The sight of Arab foreign ministers meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Warsaw was reminiscent of the meeting between the late Yasser Arafat and Netanyahu's predecessor Yitzhak Rabin in 1991, which ended with the signing of the ill-fated Oslo Accords. The difference between the two meetings is that the Oslo meeting was limited to the Israelis and Palestinians, while Warsaw brought together ministers from ten Arab countries, headed by the Gulf States, and Israel to form what is in effect an international coalition against Iran. The Palestinians were missing, as they were not one of the 60 countries invited to the conference, and so the Palestinian cause itself was not on the Warsaw agenda, despite the fact that it was meant to be discussing peace and security in the Middle East.
The Arab countries rushed to Warsaw to have the privilege of meeting Netanyahu and sitting beside him. "Tonight I believe we are beginning a new era," announced US Vice President Mike Pence, "with Prime Minister Netanyahu from the State of Israel, with leaders from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, all breaking bread together, and later in this conference sharing honest perspectives on the challenges facing the area."
This was a disgrace for the Arab nation. These Zionist Arabs have brought such shame upon us, dragging the nation to hit rock bottom while we had no say in the matter. They sat down and ate with those whose hands are stained with the blood of the Palestinians.
The Palestinian cause clearly means nothing to these Arab Zionists. At least three Gulf leaders have said on more than one occasion that Israel is no longer an enemy, and that the true enemy is Iran; that Israel's nuclear arsenal does not pose a threat to them but Iran's nuclear project does. In fact, the Israeli threat is very real; the Zionist state has at least 200 nuclear bombs, while Iran has not yet produced a single one. Iran is the bogey sold to these Arab Zionists by the US to exploit their natural resources and relieve them of billions of dollars in arms sales; as President Donald Trump put it, "to milk them." The irony is that these Gulf countries have diplomatic ties with Iran, are expanding their economic partnerships, and have high-level trade links. Nevertheless, they listen to and believe their American masters, just as they believed them about Saddam the Bogeyman in the past. The eventual consequence of that was the handing over of Iraq to Iran on a silver platter. The Arab Zionists will never learn.
UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah Bin Zayed said recently that Israel has the right to defend its land and completely ignored the fact that "its land" is an Arab land called Palestine and has been for thousands of years. He overlooked the fact that he is defending the rights of occupiers who have seized and colonised Arab Palestine. Shamefully, Bin Zayed mentioned Israel's "right" but did not utter a single word about the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman has shown himself to be equally adept at ignoring Palestinian rights and promoting the Zionist State of Israel. "In the last several decades the Palestinian leadership has missed one opportunity after the other and rejected all the peace proposals it was given," he told US Jews last year. "It is about time the Palestinians take the proposals and agree to come to the negotiations table or shut up and stop complaining."
Bahrain's position is even more serious. Israeli and Bahraini delegations have exchanged several visits and the island kingdom's Foreign Minister has made several statements expressing its friendliness towards Israeli leaders. At the same time, he has shown intense hostility towards the heroic and brave Palestinian people, who he condemns for resisting the Israeli enemy.
Such are the Zionist leaders of the Gulf who are, unfortunately, leading the Arab nation to its lowest point. May they be damned.
If there is a silver lining to the Warsaw conference of shame and disgrace, it is that the warm, intimate relations between those ten Arab countries and Israel have been exposed, having been kept under wraps and out of the public eye until now. Netanyahu ensured that film of the meeting was aired, exposing the flattery and fawning of the Arab foreign ministers, even though the agreement was, apparently, not to broadcast the meeting. None of them dared to rebuke him for this. They are hypocritical leaders who say one thing to their people and another to the Israelis.
Netanyahu has said that he has visited nine Arab countries, but did not mention which ones. According to Israeli media over the past year, Bin Salman has visited Israel in secret; the Saudis did not deny it. Instead, former Saudi intelligence chief Turki Al-Faisal revealed recently that communication between Saudi Arabia and Israel has been ongoing for over 20 years and that he hopes to visit King Faisal Street "in Israel", actually in the occupied Old City of Jerusalem which Israel is currently Judaising. The shameless Arab Zionists do not care about this.
This is a dangerous and critical turning point in the region. Moving from secret to public meetings, we are witnessing partnerships and alliances with Israel for the sake of supposedly common goals.
The cries of the Palestinian leaders have grown louder and they urged the Arab leaders not to meet with Netanyahu, who is turning his back on the peace process, building illegal settlements and Judaising Jerusalem. However, their cries fall on deaf ears. The Arab Zionists have forgotten Palestine and do not want anyone to remind them of it.
Finally, we must not lose sight of the significance of holding the conference of shame in Poland, where most of the Nazi extermination camps of the Holocaust were located. More than 70 years later, Netanyahu went back to his father's homeland as the leader of a state established on the land of Palestine following the ethnic cleansing of its Arab Palestinian inhabitants. Israel was created and continues to be supported by the West largely, we suspect, out of guilt at that heinous European crime against the Jews and others. Now the Arab leaders are pitching in with their normalisation of relations with the Zionist state that seized Arab land. They have turned a blind eye to the historical and ongoing crimes that Israel has committed against the Palestinian people.
What the Americans are calling the dawn of a "new era" in the history of the Middle East is, in fact, the nadir of the Arab nation. We cannot get any lower than this. From Oslo to Warsaw is a long way down; be still my aching heart.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.