Ditching Palestine

A savage interplay of geopolitics, regional ambitions, clashing national interests and downright self-preservation of ruling monarchies continues to rip the Muslim World (as opposed to Ummah) apart. In a series of deep manoeuvres, the US-Israel Combine is purposefully rending the Gulf Arab States, and by implication the Muslim World, asunder with razor sharp precision and execution of a time-bound plan.

Consequently, the Muslim Ummah has practically ceased to exist. Its mouthpiece the OIC remains ignored globally. The Arab League too is crumbling under the US-Israel Combine’s onslaught. It failed to issue a unified Resolution on the UAE-Israel Deal. Now with Bahrain also jumping onto the Trump-Netanyahu bandwagon, the writing is clearer on the wall. The US-Israel Combine has skilfully manoeuvred the Gulf Arab States into isolation and has gotten them to ditch the Palestinians and their just cause for a homeland.

What then is the desired end state of this US policy in the GMER? Is it only to get the Arabs to forsake the Palestinians and their demand for statehood-homeland and accept Israel’s absolute hegemony in the GMER or are there even deeper, covert objectives?

The most outstanding success of US’ foreign policy in the GMER thus far is that the Arabs now overwhelmingly consider Israel as an ally and the Islamic Republic of Iran as a common enemy! This astounding and stark role reversal or paradigm shift within the Gulf Arab States is spellbinding, colossal in effect and has generated rampant sectarianism in the GMER. It is now being crystallised through the ominously expanding reach of the Abraham Accord.

Has this paradigm shift been brought about by maverick, individual countries (UAE, Bahrain) in their own national interests or is it part of a deeper, combined US-Israel-Gulf Arab States time-bound plan to recognise Israel, gradually? Is this exercise likely to reach its “zenith” just in time for the US elections in November 2020 to help propel President Trump into the White House again? The Arabs seem to have hedged their bets on President Trump winning a second term. One wonders if they have catered for his possible electoral defeat as well. However, they must also consider his likely priorities in a possible second term which could acquire more dynamic strategic dimensions. A joint US-Israel-Gulf Arab front to achieve “collective interests” like eliminating Iran as a common threat might be on the cards. If actualised, this will be the most consummate manifestation of the US’ strategy of “Offshore Balancing”. It will permanently eliminate the Muslims as a unified, cohesive entity and confirm Israel’s paramountcy in the GMER!

Where do the Palestinians stand in this stupefying and dizzying course of events in the GMER? They were not consulted when the Abraham Accord was being conceived and have not gained anything from it either. In fact, they and the Muslim World-Ummah are the major losers. The moment of truth is upon the Muslim World and at the least the non-Arab Muslims must stand by the deserted Palestinians. United, the Muslims were a force to be reckoned with, divided they are absolutely inconsequential. Piecemeal, they will continue to be easy pickings for the US-Israel Combine.

The major beneficiaries of an expanding Abraham Accord are the US and Israel. Foremost, all existentialist threats to Israel from its Arab neighbours are likely to get neutralised. Furthermore, Israel gets recognised as a legitimate country by its erstwhile enemies, without compromising on its hegemonic policies in the GMER or towards the Palestinians; without acceding to the numerous UNSC Resolutions, the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 or other international covenants on the issue; without conceding an inch of occupied Arab and Palestinian territories; without giving the Palestinians any form of statehood-homeland, self-rule or even human rights; without permanently halting its settlements or annexation of Palestinian/Arab lands on the West Bank, Sinai, Golan Heights, Jerusalem etc; without constraining its hubris and hegemonic designs, in fact without yielding anything at all! There could not have possibly been a more one-sided international agreement anywhere in which so much is being conceded by so many (Arabs) for no tangible or intangible returns whatsoever!

An expanded Abraham Accord will lead to nothing but Arab capitulation—pure, incarnate, personified!

Pakistan needs to re-assess its policy options towards the GMER. Its approach must be clear, concise and absolutely unambiguous. It must maintain excellent albeit balanced relations with all states in the GMER, both Arab and non-Arab. Most importantly, it must continue to support the Palestinians regardless of what the rest of the Arab or the non-Arab world does. Pakistan must support a solution based on the Saudi initiated Arab Peace Initiative of 2002. Pakistan’s stance that Israel can only be considered for recognition once the Palestinians have got statehood-homeland is principled, correct and just. It must stick to it without fear or favour. Pakistan must never forget that what happens to the Palestinians today will be replicated in Kashmir tomorrow. The rationale given by the major regional and global players for dumping the Palestinians will be applied on Pakistan and the Kashmiris too. If the Palestinians have been ditched by their Arab brethren today, what chances do the Kashmiris have with them? Regardless of the cost, Pakistan must never compromise on its principled stands on Palestine and Kashmir. Period.

The Arabs however, must also remain wary of the US’ penchant for introducing democracy in all corners of the world. The diabolical and disastrous Arab Spring in the GMER was a major US expedition. It failed spectacularly and left unmitigated death and destruction in its wake. This latent threat of democracy comes in with the US-Israeli package deal. As a control measure, it will always be dangled over the Arab Monarchs’ heads as a veritable Damocles Sword. The Arab royal families will find themselves caught irretrievably in an increasingly paralysing vise. At a time and place of their choosing, perhaps towards the end of President Trump’s second term, if at all, the US-Israeli Combine will generate an Arab Spring of sorts and unleash the demons of democracy in the Arabian Peninsula!

The Arabs ought to have chosen better!

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