The Palestinian issue is still present and Morocco normalizes relations with Israel to confront the Algerian military – today 24

In an article titled “The Palestinian cause…present despite all obstacles,” Prince Moulay Hicham wrote, in an article on the Orient21 website, French, in which he said that “despite its absence from the agenda of Western and Arab diplomats, the question of Palestine remains rooted in the regional reality, in the memory of the peoples. The liberation aspirations of the peoples cannot be easily eliminated”.

The article claimed that US President Joe Biden’s visit to the Middle East last July was primarily aimed at lowering energy prices in the wake of the war in Ukraine, which threatens the world economy, and therefore Biden ignored the Palestinian issue. .

Biden, according to Moulay Hicham, did not question his predecessor Donald Trump’s concessions to Israel, and the Israeli settlements received no official condemnation. The Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington remains closed. Although the United States is committed to supporting a two-state solution, it has not offered a framework for new negotiations.

Moulay Hicham said: “This indifference has always been part of US foreign policy in the region, but today it reflects the great decline of Palestine in the Arab world.”
The perception of the Palestinian problem has changed during the last decade, while the regional order in the Arab world has been changing. However, “public opinion across the region remains strongly pro-Palestinian, and its support for the Abraham accords and normalization with Israel appears lukewarm, to say the least.” But solidarity does not always mean mobilization.
The Palestinian cause no longer has the same influence on national politics as it did in the past. Ideologically, the Palestinians have paid the price for the decline of unitary Arab ideologies, whether with respect to Arab nationalism or political Islam, which urged support for Palestinian self-determination. Furthermore, on the economic and political fronts, several countries have suffered from conflict or turbulent political transitions since the start of the Arab Spring. The societies of the Arab states have become more concerned with local conflicts for the sake of dignity and justice, rather than regional concerns like Palestine.
Socially, the repression and disintegration of various civil societies have also prevented mass mobilization in the face of Israeli aggression. Consequently, the pro-Palestinian demonstrations decreased in number and scope, with the exception of Jordan, perhaps due to its geographical proximity. Public opinion has barely addressed events that previously provoked strong popular reactions, such as Hezbollah’s recent flight from rallies over Israel. Finally, at the geopolitical level, Palestine no longer organizes the regional agenda, because such an agenda no longer exists! The old Arab order, based on a sustainable consensus coordinated by the Arab League, has practically collapsed.

However, the time of the new normalization, embodied in the Abraham Accords, according to Moulay Hicham, does not represent so much an accidental crossing of interests as a new structuring of regional dynamics. At each stage a new stimulus for normalization has emerged.
The first impulse towards normalization came from the counterrevolutionary axis. Driven by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates during the Arab Spring, the counter-revolution sought to empty all ideologies of their meanings, those of Arab nationalism and political Islam, as well as liberalism and democratic activism. Its objective was to strengthen authoritarian regimes by drying up any source of popular mobilization. Subsequently, the second push toward normalization came from a desire to respond to US foreign policy under the Trump administration. The “deal of the century” provided an opportunity for old US allies to improve their geopolitical position and for new allies to gain influence in Washington by highlighting their pro-Israel positions.
Then we entered a third stage since Trump’s departure, in which the Arab countries abandoned their old commitments and alliances, and began to seek, under a retreating American hegemony, to achieve their own interests.
A separate peace with Israel benefits each “normalizer” in a different way, but none of these benefits actually come from the noble promises of the Abraham Accords, which their authors say should bring about an unprecedented wave of economic and political integration. prosperity around the world. the region.
In the Gulf, for example, the United Arab Emirates sees Israel as an ally in mutual security agreements aimed at confronting Iran, which they see as an existential threat. The UAE also views Israel’s technological and financial links as vital to economic access to Africa. For its part, Morocco sees Israel as a useful partner in the face of Algeria’s advances in some military sectors. As for the Sudanese officials, they jumped on the normalization bandwagon because it allowed the country to be removed from the list of countries that support terrorism, giving them the possibility of opening up economic and military cooperation with the West.

End of permanent alliances

According to Moulay Hicham, traditional alliances have been replaced by a constantly changing scenario of conflicts and conjunctural blocs, and each country sees the regional system as a large table that can eat from it and take apparently contradictory positions. Permanent centers are less than temporary alliances. These cooperation models are utilitarian, not based on ideological consensus, but on temporary intersections of contiguous interests.
For example, Turkey cooperates with Russia to facilitate the transit of grain through the Black Sea, but has also agreed, after repeated pleas from the US, to allow Finland and Sweden to join NATO. In addition, Turkey participates in tripartite meetings with Iran and Russia, while selling military gear to Ukraine. Morocco, for its part, remains close to the West in its economic and political orientations, but Rabat has chosen not to condemn Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. The new “Great Game” around natural gas deposits in the Eastern Mediterranean has given rise to new partnerships and tensions between Libya, Turkey, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel and Greece, which are discussed on the fringes of broader regional pressures. .
Four Gulf countries have yet to agree to normalization with Israel, namely Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman. For Saudi Arabia, the main obstacle to normalization is its guardianship of the holy sites of Mecca and Medina. Tolerating Israel’s settlement expansion in Palestine would mean symbolically abandoning Jerusalem, which is home to the “Third Sanctuary.” Qatar does not want normalization in order to maintain its role as a neutral mediator, while retaining its influence through its soft power. Normalization will deprive Doha of its privileged position above regional disputes.

At a time when these geopolitical formations are proliferating throughout the region and becoming more complex, an effective division of labor between the state and the settlers has developed in Israel. The Israeli political establishment normalizes relations with as many Arab countries as possible, establishing the only “Jewish” state as a fait accompli. Meanwhile, the settlers carry out ethnic cleansing and continue to occupy Palestinian land. Because these settlers do not act in accordance with official state directives, the Israeli government can officially deny its support for these practices. For its part, the international community supports this arrangement by keeping the head of the dying Palestinian Authority just above the surface of the water. As a final result, an apartheid-like system emerges, in which the Israeli state and society classify, divide and manage Palestinians as mere individuals. It is true that the Arab regimes denounce the occupation of Palestine and the settlement operations, but it is a timid condemnation. It is also playing a two-tier game, with officials seeking the financial benefits to be gained from a peace deal with Israel, while increasing pressure on pro-Palestinians in civil societies. However, this strategy is threatened by two new developments.

The question of the sacred
The Palestinian crisis has become a human rights issue, rather than a struggle for national liberation.
It is part of a global defense of civil rights and the right to dignity. Since the Israeli right has systematically made a two-state solution impossible, the main frame of reference for Palestinians is respect for their rights under Israeli hegemony. The allegation sparked by the murder of American-Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akle sheds light on the extent of that development. So is the wave of international support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that brings the fight for Palestine closer to the campaign against apartheid in South Africa.

Second, after the recent events in the Al-Aqsa mosque complex, attention has turned more to the religious dimension of the dispute over Jerusalem as a holy city. The problem of Jerusalem no longer means exclusively its position as the eternal capital of Israel or as the future capital of Palestine. Rather, the issue revolved around the Al-Aqsa Mosque, including the Dome of the Rock. This very sensitive spiritual dimension, which concerns not only Palestinians but Muslims as a whole, was at the heart of the failure of the Camp David negotiations in 2001. Although it has been absent in recent years, it has returned with a vengeance. during the recent period with the repeated provocations of the Jewish pilgrims on what they call “the mountain of the structure”.
While some Israeli politicians would like to secure Jerusalem as soon as possible, others consider this dimension sacred and therefore prefer not to occupy the city except in stages, to reduce the possibility of a religiously motivated revolution. However, they contrast with their partners, that is, the settlers, who do not act on a political logic, but religious, rather Christian, and zealously pursue the dream of establishing a “Great Judaism”.
This duality between politics and religion worries the Arab regimes. They understand the strategic logic of Israel’s seizure of Palestinian land, but are unable to deal with the religious backlash caused by the occupation of Jerusalem and turning the Palestinian question into a global campaign for civil rights. Fear of rebound shock explains Saudi Arabia’s reluctance to normalize as it is unable to sacrifice Jerusalem and at the same time claim to protect Mecca and Medina on behalf of the Islamic nation.
There is no doubt that Palestine has suffered a setback in this new stage. However, the crisis will not dissipate. The Palestinians are in trouble today. However, history shows that liberation demands remain, even in the face of ruthless colonialism. Northern Ireland, for example, is the product of the British colonization of Ireland 600 years ago. However, even the Good Friday Agreement did not fully resolve religious and national tensions.
Likewise, the Palestinian cause will continue. Liberation is a basic human aspiration that resists all the geopolitical and religious pressures that currently govern it.