The Arab peace process: Peace can finally stand on solid ground

Abdullah bin Bijad Al-Otaibi

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The Arab-Israeli peace process has certainly had its ups and downs, passing through major milestones, and through defining moments that played a vital role in shaping history in the Middle East for the past few decades. From waging wars to extending olive branches and peace negotiations, true harmony between both parties has proven to be an impossible feat so far. Wars never served their intended purpose, and peace was never truly established as it should have.

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There is no denying that the peace process in the region has always stood on shaky ground, constantly on the verge of losing its footing and leaning more favorably toward taking the war approach. Today, we are witnessing a new shift in the region’s approach toward achieving peace. The peace process is finally taking on a more promising form that is aligned with the aspirations of both the people and their leaders. By establishing practical and realistic strategies, eliminating corruption, contradiction and uncertainty, the peace process can begin to stand on firm sold ground.

Looking back, President Anwar Sadat was an exceptional politician, with a progressive vision and impressive strategic insight, and he was the only Arab leader who waged a successful war against Israel because he was paving the way for peace. He put the best interest of his nation first; he won the war, completed peace negotiations, and even went to the Israeli Knesset. His quest for peace ended with him signing the Camp David Accords. Many Arabs have denounced President Sadat’s visionary approach, but no one can deny that without his efforts, Egypt would have suffered greatly, and it would not be the powerful nation it is today.

In the early 1980s, Palestinians rejected King Fahd's project for peace, and in the first half of the 1990s, they signed the 1993 Oslo Accord, while the Jordanians signed the 1994 Wadi Araba Treaty. Several other Arab countries have also attempted to build ties with Israel including Morocco, Mauritania, and the Sultanate of Oman, which highly commended the peace agreement the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Bahrain have signed with Israel.

Rather than focusing on the past, our true focus should be directed towards the future and the present we are trying to build. This latest move will reshape the course of history setting off ripples that could have all kinds of impacts on the region. As we all know, the Palestinian cause has come to a grinding halt due to the widespread corruption of Palestinian leaders, and Gulf countries have grown tired of the political extortion Palestinian leaders have always resorted to, taking advantage of the Gulf aid and funding.

The major difference between peace agreements drafted in the past and the new agreements being discussed now is that in the past these agreements resulted in many internal and regional disputes. Each party has used the pretext of the Palestinian cause to instigate conflicts that served its own best interest. There is no shortage of examples throughout the region’s history of the corruption and terrorism that has long been practiced in this regard, and future generations will have no trouble unearthing this truth in this new digital age.

The true impact of the peace agreements Arab countries have signed in the past remains obscure with no real benefits felt by their societies; however, the new agreements are expected to have a direct positive impact on all levels, including cooperation in different fields, starting from agriculture all the way to space. This latest development aims to serve the people of the Gulf, who alongside their governments have paid the price for all the corruption and conspiracies that have been targeting them. The Gulf countries have no intention to abandon the Palestinian cause, but they are no longer willing to extend their support to its corrupt failing leaders.

Although we have always extended our support for the Palestinian leaders against their old adversary, they have failed to extend the same support and stand with the Gulf states against the two major adversaries currently threatening the stability of the region. Many have thought they could keep making empty flashy claims and pretending to raise the banner of resistance and struggle, but they failed to realize that it is impossible to continue to deceive everyone throughout history.

This article was originally published in and translated from Emirati publication al-Ittihad.

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