The Arab people are living in their worst and darkest of times, experiencing an unprecedented level of humiliation and disgrace. The people have never approached their enemies asking for forgiveness and presenting themselves as loyal to the oppressors; nor have they sought to normalise relations with killers who shed their blood. So what happened to the heirs of the best Ummah created for mankind?
What has happened is that rulers who were not from among them were appointed by foreign colonial-occupiers to act as their agents, who then became loyal to the occupiers rather than their own people and the Ummah. They have tortured their people, humiliated them, oppressed them and imposed fascism upon them. The people have been brutalised to please the foreigners, and thus weakened and subjugated into fear and obedience. They could not demand their freedom and independence, so the oppression of these agents — labelled as presidents or kings — includes giving people material wealth to stop them from overthrowing their rulers, even as they suppress them.
The colonialists were reassured about their property, which they left of their own free will and handed it over to safe pairs of hands; hands that betray their religion, Arabism and the people. Now, those left in charge who long for power in their country know that the gateway through which they must pass is Israel, the openly colonial-occupation state in Palestine.
This particular occupier's agents in the region are the Arab leaders, who have rushed to normalise relations in order to gain the protection of the settler-colonial state against their own people. It is ironic that Israel, which craves normalisation from Arab countries is now spoiled for choice, and able to set conditions for normalisation including a metaphorical certificate of good conduct by the would-be normalisers.
Normalisation is no longer a disgrace to be kept secret by rulers to ensure their survival on their thrones. It is now open, and they are proud of it in front of the world, and thus rewarded by the enemy. It has also become a means of punishment by Israel to reform and discipline the Arab normalisers, rewarding those with which it is happy and threatening others until they turn to the path that Tel Aviv has cleared for them. The normalisation process is all about a carrot and stick, as has been seen in the normalisation between Israel and Sudan. "This is something that will have to evaluate as we and Israel watch very closely," the US State Department is reported to have said about recent events in Khartoum.
Last week, two aircraft landed at two airports in the region. One landed in Tel Aviv and carried the son of the criminal coup leader Khalifa Haftar, who shed the blood of the Libyans and caused havoc and destruction in their country. The other carried the UAE Foreign Minister, Abdullah Bin Zayed, and landed at Damascus Airport. The two men had similar missions.
Haftar's son went to ask the Israelis to help him nominate his father for the presidency of Libya and then win it, with the promise of a blank check for Libya's normalisation with the apartheid state. Bin Zayed went to the butcher Bashar Al-Assad, who has killed hundreds of thousands of Syrians, displaced half of the population, and completely destroyed the country before handing it over to Russia and Iran. It was all to do with normalisation as well, but in an indirect way. Assad's criminal regime is in constant contact with Israel, but in secret ever since the rule of his father, the late Hafez Al-Assad, who Israel brought to power. Assad Senior rewarded the occupation state by selling it the Golan Heights; Israel returned the favour by preserving his regime and his son's after him.
The UAE is taking a lead in promoting normalisation in the region and is considered the exclusive agent of the occupier given its very close relations with Israel and its cooperation on the political, military, economic, cultural and even religious levels. Now it is promoting the "Abrahamic" religion as desired by the Zionist enemy and the US. The foreign minister went to the killer Assad with the message of normalisation in return for him continuing to rule Syria. This was made clear by the then Israeli Minister of Justice, Ayelet Shaked, at the International Institute on Counterterrorism Conference in Tel Aviv in 2017. "Assad," she said, "must keep Iran out [of Syria] if he wants to survive."
At the time that her statement was published by the Israeli newspapers, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman was visiting Israel secretly. Neither Saudi Arabia nor Israel denied this, but it was leaked by Israel — as usual — in order to expose Bin Salman and put him on the spot.
It is painful to see Israel become the compass for Arab politicians, and for politicians hoping to govern having to go through Tel Aviv in order to get the occupiers' seal of approval. Obedience and loyalty to the occupation state is the price that they have to pay. It's a tragedy.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.