By Fouad Ibrahim – Al-Akhbar Newspaper
Translated by Staff
It is not a surprise, as it has died a long time ago, and the details of the "normalization plot" with the ‘Israeli’ entity are no longer hidden. What was thought to be arrangements under the table is, in fact, our usurped conscious under the bulk of the game of trinity of truth, error, and deception. Some people try to create a false mixture of that game elements so that the traces of treason are lost. The popular memory was saturated, over many years, with news of bilateral meetings between Arab officials, especially Gulf officials, and their ‘Israeli’ counterparts, the participation of ‘Israeli’ figures in Gulf conferences, visits by senior officials to Arab capitals, and the hosting of the Gulf media [the Emirati, Saudi, and Bahraini] for a diverse group of ‘Israeli’ ministers; politicians, security, military, and economists; in addition to a torrent of statements, tweets, and stances designed to create a public opinion that is reconciled with normalization ... it was not spontaneous.
The normalization between the UAE and the ‘Israeli’ entity does not involve a proactive predictive dimension, and it does not require an exceptional effort to read through backgrounds and endings. The UAE’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Zayed, was the fastest in the race for normalization, and in coordinating Gulf positions to reach the final plot before the moment of manifestation. Needless to say, he was the one who advised Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the first months of his father's reign [he took office on January 23, 2015] that the closest road to the White House passes through Tel Aviv. Bin Salman listened carefully to the advice, applied it literally, and took it upon himself to pass the "deal of the century" by all means willingly or unwillingly. And his statements to "The Atlantic" magazine on April 3, 2018, that the ‘Israelis’ have a "right" to have their land, and that there is no "religious objection" to the existence of the ‘State’ of ‘Israel’, except for one of the American credentials through the ‘Israeli’ channel. It was not a slip of the tongue of a teenager in politics, as bin Salman was fully aware of what he meant, and what he aimed at behind what he said, and all of this fell within the context of Emirati advice.
US President Donald Trump's announcement of an Emirati-‘Israeli’ agreement on normalizing relations is not new, as work has been underway for years to rehabilitate the conditions for the normalization moment between the entity and a number of Arab countries. For the normalization to be "common" needs only the factor of time. It was an electoral timer par excellence, and it was precisely intended for him to act as a rescue during the time-out for the presidential race.
Trump’s electoral cards are being burnt consecutively in Coronavirus firs that is consuming his promises amid the speedy spread of the pandemic across his country, and almost complete disability to stop the infections outbreak, and the increasing numbers of infections and deaths. The US ranks first in the world, and counts for a quarter of the globe’s infections with more that 5 million cases.
Trump's failures in the health file, and subsequently the economic and living conditions, have led him to the conclusion that his chances to win the presidential race are declining very quickly. He has publicly disclosed the possibility of losing the elections in November, and this explains his hysterical behavior recently. He appeared to be suicidal, and was ready to go mad in the quarrel with his democratic rival, Joe Biden, choosing to assume the role of "the takfirist", but with a poor right-wing version of Biden's demonization, accusing him of being "against God and against the Bible." All normalization timings are subject to the considerations of its direct parties, but this time, normalization was a salvation for the sponsor, that is, for Trump, who is ravaging with the consternation of the electoral defeat and its aftermath.
Regarding the Emirates, normalization with the ‘Israeli’ entity is not a solo performance, but rather represents the hoarse voice of the Arab Quartet [Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, and Bahrain]. Whether Riyadh decided to be next in the series of countries of normalization or chose to push the rest to the barn [as poet Ahmad Matar said], before joining it at the end, this depends on the political and electoral influence. Bahrain's entry to the normalization movement has become a matter of time, a very short time, and we will witness an acceleration of the normalization movement in the Gulf and the Arab world in the context of a rescue "emergency plan" that increases President Trump's electoral credit.
And if the Emirati-‘Israel’ normalization comes at the moment of the clinical death of the official Arab system, the stage of fragmentation of the Arab homelands, and the raging civil wars in its parts, then the most dangerous thing in it is that it represents the exceptional opportunity to reap the profits of years of introduction in which countries, media institutions, and influential cultural and literary figures participated [on the Gulf level in particular], until the arguments for normalization became stronger than the argument of the land owners. Boast about stigmatizing the Palestinian resistance turned to be in public and filling the Arab space and broadcasted through Gulf satellite channels, while the ‘Israeli’ uttered by writers and media professionals from the people of the house.
On the ‘Israeli’ side, normalization was an opportunity to make the relations with Arab and Gulf leaders public. Netanyahu, overwhelmed with his internal crises, also needed a "savior." He used to repeat that his entity had strategic relations with Arab leaders, as if he was seeking to announce the relations instead of keeping them secret because the legitimacy of the ‘Israeli’ entity depends on removing the obstacles to coexistence with its opponents [its new friends], and when it breathes in a sea without limits.
The Gulf Arabs showed unusual generosity with the "nation’s enemies", while they were absent from the Lebanese tragedy at the port on August 4. This is the "Gulf Moment" heralded by Emirati academic Abdul Khaleq Abdullah, author of the book, with the same title. The new positions, or rather the renewed ones, of Gulf poles led by Saudi Arabia and the Emirates are capable of drawing the next scene, at least in the Gulf.
The question: Are we on our way to a historical shift?
The answer is not simple, but what the scene encompasses also leads us to be unsure, in light of governments whose popular legitimacies have eroded, but at the same time have brought their people to a point of despair. Despair over the birth of a new hope that gives hope for those whose dreams have been shattered within the borders of the "stolen homelands."
What needs to be prepared for in the coming days, and after the Emirati move, is to watch the movement of the normalization vehicle, which will carry with it the vows of Arab misery, the harvest of their disappointments, and their divisions. This vehicle will pass through Manama, Doha, and Khartoum, and it will be supplied with what helps it to force the rest of the hesitants out of fear, or those who hide in shame. There is nothing in the act of normalization that deserves panic, when it becomes collective. Likewise, shame does not become a disgrace when it is everybody’s characteristic.
And if we flip the equation, apologies to the late scholar Muhammad Mahdi Shams al-Din, that states have their necessities and peoples have their options; then today, we are faced with a more disgrace than necessity and more heinous than shame. The demand is that peoples diversify their choices, because accepting to fall towards the pit of shame means the complete annihilation. And we belong to a nation that refused not to be scattered, but the act of its resistance would remain even if those who normalize exceeded the range.