Are the Gulf States finally getting fed up with the ungrateful Palestinians?
One of the things few Americans understand is that the Arab nations despise the Palestinians. Nevertheless, for their own reasons, whether religious or political, the Gulf nations have reliably supported the Palestinians for decades. Things are changing in the Middle East, though, and when the editor-in-chief of the Arab Times writes an op-ed saying the Palestinians are ungrateful wretches and that it's time to dump them, people may start paying attention.
A lot has changed for the better in the Middle East, despite Obama and because of Trump. Obama caused enormous destabilization across the Middle East, which spilled into Europe, when he relentlessly supported Iran, ignored his own red line in Syria, did nothing to stop ISIS's spread, and supported the Muslim Brotherhood during the Arab Spring. All of this terrified the more stable Gulf States, which started viewing Israel not as the universal Muslim enemy, but as a potential ally against Iranian dominance, ISIS, civil wars, and Muslim Brotherhood extremism.
Things changed even more when Trump embarked upon his Abraham Accords. They opened the way for nations wary of revolutionary Islam to open ties with Israel, a stable ally that would bring enormous trade opportunities. And while Saudi Arabia hasn't formally entered into the Abraham Accords, its fear of Iran and its fight with the Houthi rebels, who are Iran's proxy, has also made it amenable to dealing with Israel. As the old Arab saying goes, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."
All of this is helped by the fact that none of the Middle Eastern Arabs likes the Palestinians. There's a reason that Egypt built a wall against them. And there's a reason that, even though the land the Palestinians claim in the West Bank is technically part of Jordan, in accordance with the 1924 League of Nations division of the land, the Jordanians don't want them, either. Stable Muslim nations view the Palestinians as communist troublemakers.
The view that the Palestinians are more trouble than they're worth got a boost from the Arab Times, an important newspaper in Kuwait. The editor-in-chief, Ahmed Al-Jarallah, who has long tried to get the region to make peace with Israel for reasons of stability, argues that it's time for the Gulf Nations to jettison the Palestinians entirely.
Image: Celebrating the Ramallah lynching. This happened in 2000, but it's a photograph that perfectly encapsulates what Israel and the Gulf Nations are dealing with. YouTube screen grab.
In his editorial, he reminds the Gulf Nations that, while they have been good friends to the Palestinians, often to their cost, they have received nothing in return but grief:
When they [the Palestinians] are happy, they curse the Gulf leaders and people. When they are angry, they use all of the defamatory and abusive words in their dictionary against us.
We, the Gulf nationals, overlook all that by sending them aid. We also participated in all the Arab wars for defending the right of the Palestinians for self-determination and the establishment of an independent state on the 1967 borders.
We are the only ones who rescued them in the year 1970 when they launched their war on Jordan. The late Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah evacuated their leader Yasser Arafat from Amman. The Arabian Gulf states, led by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, boycotted oil export to the Western countries during the 1973 war.
[In return] They stood with the Iranian Houthi aggressor against Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. They slandered and cursed the leaders and governments of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries because they did not mourn the assassination of the head of the terrorist snake Qasem Soleimani.
Didn't Mahmoud al-Zahar refer our people as homosexuals for this reason, and Ismail Haniyeh launched an attack on them during which he used extremely vulgar talk against us in his eulogy?
Al-Jarallah makes it clear that he has no love for the Israelis, whom he calls "the occupiers." Nevertheless, he says the sick relationship the Gulf States have with the Palestinians, one that earns them abuse in exchange for sacrifice, must end:
Enough is enough! The camel's back has been broken from the burden of grief we endure due to the ingratitude of the Palestinians. They have been encouraging terrorism against us, issuing calls to kill us, and raising slogans such as "The path of liberation passes through Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Manama, Riyadh and Doha", while they are trying to lose the bearing.
All the Gulf states should normalize relations with Israel due to the fact that peace with this most advanced country is the right thing to do. Let the foolish fend for themselves.
A few years ago, I would have said Al-Jarallah was whistling into the desert wind. However, the changed dynamics in the Middle East make me believe that increasing numbers of people will pay attention to what he is saying, rather than dismissing him as a lunatic and heretic.
Hat tip: Don Surber.