Saudi Arabia can put in caveats before recognising Israel and exchanging diplomats, and forging full business and other ties!
Commentary and Analysis . . . Saudi Arabia, based on media reports, was on the verge of full diplomatic relations with Israel when Hamas militants attacked a music festival, on Saturday 7 October 2023, in the desert in southern Israel. It may have been about unconditional Saudi recognition of Israel for economic reasons. Saudi patience with Palestine may be wearing thin after over 70 years with no light at the end of the tunnel.
Saudi Arabia can and may put in caveats before recognising Israel and exchanging diplomats, and forging full business and other ties. Saudi recognition for Israel, especially if October 7 gets repeated and Hamas’ bluff gets called for politically correct reasons, may end the Palestine Dream.
If Hamas regains face eventually and recovers militarily and politically, it will be long time in the making. The US has imposed hundreds of sanctions against Hamas which has been listed by UN as terrorist organisation.
If the people in the Gaza Strip have degenerated into xenophobia, prejudice and unmitigated hate for everything Israeli, the hand of America can be seen at work. Washington has been all about scenario-building based on paranoia in denying the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
Saudi Arabia Emulate Arab Nations
Saudi Arabia aside, we can’t rule out more Arab nations in particular throwing the post-1948 Palestinian (hereinafter Palestinian) under the bus as the clock continues ticking in the Middle East for putting the past behind, for better or worse, in making a difference.
As at end 2021, six out of the 22 Arab League nations have recognised Israel viz. Egypt, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco. It may be growing list, albeit ever so slowly so far.
Those nations which welcome Israel may have convinced themselves that the Jewish state was more blessing in disguise, than curse, in the region. That doesn’t mean that Palestinian weren’t cursed lot slowly losing more and more land. Jewish settlements occupy large areas of the West Bank, disputed territory, based on Israel reading the Biblical accounts from the distant past.
The Fatah dominated Palestine Authority (PA) runs the civilian administration in the West Bank. Israel keeps the territory, since the 1967 War, under military administration. The West Bank was under Jordanian administration between the years 1948 and 1967.
The Palestinian are Arabic speaking Muslim and Christian. Hebrew speaking Jew, before 1948 in the Biblical Holy Land, were also known as Palestinian, an administrative term codified by the Roman Empire. At that time, there were no Arabic speakers in the Biblical Holy Land. There’s no Palestinian language. There has never been Palestine nation-state in history.
Arabic speaking Palestinian make up 60 per cent of the population in Jordan, formerly part of the British Trans Jordan Palestine Mandate, and the majority in Kuwait. Others in both countries are also Arabic speaking. Palestinian can be found in many other countries. There are parallels here with Jew in the diaspora. Palestinian and Jew in the diaspora habitually speak local languages even at home.
Indeed, there’s no doubt that Saudi Arabia and Israel getting together, for the collective good and common humanity, would be the biggest game changer in the Middle East.
Already, Saudi Arabia has taken dramatic steps towards the rule of law by re-interpreting syariah as having force of law, being based on customary practices. Islam in the Quran calls for the Tafsir (interpretation) concept throughout the ages, from time to time, for progressive thought in keeping with the times.
The fate of the Palestinian in the Biblical Holy Land hangs by the slenderest thread i.e. Saudi goodwill. Saudi Arabia’s rapprochement with Israel, sooner or later, may be the last nail driven in the coffin for Palestinian nationalism viz. opposing Israel as Jewish state which, in a contradiction in terms, subscribes to the rule of law.
Israel, in hindsight, may have made strategic mistake when it vacated the Gaza Strip decades ago. Hence, the two state solution i.e. Israel and Palestine living side by side, may never happen. It’s not rocket science.
Israel, allegedly lacking any humanitarian considerations, may see the Gaza Strip as scorched earth wasteland for “human animals” separated from the Jewish state by buffer zone.
In law, disproportionate and collective punishment are unlawful, violation of human rights, and tantamount to “ethnic” cleansing, if not genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
Israel flattening the Gaza Strip before leaving may be more about making Hamas look bad in the wake of the militant group’s attack on the music festival on Saturday 7 October 2023 in the desert in southern Israel. There was no Public Inquiry on October 7.
Palestine Security Risk
India, the grapevine whipers, allegedly advised Israel on treading cautiously on the two state solution.
There are lessons for Israel and Palestine in the British creating permanent conflict situation in the Indian subcontinent by stealing land from India for Pakistan as Islamic state.
Pakistan never became Islamic state. The lawyers, court and judiciary were against it.
Pakistan, like India, subscribes to the rule of law.
Bangladesh, which broke away from Pakistan in 1971 after rogue Iraqi Jew Major Jacob led 3K Indian troops and 200K Bengali militia against 90K Pakistani troops, recently dropped Islam from the Constitution.
Israel and America probably let Hamas survive so that they don’t have to look at solutions for the Palestinian phenomenon.
The West Bank, in the wake of October 7, may not be free of Israeli military administration unless UN peacekeepers enter the picture.
Saudi Arabia or no Saudi Arabia, the Palestinian must look at solutions away from Hamas and Fatah by holding local government, town council and village election.
There must be consent of the governed, legitimacy, democracy and sovereignty under the rule of law.
The UN will come in and hold territorial elections in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
The UN can reverse the Jewish state concept, with or without Israel’s consent, and preside over one state solution. The future can be secular and democratic with three immigration systems.
Immigration restrictions will protect the Jewish population in Israel from being swamped by Arabic speakers in the Biblical Holy Land.
The court, being court of law, cannot get into theology.
The Palestinian don’t need rotten form of politics created by the whole world jumping on the bandwagon.
They need empowerment for bottom up democracy.
That does away with political personality cults based on tribalism and feudalism under the guise of fighting for anything but democracy.
If Palestinian don’t stand up for their rights, they will be creating Karma, the law of cause and effect, i.e. the 1st law based on eternal truth.
Ethnic And Religious
Muslim can pray at the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. The Middle East conflict isn’t about “ethnicity” under the guise of language or religion per se.
The conflict was about Arabic speakers in the Biblical Holy Land having no land titles and, again, Israel being Jewish state although subscribing to the rule of law.
Israel inherited the land policies of the Ottoman and British Empires. Both Empires disregarded the land claims of Muslim on the grounds that Islam came from outside.
Both Hebrew and Arabic are official languages in Israel. Jew outside Israel speak multiple languages. They don’t speak Hebrew.
Jew in Kerala in southwest India, for example, speak Malayalam. They came 2K years ago. Those who left for Israel after 1948 still speak Malayalam at home and eat Kerala food. There are only four Jewish families left in Cochin, Kerala.
Arabic speakers in Israel have 20 per cent of the seats in Parliament. They have four political parties. One is in government. Arabic speaker nearly became Prime Minister not so long ago. Jewish politics are even more divided than that among Arabic speakers.
Arabic speakers, Muslim and Christian, can be found in all walks of life in Israel. Jew, Muslim and Christian make up the Israeli Army, Navy, Air Force, police and intelligence services, civil service, teaching service, diplomatic service and judiciary. Arabic speaking pharmacists, for example, make up 45 per cent of the profession in Israel.
Israel remains the only nation in the Middle East where Christian feel protected. Christian are also being attacked by politicians from Iran to India for preaching secularism. — NMH
Longtime Borneo watcher Joe Fernandez has been writing for many years on both sides of the Southeast Asia Sea. He should not be mistaken for a namesake formerly with the Daily Express in Kota Kinabalu. JF keeps a Blog under FernzTheGreat on the nature of human relationships.