Less than a year ago, the Middle East (and the United States) cheered: one by one, Arab countries forged formal ties with Israel. And even if there were still plenty of problems to be solved, this would certainly bring peace in the region closer.
Instead, rockets are currently being fired at Israel and aerial bombardments are being carried out on the Gaza Strip. At least 210 people have been killed (200 on the Palestinian side, 10 on the Israeli side) and all over the Arab world people take to the streets to demonstrate against the violence, or share on social media images of Palestinians showing their loved ones are lost.
Gulf states also sign peace agreement with Israel (and thus buy influence)
The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain only signed a peace agreement with Israel last year. The basis was the diplomatic consultation of Donald Trump’s Jewish son-in-law Jared Kushner. Those peace accords “weigh” a little less, because neither country was ever at war with Israel, unlike Egypt and Jordan.
Yet these new diplomatic relations also open doors for those Arab countries to at least have a conversation with Israel about the current violence in Gaza. Without diplomatic recognition of each other, a bilateral or direct structured conversation is almost impossible.
It thus allows the rich Gulf states to discuss through talks and consultations whether they can, for example, offer humanitarian aid, or possibly financially lubricate a future agreement in the form of reconstruction in Gaza. Participating in an agreement that brings peace to the Palestinians would greatly boost the prestige of the wealthy Gulf states within the Arab world.
“Come on the street for Palestine“, many protest in the world for solidarity with Palestinians
There is a lot of poverty in Gaza, no economy of its own, it is surrounded by Israel. The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital for their future statehood, but the militaristic regime is in the process of evicting Palestinians there. That has nothing to do with rent disputes, the regime wants to evict these people and makes life there impossible through all kinds of difficult procedures. That is inhumane.
They mainly focus on the equal rights of Palestinians in the Jewish state and not so much on a Palestinian state. This form of apartheid for Palestinians must end. Israel will have to come to understand that the structural problem of a Jewish state in an area where half of them are not Jewish and therefore have fewer rights, will have to be solved. Because those Palestinians are not going away.
Solidarity with Palestinians
A dozen organizations had called for a rally in solidarity with the Palestinians. “There has been unrest throughout the area for more than 70 years and we want international intervention. It is our duty not to remain silent. Palestinians have been excluded and occupied for years, and the citizens here want to draw attention to that.” “explains co-organizer.
That message keeps coming back to the activists. “This is the least we can do. We also want to show our children that they should stand up for what they believe in,” another participant continues.
The stress is great, there is also anger. No one knows what the next step will be, but we do know that the pain and doubt is on both sides, including the Palestinians. I pray and hope that everyone will come closer together. Missiles and shooting have never achieved anything.