Can Israel blast Gaza and still make friends in the Gulf?

GAZA: Scenes of devastation in Gaza are likely to make it harder for Israel to win its biggest diplomatic prize: recognition by Saudi Arabia. But so far, the other rich Gulf states that invested in opening ties with Israel last year are showing no public sign of second thoughts.

Arab officials have come together to condemn what they describe as flagrant Israeli violations during the past two weeks, from Israeli police action around Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque to deadly airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.

But in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which along with Bahrain recognised Israel last year under the US-backed “Abraham Accords”, official criticism of Israel now often comes balanced with popular expression of hard words for the other side.

In some cases in the UAE, which has long denounced religious political movements, condemnation of the Hamas fighters who control Gaza even echoes Israeli talking points.

“Hamas launches rockets from within civilian neighbourhoods and when the response comes Hamas cries ‘where are the Arabs and Muslims’? You have made Gaza a graveyard for the innocent and children,” Waseem Yousef, a Muslim preacher in the UAE, tweeted to his 1.6 million followers on Twitter.

In a country where social media is closely monitored by the authorities, another Emirati, Munther al-Shehhi, tweeted: “I will not stand by or empathise with any terrorist group such as Hamas in support of any cause, even if it is packaged as humanitarian or religious. #No To Terrorism.”

A social media hashtag has even begun circulating among some Gulf Arabs, which reads “#Palestine Is Not My Cause”.

SAUDIS KEEP DISTANCE:

So far, such sentiment does not seem to have made inroads too deeply into Saudi Arabia. The biggest, richest and most powerful of the Gulf monarchies is widely presumed to have given its tacit blessing to last year’s decision by neighbours Bahrain and the UAE to embrace Israeli ties. But it held back from recognising Israel itself, and now appears far less likely to do so, at least in the medium term.

Many Saudis have responded to the “Not My Cause” hashtag by posting pictures of King Salman, with his quote: “The Palestinian cause is our first cause”.

On May 13, Saudi television aired footage of a cleric in Mecca praying for Palestinian victory against “the enemy of God”, less than year after the kingdom’s leading imam discouraged rhetoric against Jews following the September accords.

It would now be “inconceivable” that the Saudi leadership could contemplate normalising ties with Israel for at least a couple of years, said Neil Quilliam, associate fellow at Britain’s Chatham House think tank.

Last year’s decisions by the UAE and Bahrain, followed by Sudan and Morocco, to recognise Israel were denounced by the Palestinians as abandoning a unified position under which Arab states would make peace only if Israel gave up occupied land.

The UAE and Bahrain argued that their agreements would ultimately benefit the Palestinians, including because Israel had promised to abandon plans to annex West Bank territory.

Abdulrahman al-Towajry, 29, a Saudi national visiting a Riyadh shopping mall, said the countries that had made peace should “really reconsider it” as Israel could not be “trusted to abide by promises”.

“There is strength in unity so if Arab and Muslim countries unite, the conflict would end. It could have ended a long time ago if they had,” he told Reuters.

But the Emiratis and others probably have too much invested in the policy to change course abruptly now.

The agreements have propelled tourism, investment, and cooperation in fields from energy to technology. A UAE investment fund has plans to purchase a stake in an Israeli gas field and Dubai’s port operator is bidding for Haifa Port.

“The Abraham Accords are an irreversible process,” said prominent Emirati commentator Abdulkhaleq Abdulla. “It was very clear that it was in keeping with the UAE’s national priorities and strategic interests so there is no going back.”

1 COMMENT

  1. No one will help the Palestinians – EXCEPT Turkey,Pakistan,Russia and China.Once this QUAD steps in,other nations MIGHT follow.

    Israel gets Military and Financial aid from CHRISTIAN NATIONS – and that will NEVER STOP.The Genius of the Jews,is that,as per the OT, the Jews excoriated and killed Jesus, Condemned Jesus as a Mamzer/Charlatan/Blasphemer,and a violator of the Ora Law – BUT STILL,all the POPES are JEWS, and all the sites of Jesus in the Middle East,are UNDER THE CONTROL OF ISRAEL.

    In addition,ISRAEL PROBABLY HAS THE ORIGINAL BARNABUS BIBLE AND THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS – which blows the MYTHS OF JESUS – as reckoned,by CATHOLICS.CHRISTIANS TRAVEL TO ISRAEL TO VISIT THEIR SITES – TO PAY BILLIONS OF USD,AS TOURISTS – TO ENSURE, THAT THE RABBIS KEEP A LID ON THE “SECRETS OF JESUS”

    Israel CONTROLS the Christian FATH,PEOPLE and Christian Nations.The Israelis convinced Cyrus, Napoleon and Trump – that they were the chosen ones,to REBUILD THE TEMPLE – and TRUMP moved the US embassy to Jerusalem – as the 1st STEP ! dindooohindoo

    The Only force,which can COUNTER THE ISRAELIS are the NON-CATHOLICS (like the Greek Orthodox Church of Russia),Islam (Turkey,Pakistan),Shiasm (Persians) and Leftists/Marxists (PTRC and Socialists/ Leftists/Marxists – all over the world – including the USA)

    SO IT IS WAR OF IDEOLOGIES and RELIGIONS – being played,on the dead bodies of Palestinians and Arabs,in Gaza,Iraq,Syria and Iran ! THIS IS WHAT NO ONE ADMITS !

    THAT IS Y HISTORY IS REPEATING FROM THE HEBREW BIBLE !

    Zephaniah 2:4 ESV

    For Gaza shall be deserted, and Ashkelon shall become a desolation; Ashdod’s people shall be driven out at noon, and Ekron shall be uprooted.!!

    Zechariah 9:5 ESV

    Ashkelon shall see it, and be afraid; Gaza too, and shall writhe in anguish; Ekron also, because its hopes are confounded. The king shall perish from Gaza; Ashkelon shall be uninhabited;

    PROVIDENCE = ASHKELON AND ASHDOD ARE BOMBED, BY HAMAS ! “KING OF GAZA” is killed – which is the HAMAS COMMANDER IN GAZA !

    MORAL OF STORY – SATURATION (EVEN BY ROCKETS) CAN DEFEAT ANY ADS !

    IT IS ALL A IRANIAN PAYBACK FOR QASIM,N-PLANTS BOMBING AND KILLING OF N-SCIENTISTS.FROM ALL CALCULATIONS – COVID IS THE TIME TO STRIKE

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