A few months ago, several Arab countries began normalizing their relations with Israel. Growth in the Middle East now presents a challenge to them.
After normalization of its relations with Israel, a diplomatic balancing act has begun for many Arab countries with the Gaza conflict. The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan have entered into general relations agreements with Israel since August.
They now face the challenge of not jeopardizing this new dialogue, which has severely criticized Israel – and at the same time not neglecting their decades of support for the Palestinians.
Emirates are rather cautious
The emirate published a rhetorical statement on Friday evening demanding that “all parties promise to take immediate steps to ceasefire, initiate political negotiations and exercise the greatest restraint”.
State agency WAM reported that Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Sajid expressed his condolences to “all the victims of the recent fighting”. After storming the al-Aqsa mosque, the emirate urged Israel to “avoid practices that endanger the sanctity of the mosque”.
Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan also condemned the clashes at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, but hardly commented on the situation in Gaza. Your criticism of Israel has been muted over the last few days.
As long as the conflict with the Palestinians remains unresolved, states have shied away from a decades-long line of Arab governments to reject relations with Israel. Apart from economic gains, he was also interested in an alliance against his common arch enemy Iran.
Call for a two-state solution
In some cases, however, countries are also reverting to earlier customary rhetoric. The Emirate’s former Minister of State for External Affairs, Anwar Gargash, described on Twitter the “two-state solution and the end of Israeli occupation with an independent Palestinian state” as a “historical and principled position”.
Similar comments came from Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which have not yet normalized relations with Israel. Morocco’s foreign minister, Nasir Baurita, described the Palestinian question as a main concern in a “firm and clear position by the state”.
In September, then-US President Donald Trump described the coordination with Israel as “the basis for comprehensive peace throughout the region,” mediated by Washington. Trump spoke of “beginning a new Middle East”. The Palestinian leadership refused to enter into negotiations with the Trump administration and accused the then US president of unilateral partisanship to Israel. Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, is trying to tout the truce.