Ben-Dror Yemini
Ben-Dror Yemini
Palestinians burning UAE flags following peace accord with Israel

The Arab world is fed up with the Palestinians

Opinion: As these nations come to conclusion that 'Palestinian problem' is not an asset but a burden, they will no longer entertain every Palestinian whim, leaving just Yemen and Qatar aligned with Iran and Turkey's axis of evil

Ben-Dror Yemini |
Published: 08.18.20 , 23:30
We are facing two camps – the camp of peace and the camp of destruction. The camp of zealotry and the camp of moderateness.
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  • The biggest surprise following Israel's peace accord with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is that there was no division within the Arab world about it.
    פלסטינים שורפים את גדל האמירויות בהפגנה ביטאפלסטינים שורפים את גדל האמירויות בהפגנה ביטא
    Palestinians burning UAE flags following peace accord with Israel
    In fact, almost all Arab countries have expressed their support for the agreement and hopped on the peace train.
    We are left only with Yemen and Qatar who oppose the agreement and they have joined Iran and Turkey's axis of evil. The axis of Islamic radicalism, both Sunni and Shi'ite.
    So what actually happened? Well, the Arab world is fed up. It looks to the left and the right and realizes, albeit belatedly, that wherever Islamic radicalism is involved - whether Shi'ite or Sunni - the result is always destruction and ruin.
    Iran, Turkey and their jihadist affiliates are involved in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza, northern Sinai, and northern Nigeria. Wherever they go, chaos follows.
    מוחמד בן סלמאן ו סבאח אל אחמד אל ג'אבר א סבאחמוחמד בן סלמאן ו סבאח אל אחמד אל ג'אבר א סבאח
    Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
    (Photo: Reuters)
    The UAE or Saudi Arabia definitely did not become democracies all of a sudden, but in the Middle East, the choice is not between liberal democracy or a dictatorship. The choice is between stability or destruction.
    And how are the Palestinians doing? The violence that former PLO leader Yasser Arafat instigated has been defeated. It only made the Palestinians' problems worse. Arafat's heir, Mahmoud Abbas, opposes violence and he still failed.
    The Arab world refuses to continue entertaining every Palestinian whim. Following the near-unanimous Arab support for normalization, the Palestinian failure becomes all the more painful.
    Why did the Palestinians lose the Arab world? At some point starting in the late 1990s, Arab leaders realized that the "Palestinian problem" was not an asset, but a burden.
    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaking with an image of his predecessor Yasser Arafat in the background Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaking with an image of his predecessor Yasser Arafat in the background
    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaking with an image of his predecessor Yasser Arafat in the background
    (Photo: AFP)
    After all, being hostile to Israel never benefited anyone. That is why prominent Arab states supported former U.S. president Bill Clinton's peace outline in the 90s. They even tried to pressure Arafat to accept the agreement, but to no avail.
    Although Abbas stopped the violence, he stuck to Arafat's diplomatic policy of always saying "no," regardless of what was on offer.
    It was "no" to the 1937 Peel Commission, "no" to the 1947 UN partition plan, "no" to Israeli withdrawal for peace in 1967, "no" to then-prime minister Ehud Barak's peace offer in 2000, "no" to Clinton's peace offer later that year, "no" to then-prime minister Ehud Olmert's peace offer in 2008, "no" to then-U.S. president Barack Obama's peace offer in 2014 - and of course "no" to U.S. President Donald Trump's peace plan.
    They never wanted a state for the Palestinian people, they just didn't want one for the Jews.
    הבית הלבן פגישה בנימין נתניהו ו דונלנד טראמפ נשיא ארצות הבריתהבית הלבן פגישה בנימין נתניהו ו דונלנד טראמפ נשיא ארצות הברית
    Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump during the presentation of the U.S. peace plan at the White House in January
    (Photo: GPO)
    The Arab countries are fed up. The Arab Peace Initiative that was endorsed by the Arab League in 2002 was a farce because the original plan - i.e. the Saudi Initiative - was completely different. It was very close to the Clinton outline - two states for two peoples.
    Following pressure from then-Lebanese president Émile Lahoud and senior Palestinian official Farouk Kaddoumi, it became an All-Arab initiative that offered no real peace but a Palestinian right of return to the State of Israel, with a clause stipulating that descendants of Palestinian refugees would not receive citizenship in the countries in which they live.
    Now the Palestinians are paying the price for their past victories – and it is a Pyrrhic victory.
    They still have the support of college campuses in the West. After all, "civil society organizations" continue with their stubbornness and the Israel Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement (BDS) stands by Iran and Turkey in opposition to normalization.
    A BDS rally in London A BDS rally in London
    A BDS rally in London
    (Photo: citizenside.com)
    But what impresses progressive professors in North America and Europe does not impress Arab leaders. They know that going even deeper into the Palestinian rabbit hole will not lead them to heavenly peace.
    They supported the Palestinian cause for many years to no avail. Israel gave the Palestinians the Gaza Strip and it resulted in Hamas rule. They know that the outcome of such support leads to a takeover by the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas' parent organization, which hates the Arab leaders as much as or even more than Iran does.
    Now, let's imagine a scenario in which instead of Abbas calling back the Palestinian ambassador from the Emirates, he thanked Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed for stopping the threat of annexation, welcomed normalization and sought to join a regional peace initiative that would give Palestinians self-determination alongside Israel.
    Sounds like a fantasy, right? That is exactly the problem - whoever chooses to be part of the Iranian-Turkish axis will end up inflicting destruction upon themselves. Not prosperity.
    When the Palestinians choose peace over the fantasy of destroying Israel, their situation will improve drastically. It hasn't happened yet, but for their sake, and for ours, we hope it happens eventually.
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