Thursday, July 25, 2024

Is the Palestinian Cause Expendable?

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The growing relationship between the Sunni Gulf kingdoms and Israel is a sign that the Palestinian cause is expendable, but will it die altogether?

The increasingly amicable relationship between Israel and the Sunni Gulf kingdoms is no more an open secret.

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The Abraham Accords of 2020 was a watershed moment in the geopolitics of the Middle East.

The accords led to the normalization of ties between the Jewish state and the Muslims states of UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco.

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It was a landmark moment.

However, the real moment when Israel and Saudi Arabia started coming close.

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Under Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Saudi Arabia has metmorphosed itself into a force to reckon with in global politics.

The growing bonhomie

While Israel and Saudi Arabia do not enjoy official diplomatic ties, their relationship is slowly deepening with each passing day.

Israel has approved a $27 billion railway network project to connect important economic destinations within the country with the provision of overland connectivity to Saudi Arabia.

This deal certainly raises quarters in hardline circles across the Muslim world as to what exactly is cooking between these two countries.

Currently, UAE is interceding between the two, but in recent conferences and diplomatic summits in the Middle east, Israel and Saudi Arabia are warming up to each other.

Be it on IT, defence, sports or in any other domain.

Why Saudi’s Approval is so Important?

The cause for Palestine is not new, it is more than seven decades old.

A large part of this cause’ legitimacy is the external support from Muslim countries globally.

The most important support naturally comes from Saudi Arabia, but the bigger question is why?

To begin with, Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam and is the centre of the two holiest places in Islam.

On top of that, Saudi enjoys global importance due to its vast oil reserves, so petro politics is an important reason.

But the Palestinian cause is driven more by self-determination and religion.

The Saudi support is crucial also for Palestinians to claim the right to have Jerusalem as a future capital of Palestine, why?

It’s because Jerusalem is the seat of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, it the third holiest place in Islam and also is an epitome of ‘Palestinian spirit’.

So, Saudi support for the Palestinians is absolutely essential for a two-state solution.

Palestine is Expendable

But let’s be honest about one fact-idealism and idealistic causes doesn’t work in international relations.

The days of liberal internationalism, despite not being out, has waned significantly.

It is the age of realist-pragmatist foreign policy doctrine. Every country will inevitably prioritize their national interests first and not the cause of the ‘ummah’.

Any rational foreign policy analyst will see it that way.

So, it is clear that Saudi Arabia has a lot to gain from joining forces with Israel- increasing trade and commerce, ability to bolster its defences.

But the most important leverage that it will get is this-containment of Iran.

At this point of time it is crystal clear that Iran considers Saudi Arabia and Israel as its rivals. It in fact considers the latter to be an abomination.

On numerous occasions Iran has threatened to ‘wipe Israel off the map’.

So it is in Saudi interest to bandwagon with Israel to contain Iran.

Therefore, Palestine or Muslim brotherhood doesn’t really matter.

Henry Kissinger in The World Order argued that geopolitics trumps religious considerations.

Therefore, the Muslim world must not be too suprised to see the death of the Palestinian cause.

Nor should they shed tear for that cause, but at least should expect from Israel that it protects Palestinian human rights.

But then the question remains-is the Palestinian cause expendable?




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