It is claimed that the Arab position towards Palestine has shifted and that they have turned towards normalisation of relations with Israel. We can rest assured, though, that the normalisers are the black sheep of the family, and Palestine still lives in the hearts of every free Arab. Indeed, Israel's occupation and aggression are still rejected by the Arab masses, from the Atlantic to the Gulf. Those who think otherwise are delusional.
Even the Arab officials are generally still supportive of the Palestinians and reject normalisation. What happened in the Arab League does not mean that the normalisers have been able to corrupt the Arab world; their politicised wealth has only corrupted the organisation. We all know that the Arab League is not independent, and is merely a branch of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.
There are many Arab positions that deserve praise because of their continued refusal to recognise Israel and their rejection of normalisation. Such positions express the conscience of the masses, which is still alive, and express the failure of the normalisation projects to beautify Israel's image in the Arab world. Moreover, the public's rejection of normalisation has revealed the failure of the hired "electronic armies" that are employed to market lost causes. Online brainwashing may work on minor issues, but not one as important as Palestine.
We can only respect Kuwait, its people, its parliament and its emir for refusing to fall into the Israeli embrace and be a tool in Donald Trump's election campaign to get another four years in the White House. Why is Kuwait different and how is it able to make independent decisions?
It is not complicated; Kuwait is one of the few Arab countries with a democratic, freely-elected parliament that represents the will of the people. Hence, the Speaker of the Kuwaiti Parliament, Marzouq Al-Ghanim, speaks according to the nation's conscience, not the interests of the ruling class. Kuwait has a political system that does not ignore its people and a government that listens to them.
Kuwait does not stand alone. Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and other Arab countries reject normalisation, and have declared honourable positions that deserve respect and appreciation. The collective conscience does not disappoint us.
In Sudan, the political, popular and partisan forces, as well as the trade unions, have declared their rejection of normalisation with Israel even though its "transitional" military regime is bargaining over the recognition of Israel in exchange for financial aid and its removal from the US list of "states which support terrorism". Sadiq Al-Mahdi, who leads the Ummah Party and is very popular in the country, has voiced his own rejection clearly. How can anyone believe that Sudan's mood and political position can change overnight for the sake of money, given that its government and people have been the most supportive of the Palestinian cause and the steadfastness of the Palestinian people from 1948 until today?
The bottom line is that the Arabs have not lost their compass and have not changed, as some think. Rather, the nation's conscience is still alive and the compass still points towards Palestine. We have seen evidence of this every time that Israel launches a military offensive against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The issue is the common denominator amongst the Arab masses. The fact that some regimes have normalised to please Trump and his son-in-law does not change this position. The Arab conscience cannot be falsified.
This article first appeared in Arabic in Arabi21 on 28 September 2020
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.