kiss
The shoes of the killers . . . .
On this day of jogging, six Palestinians were martyred by the Israeli enemy while peacefully protesting during the 32nd week of the Great March of Return. The Omani Foreign Minister, Yusuf Bin Alawi, was not ashamed to describe the visit as one from “a state in the region” to discuss a solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
After the Israeli leader’s auspicious visit to an Arab country – that Israel does not have diplomatic relations with – he ordered his army to attack the Gaza Strip. How, then, was the goal to discuss efforts for peace? Israel’s purpose in this visit to Oman and the secret meetings which took place between Netanyahu and Arab military and political officials – that were deliberately exposed by Israeli media – and in normalising sports and art activities is to change Arab attitudes towards the occupation and Palestine. Israel aims to build a new Arab consciousness that does not consider it the historical enemy of the Arab nation. This new consciousness would consider Israel a friend, just like any surrounding Arab country. This approach mirrors what was said by the Omani minister regarding Israel being a state in the Middle East and that it is therefore not strange for Israel to visit Oman.
The Arab media and liberal elites formed in American research centres, which work to shift the enemy compass from Israel to Iran, Turkey and the Islamic resistance Hamas, are also carrying out this task. They are also working to promote normalisation with the Israeli occupation and seeking to change and falsify history regarding all of the historical symbols associated with Palestine, as well as offending the entire Palestinian nation and accusing them of selling their land. However, the truth of the matter is that this great nation has made the biggest sacrifices for a century to resist the most brutal and criminal occupation in history.
#Normalisation_is_a_betrayal. It is a betrayal of those martyrs who have soaked the land with their blood over the past 60 years. It is a betrayal of Al-Aqsa. It is a disgrace for the Israeli anthem to be played and Israel’s flag to be risen high up in the skies of an Arab country, in the skies of Doha and Dubai, regardless of the justification. It is shameful for Doha and Dubai to host Israeli athletes in any sports championship or event at all. Normalised relations with Israel are a betrayal, regardless of who has committed it and what excuse has been used to justify it. Such excuses are baseless and worthless.
Despite all the desperate attempts and efforts made either by Israel, the Arab Zionist elites, or the Arab Zionist leaders in order to make normalisation a reality, the majority of Arab nations reject normalisation. The Qatari people have made it clear that they reject the hosting of the Israeli gymnastics team and held up signs saying: “No normalisation”.
The overwhelming majority of Arab people have not and will not change the direction of their compass. They still see Jerusalem as the centre of their compass and Palestine remains in their hearts. Their number one issue is the conflict with Israel. It is Israel that confiscated the heart of the nation, Palestine, and it must return it to the nation, regardless of how long the conflict continues. Israel will not be allowed to monopolise Palestine. It will not be allowed to separate Palestine from its Arab surroundings and push away the Arab countries by means of such desperate normalisation, which will never see the light of day as long as there is a living, breathing nation and strong men.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.