Sudan normalizes relations with Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, right. (AP)

What did Sudan gain from refusing to normalize relations with Israel for seventy years, and what harm will this new normalization deal bring after this long wait, especially in light of the political and economic circumstances that have ravaged Sudan throughout its history since the rule of Ibrahim Abboud after independence had been attained, and to this day?

In my opinion, the answer to this question is that Sudan’s stance will remain as it is, whether it agrees or rejects normalization with Israel. Sudan has long been a staunch supporter of the Palestinian cause and it will continue to advocate for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Read more: After agreeing to normalize ties, Israel to send $5 million of wheat to Sudan

However, this new deal presents Sudan with an opportunity to address its internal economic conditions and allow it to be more present in the global arena. We all know that, with or without this deal, Israel will continue to deny Palestinians their rights, and proceed with escalating settlement activities as long as Palestinians remain lax in their resistance and the world continues to turn a blind eye to Israeli expansionist ambitions.

A picture shows the Israeli settlements of Mitzpe Kramim (R) and Kokhav HaShahar (l) in the occupied West Bank on June 18, 2020. (AFP)

A picture shows the Israeli settlements of Mitzpe Kramim (R) and Kokhav HaShahar (l) in the occupied West Bank on June 18, 2020. (AFP)

Before Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain agreed to take this step, and even long before that Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinians agreed to recognize Israel as a state. So, how can we claim that Sudan, or any Arab country as a matter of fact, was mistaken in its approach to normalize relations with Israel? We must ask ourselves, even if these countries refused such deals, will Israel ever agree to a Palestinian state that threatens its security and stability?

By emphasizing this sensitivity towards recognizing Israel as a state, we are dismissing the fact that this recognition, or lack thereof, has nothing to do with demanding that Palestinians receive their legitimate right to a sovereign state with Jerusalem as its capital and the return of refugees.

Read more: Saudi Arabia supports Palestinian demand for state, East Jerusalem as capital: FM

The UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and before them Egypt and Jordan, are still adamant and unwavering in their support of these rights, and they never shy away from publicly voicing this support even after normalizing their relations with Israel.

No matter how much time passes, or how political ties shift, Arabs will remain firm in their advocacy to protect the legitimate rights of Palestinians, even if the Israeli occupation continues to tighten its iron grip on every inch of the occupied Palestinian territories. These rights will never be forfeited nor denied even as the scale of power remains uneven, and so long as the Palestinians are serious and sincere about their pursuit of liberating their land, instead of focusing on denouncing and condemning other countries for refusing or agreeing to recognize Israel.

President Mahmoud Abbas holds up a chart during a leadership meeting at his headquarters, in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Sept. 3, 2020. (AP)

President Mahmoud Abbas holds up a chart during a leadership meeting at his headquarters, in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Sept. 3, 2020. (AP)

I have recently found myself admiring the words of the President of the Palestinian Authority (Abu Mazen) when he said: “no one has the right to speak on behalf of Palestine.” He did not name which country he was referring to, but we all know that he meant to address all Arab countries that declared recognition of Israel.

He is well aware that no Arab country has ever claimed to speak on behalf of the Palestinians when it comes to their legitimate rights, yet all Arabs without exception, as documented, have supported the formation of a Palestinian state on its occupied territories.

I realize that what President Mahmoud Abbas said was prompted by the pressures he is facing from the Palestinians following the latest successive Arab-Israeli deals. I believe Abu Mazen’s reaction is much more amiable compared to what some Palestinian leaders chose to say including the crude insults they have directed towards the UAE, Bahrain, and now Sudan, forgetting all the honorable positions and all the support these countries have shown over the years.

Palestinians demonstrate in front of Israeli bulldozers that were bulldozing land outside Deir Qaddis village near Ramallah for an apparent plan to expand a nearby Jewish settlement. (AP)

Palestinians demonstrate in front of Israeli bulldozers that were bulldozing land outside Deir Qaddis village near Ramallah for an apparent plan to expand a nearby Jewish settlement. (AP)

The Palestinian Authority withdrew its ambassadors from the UAE and Bahrain, and after the Sudanese parliament finalizes its recognition of Israel, Sudan will receive the same treatment. This leaves us wondering, why didn’t the Palestinians withdraw their ambassadors from Egypt and Jordan? Their outrage has cooled down over the years and they have abandoned their treason accusations and their disgraceful media dealings in this regard.

Palestinian ambassadors represent the Palestinian Authority within Arab countries that recognize a Palestinian state even though the fact remains that there is no international recognition of the state of Palestine. This is a reflection of the support Arab countries offer Palestinians, and when the Palestinian Authority makes a decision to withdraw its ambassadors, it only serves the interest of Israel, meaning that the Israeli ambassadors will be the substitutes and the dream of establishing a Palestinian state fades from view.

At this point, we should point out that the return of these Palestinian ambassadors may not be on the table after the blatant mistreatment of the countries that agreed to the normalization. It was the Palestinians who made the unwise decision of withdrawing from these countries, and it will be the Palestinians who will bear responsibility for taking this step, especially since it was accompanied by an intense Palestinian media appearance on Al-Jazeera and other channels, to express their hidden hatred towards these countries, and the Kingdom, which did not recognize Israel in the first place.

People hold a Palestinian flag during a protest against the United Arab Emirates, in Jerusalem's Old City, August 14, 2020. (Reuters)

People hold a Palestinian flag during a protest against the United Arab Emirates, in Jerusalem's Old City, August 14, 2020. (Reuters)

In conclusion, the Palestinians have persistently failed to realize that they are the ones to blame for losing their rights and weakening their chances of peaceful solutions and not any other Arab country. In fact, many of the internal challenges that the Arabs faced, were in large due to their support for Palestinian rights and their hostility towards Israel.

However, Palestinians continue to deny all the good deeds Arabs have undertaken and only highlight their missteps, dismissing the fact that they have only themselves to blame for the state of disarray they are still experiencing. They have failed to learn from their past losses, and all this wasted time went by with no real progress.

Circumstances, mindsets, and priorities are quickly shifting, and the Palestinians are yet again left at a disadvantage.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 28 October 2020 KSA 18:02 - GMT 15:02
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