There is an Arab proverb stating that if you want to subvert a project make it debatable between the Arabs. That’s the lesson the US should have learned from its long journey to peace in the Middle East— the old pan-Arab approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict leads to nowhere.
Jared Kushner, coming from an American democratic and pluralistic background that appreciates the diversity of opinions and support pragmatic and innovative thinking, thought (maybe naively) that when he summons the Arabs —who undoubtedly felt obliged to bow to the US will—from different tribes to discuss as civilized nations an issue like the Palestinian matter, that that would create a richer and convenient atmosphere to address the problem.
what happened is the same old scenario whenever Arabs are honorably consulted about the matter—An outbreak of mass protests at the heart of it dwells rabid antisemitism, sickening prejudices and dark rumors, and immediate scorning of not only a comprehensive economic project that the Arab sovereign states themselves are unable to provide to their subjects, but essentially to the very notion of a public Israeli presence in an Arab country—a major taboo got broken smoothly, and that’s what really making them bite back at Bahrain meeting.
Pictures of Israeli journalists in Bahrain are widely shared in Arab blogosphere by Islamist and Arab nationalist propagandists accompanied by hateful comments and detestable mockery.
New wave of mass protests akin to the 1990s’ swept several Arab capitals—after a period of Arab indifference (throughout the horrors of the Arab spring) towards what was long considered the central cause of the Arab and Islamic Ummah—staged by Islamists and pan-Arabs who are determined to thwart any peace agreement that doesn’t include the “freeing of Palestine from river to sea,” and “throwing Jews into the sea.”
What is actually at stake here is what Kushner the “Zionist infidel” (al-Sohiouni al-Kafir) is offering versus what the ideology and midieval prophecies embedded in Islamic Tradition are promising the Arabs who have been “holding onto a burning ember” (an Islamic expression referring to endurance and resistance of all kind of temptations) in terms of an ideal future Islamic state free of Jews in Palestine.
However, it’s not just the Islamist popular movements that are fomenting those protests across the Arab World, but Ironically the very Arab rulers who have —despite the popular protests—sent delegations to attend the Bahrain confab. It goes without saying that not even an ant would dare take to the streets without the consent of the autocratic regimes, that is, the ongoing protests against the so-called “deal of the century” are cooked and premeditated inside the notorious Arab ministries of interior’s kitchens.
Weeks before the confab roll-out, they have already created a hostile environment in which the region shall receive the US peace plan. They have flared the flame of an anti-Bahrain workshop craze; Islamists didn’t need more than few conveyed messages of state tolerance to unleash their ferocious anti-Israel campaign. Then, as a typical expedient policy of Arab despots, they announced their attendance to the workshop while their capitals’ streets are boiling up; only to appear in the eyes of the US as the wise moderate men who rule nations of savage subjects, while at the same time preserving the ideological stance and therefore hitting two birds with one stone.
The king of Jordan for instance— a reckless gambler with his precarious throne—did that by allowing his state-run media and newspapers to agitate the population. A barrage of articles with titles like the following appeared in the Jordanian press: “A Serious Intifada In The West Bank Is The Best Way To Thwart The ‘Deal Of The Century’” (government-run Al-Rai), “We Need A Palestinian Intifada That Will Reverse All The Existing Equations” (Al-Dustour), “Only An Armed Intifada Will Thwart The Deal Of The Century” (Jordanian MB Al-Sabil).
According to the Qatari-owned Al-Quds Al-Arabi, the king and members of his government —at their private meetings—were mocking the workshop and ridiculing the amount of allowance ($7.5 billion) allocated to Jordan in the US peace plan, and sarcastically saying that they were sending an “accountant” (referring to the undersecretary of the ministry of finance) to attend the conference. The pan-Arab newspaper also indicated that the king himself authorized at least two Muslim Brotherhood marches, a national gathering, and several public activities of the organization to protest the summit.
Saudi Arabia, a Salafist state whose schools curricula are still crammed with antisemitic materials, including the teaching of “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” as an authentic document— cannot be considered a genuine partner in that endeavor. While it’s Arab-speaking (Aljazeera rival) Alarabiya TV channel was reiterating the kingdom steadfast position based on the two state solution and the Arab peace initiative as a precondition to any deal to be struck with Israel, its minister of state for foreign affairs Adil al-jubeir in an interview in English with France 24 said that “The Palestinians are the ones who have the ultimate decision in this, because it’s their issue and so whatever the Palestinians accept I believe everybody else will accept.”
The strange and irrational outright rejection of the deal is nothing but a work of a collective Arab mindset dating back to Nasser era. And it wouldn’t strike me as odd if the Saudis were the ones who whispered in the ear of the PA to boycott the Bahrain summit—given the quasi-total influence Al-Saud wields over President Abbas.
The fate of the Palestinian people is decided neither in Gaza nor in the West Bank—the real potent actors who draw the political lines of both terro group of Hamas and the PA are respectively: Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
However, Qatar is yet the premier rabble-rouser against Bahrain summit, and generally it tries to thwart any attempt to normalize relations with the Hebrew state.
Through its highly effective and well-equipped propaganda machine that controls major Arabic platforms on social media, and its charitable arm Qatar foundation along with Muslim Brothers and pan-Arab propagandists at its disposal—the anti-Semitic Sheikhdom has strengthened the cultural and religious divide between Muslims and Jews.
Indeed, the rulers of this little Bedouin tribe are real terrorists in diplomatic suites. If destiny gave Osama bin Laden a piece of land rich of oil and gas on the fringes of Arabia he wouldn’t be more than a revered emir with clean-shaven face attired in a nice tuxedo… maybe giving remarks in Georgetown university or exchanging views with the Brookings institutes cadres, but he would still be bin Laden who killed more than 3000 innocent people.
When dealing with medieval minds, maybe taking measures that don’t necessarily conform with our time is the only way to break the logjam and establish sustained peace and security, that is, the policy of fait accompli.
Gaza and the West Bank are within Israel vital space (Islamists refer to them as “Arth Ribat,” a term deriving from Islamic jurisprudence denoting lands consecrated exculusively to Jihad operations against the enemy), hence no Arab dictatorship across the board, under any pretext, should be allowed to dictate to a democracy its conditions or objections regarding an issue that doesn’t concern but Israel and Palestinians; meanwhile the process of normalization should be carried out separately.