When Regev cried in Abu Dhabi and Netanyahu in Muscat

There are funny ironies in life and sad ones, and the ironies we are experiencing today with the accelerated normalisation of some Gulf countries that are not linked to Israel by the Israeli occupation are a dark comedy irony.  Such comedy brings with it a flow of crying and laughter in Arab capitals.

Miri Regev, the extremist Israeli minister, cried with joy when the Israeli national anthem was played in Abu Dhabi after an Israeli player won the judo championship there. She said that she was overwhelmed with joy because this was the first time the anthem was played in a Muslim Arab capital.

The Hatikva Zionist anthem says, “Our hope is not yet lost, the hope two thousand years old, to be a free nation in our land, the land of Zion and Jerusalem.”

The Zionist minister is entitled to weep for joy, especially as she is known for her extreme positions towards Arabs and Muslims. She went to the Cannes Film Festival with a dress depicting a “united” Jerusalem as the capital of Israel including the image of Islamic and Christian religious monuments, which, according to international laws are occupied Palestinian sites. She was also the minister who said the voice of the call to prayer coming from the mosques sounded like dogs barking!

 We have the right to weep for our Arabism, slaughtered on the altar of free normalisation, which a comprehensive peace agreement between the Arabs and the occupation.

Since we are talking about feelings, we must recall the warm and emotional scene between the Israeli Minister of Culture, Miri Regev and the President of the UAE Judo Federation, a day before the scene of her crying in Abu Dhabi. Meanwhile, the UAE closes its doors to other Arabs due to conflicts between their countries, which are certainly less dangerous and radical, as we assume, than the conflicts between the Arabs and the occupation.

Regev cried out of joy, and perhaps it was joy mixed with sorrow because her joy was incomplete perhaps because the UAE official did not memorise the words of the anthem and did not sing it while it was playing.

 Not far from Abu Dhabi, Netanyahu had a big smile on his face at the Al-Baraka House in Muscat, in a meeting, which is the first of its kind at this level. It is also the worst of its kind because it is a political meeting, not linked to an international event, a justification used by Arab countries that host Israeli government officials in the context of global cultural, sports, etc. events.

Read: Why Oman’s embrace of Israel is bad news

It is also the most dangerous because it is occurring at the highest political level, as it is a meeting between the prime minister and the Sultan, not just a “technical” meeting between officials from the Israeli government and officials from one Arab state or another.  

Perhaps the importance of the meeting, or its danger, in our eyes, is what prompted Netanyahu to smile ear to ear during his meeting with Sultan Qaboos, and while they looked over some maps in the Royal Palace.

This also prompted him to gloat in his statements and tweets regarding this visit, saying it was a prelude to visits on the same level as other Arab countries not tied to the occupation by peace agreements.

Far from the “party” of intense feelings of laughter and crying in Muscat and Abu Dhabi, let us talk rationally and ask: What is the purpose of such normalisation meetings? What is the secret of the Arab, and especially the Gulf’s accelerated normalisation? The meetings in Muscat and Abu Dhabi were preceded by other sporting events in Doha and secret meetings, according to US and Israeli sources, between Arab officials, including Egyptians, Saudis and Jordanians at the level of security leaders in these countries.

 If peace is the goal, how can we understand the escalation of Israeli killing and the systematic bombing of the Gaza Strip between the times the two normalisation events took place in Muscat and Abu Dhabi? If the goal is to reduce tensions in the region, how do we understand the escalation of tension between some countries involved in the festival of normalisation with other Arab countries that are also participating in this same festival?

 The first real goal of this official festival of normalisation is to try to change the Arab awareness towards the conflict with the occupation and to promote it as an “Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” as Oman’s Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi said. It is an attempt to avoid the reality of the conflict, which is an Arab-Israeli conflict between the Israeli extreme racist religious project and the Arab project, which is unfortunately still absent on the ground.

Read: Jerusalem: Israel PM orchestrated mayor-ministerial swap

The second goal is to obtain the legitimacy of the United States to protect governments in these countries. While many Arab governments lack popular legitimacy, they seek to replace it with foreign legitimacy. By doing so, it is seeking to obtain this legitimacy by finding its way to the heart of Washington by winning the hearts of Netanyahu and Tel Aviv!

During their fervent attempts to normalisation and rushing towards Tel Aviv, these governments are forgetting that the US and its legitimacy coming from abroad did not protect other Arab governments and governments around the world against the mass uprisings against the Western-backed governments. They also forget that the Israeli occupation is a racist state with a colonial project that is against the progress or development of any state in the region.

While some Arab countries are scrambling in this “season of migration to Tel Aviv” to get the support of the occupation to face the threat of Iran, they would also be making a double mistake:

The first mistake is that the United States and Israel will not fight Iran for the Arabs, or for the Sunnis, as some sectarian groups are trying to describe the Arab-Iranian conflict. They will only fight Iran when this war will achieve their interests and protect their national security. 

The second is the fact that the best way to confront Iran is to build an Arab development project against the Iranian project instead of giving Tehran justifications to accuse the Arab countries of losing their project and compass and throwing themselves into the arms of the occupation and colonialism. This is a discourse that Iran can use to weaken the popularity and legitimacy of these countries because the Arab nations’ compass is still clearly pointed at Palestine as a central cause.

The Arab governments are therefore mistaken if they think that they will be able to change the Arab position towards the conflict with the occupation. They are also mistaken if they think that they will get their legitimacy through normalisation, as the Arab people’s compass is their heart and hearts are never mistaken.