The Arab League's Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit has recently said the importance of the Palestinian cause has been somewhat “reduced,” sparking outcry in the Arab world.
“There are more pressing matters we (Arab countries) must contend with, since the Arab world has dramatically changed," he said in a televised interview in Egypt.
"Arab nations have recently seen the hardest of times,” Aboul Gheit said in reference to war-battered countries Yemen, Libya and Syria. “We must not forget the mistakes made by Arab rulers, inflicting tragedies upon the region."
An Egyptian political analyst, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the secretary-general’s “statements are a clear attempt to prepare the ground for the normalization of relations with the Zionist entity."
“The Arab street would never accept this entity,” he said, stressing that citizens have turned away from their leaders on this issue and remain committed to Arab concerns as a broader nation.
“Most Arabs see Israel as a foreign element and feel threatened by it. While politicians have their own agendas and interests with the Zionist entity, the wider Arab nation rejects it,” he said.
Moeen al-Taher, a Jordanian political analyst, said Aboul Gheit's comments insinuated he is seeking to establish formal ties with Israel, while attempting to soften the Arab public opinion on that issue.
Qasem Qaseer, a Lebanese political analyst, said “the secretary-general represents the official position of the Arab League, which is trying to deprioritize the conflict with the Zionist entity."
“He said he is not trying to prioritize other issues. Nevertheless, the Zionist entity is the main issue and the reason for all other problems in the region. Recent incidents prove that no matter how complicated internal issues in Arab nations are, they are solvable. This is not the case with the Zionist enemy, which is the region’s core problem," he said.
"When the US recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, citizens throughout the Arab world took to the streets and loudly protested against it, which shows that the ongoing conflict between the Zionist entity and the Palestinians is the most pressing issue on the agenda,” he said.
“Look at the countries that have signed peace accords with the enemy, including Palestine. This did not solve their problems, rather made them worse.”
Backing the Arab League's secretary-general, a senior Palestinian Authority official said that Aboul Gheit made his remarks against the backdrop of political uncertainty and ongoing conflicts in the Arab world.
“The US has caused grave damage in Iraq, Syria and Libya, leaving the Arab world to handle many—and not any less urgent—issues than the Palestinian one,” Shaath said.
But the Arab world has not forgotten the plight of Palestinian nation or the risks involved in normalizing relations with Israel, according to Shaath.
Article written by Dima Abumaria.
Reprinted with permission from The Media Line.