Mon 27 Nov 2023 10:45 am - Jerusalem Time
British website: Will the Gaza war change regional politics?
Nader Dargham, a Lebanese journalist based in London, believes that the Israeli-Palestinian war has raised serious questions about the future of the Middle East and the way it interacts with world powers.
He pointed out in his article on the British Middle East Eye website that with the United States and a number of Western countries throwing their weight and declaring their unconditional support for Israel, some Arab countries found themselves trying to protect their interests while calming popular anger with official support for the Palestinians.
Dergham added that while all Arab countries issued statements condemning the Israeli war in Gaza, the countries that signed the Abraham Accords - the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco - with Israel seem largely interested in securing their new relations with the Hebrew state.
The writer referred to what Elham Fakhro, a fellow in the Middle East and North Africa Program at Chatham House, told Middle East Eye: “Saudi Arabia took a relatively strong position by suspending normalization talks with Israel. But the Arab countries that already have relations with Israel refused in "Most likely, these relationships will be jeopardized."
Tariq Kenny Shawa, a US policy fellow at the Palestinian Policy Network, says this relative inaction is not very surprising to the Palestinians.
"Most Palestinians are very frustrated with the level of response of Arab leaders across the region to what happened to them," he told Middle East Eye. "At the end of the day, Palestinians know that the Arab people and the Arab streets strongly support their cause, but they feel neglected by leaders who say things they don't do."
However, Dargham pointed out the relative pressure that came from Egypt and Jordan - the two oldest regimes that were normalized with Israel - as the Egyptian regime strongly opposed any plans to displace the population of Gaza to the Egyptian Sinai, but Cairo faces criticism due to its reluctance to open the Rafah crossing with Gaza more actively. .
Jordan recalled its ambassador to Tel Aviv and withdrew from the energy-for-water agreement with Israel amid local pressure.
Despite this, Egypt and Jordan pursued and arrested citizens protesting in solidarity with Gaza.
Kenny Al-Shawa commented, “Arab leaders such as Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, King Abdullah II, and Mohammed bin Salman have influence that they can use to put pressure on Israel, such as threatening to withdraw from normalization agreements or negotiations.”
He added that these countries still prefer to maintain the support they receive from Western countries, in addition to the security and economic agreements from which they benefit.
The writer concluded his article with what Kenny Shawa said: “As long as the Arab world is run by autocrats who are interested in their own self-interest and determined to maintain their power at all costs, the Palestinians should not expect them to exert serious pressure on Israel.”