Israel - UAE - Bahrain Normalization Ceremony
by Hanan Jarrar, Ambassador of Palestine to South Africa
As Palestinians, on this eve of September 15, 2020, we feel betrayed by the step taken by the United Arab Emirates, and the Kingdom of Bahrain to normalise relations with the Israeli settler-colonial regime. The signature by the foreign ministers of the two Arab Gulf states today in Washington D.C of the agreement, does not only go against the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative -which offers Israel normal relations in the region in exchange for ending occupation- and against tens of other Arab League resolutions that go in the same sense, but it is also a betrayal to the simple principles of Justice, emboldening Israel to continue oppressing the Palestinian people.
At a time where Israeli bulldozers are intensifying their work of tearing down Palestinian lands and homes to grow the illegal settlement enterprise, and Israeli strikes and blockade are suffocating the Gaza Strip, in addition to the daily threats and desacralizations of Muslim and Christian holy places, this move cannot be seen as a step towards peace. This agreement which comforts the Israel international stand is rewarding the crime perpetrators and an encouragement to the current rampant culture of impunity. As such, it will only draw nearer a movement of unrest in the region to oppose the growing injustices. Most notably, when the Israeli government is unapologetically stating that it will not allow a sovereign and viable Palestinian state to exist, and that annexation of Palestinian land shall persist.
While Palestinians firmly believe that their brethren states have the legitimacy to defend and protect their interests from regional threats and hegemonic rules, they are particularly concerned that taking a stand with the openly right wing, supremacist and racist current governments of both the US and Israel will not serve this purpose. Offering these governments a free diplomatic win that eases their internal crisis, will in no way guarantee the safety and prosperity of Arab states, it will on the contrary further entrench the role of Israel in the region as a US imperial pion that has the role to impede any genuine sovereignty, prosperity or development to the people of the region, by such replacing a threat by one that is greater.
The only tangible and authentic path to real and sustainable peace is one that obliges Israel to realize the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in self-determination and independence. Israel should be brought to live side-by side in peace and security with all other neighbouring countries, on the basis of equal sovereignty, and in respect of the principles stated in the UN charter and subsequent resolutions, that guarantee and protect a law-based international order.
Today more than ever, where the world is facing unprecedented threats that need to be faced collectively, all states have a responsibility to uphold international law and ensure accountability. We continue to reach out to all friendly and brethren nations around the world to do everything that is in their power to realize just and lasting peace in Palestine, to restore the world order, and to uphold the universal principles of national and individual dignity and human rights.