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Normalisation with Israel is not inevitable

August 27, 2020 at 6:32 pm

An Israeli flag flies from an Israeli settlement in Jerusalem 18 August 2008 [David Silverman/Getty Images]

The claim that normalisation with Israel and the establishment of official and public relations between the Arab countries and Tel Aviv is inevitable is nonsense. Such claims are worthless politically, historically and even logically. It is like saying that corruption is an inevitable result of living in a city where everyone is corrupt. If the Arab states’ normalisation with the occupation state is inevitable, why have most of them waited 70 years to go ahead with it?

It is also nonsense to claim that the normalisers are “heroes of peace”, which is nothing more than an attempt to beautify a very ugly scandal. If such a claim were true, does that make the ancestors of the “heroes” spineless cowards and fools? Were their predecessors stupid for not realising that normalisation was always inevitable and unavoidable?

Heroism is generally found on the front line, not in five star hotels; in battles, not in bedrooms. Peace is usually achieved between rivals, not parties reconciled to a fait accompli.

All of the attempts to justify normalisation and the Arab states rushing into Israel’s embrace are meaningless. Even young children in the Arab world cannot be fooled.

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Likewise, the claim that reconciliation with Tel Aviv and opening the doors to the Israelis is in the interests of our Arab countries and people. How can we believe that hostility towards Qatar and reconciliation with Israel is in our best interests? How can we believe that the war with Yemen and peace with Israel are beneficial for us? How can we buy the same weapons that are used to bomb Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon and Syria, and hope to benefit from them? These are all very serious questions which have no valid answers.

Political and historical logic, as well as the reality of the situation, demonstrate that normalisation with Israel is not inevitable; that the liberation of Palestine is not impossible; and that the countries which have not established relations with the occupation state for 70 years can remain thus unencumbered for another 700 years and this will not harm them. This is especially true for the rich Gulf countries that really should not need any assistance from the US or anyone else.

Liberating Palestine is impossible and will never in a million years happen, one of the normalisers has claimed. Southern Lebanon bears witness to the fact that Israel’s occupation army had to turn tail and withdraw in 2000. The Israeli army and settlers also left the Gaza Strip in 2005, remember. Before this, the mighty Israeli army fled from Beirut after a devastating but ultimately ineffective war in 1982. Anecdotal evidence from the people of Lebanon suggests that the Israeli soldiers shouted in Arabic, “O people of Beirut, do not shoot us, for we are withdrawing in the morning.” They wanted to get home unharmed, anti-heroes all.

Abbas: ‘Normalisation between Israel and Arab countries will not achieve peace’

So normalisation with Israel is not inevitable; the liberation of Palestine is not impossible; and having a love-in with Tel Aviv does nothing for the interests of the Arab countries. Our people cannot benefit from such relations. Anything claimed to the contrary simply isn’t true.

This article first appeared in Arabic in Arabi21 on 26 August 2020

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.