The UAE-Bahrain-Israel peace accord is a positive development. This is not because it signifies a new era of peace in the region, but because the betrayal by the Arab world will force the Palestinians to rediscover their own struggle and forge ahead with national unity. The Arab world’s facade of genuine support for the Palestinian cause and the equitable resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been a major hurdle to Palestinian mobilization against Israel’s domination for decades. It has been used by the out-of-touch Palestinian leadership to continue its commitment to the Oslo framework, which Israel uses to entrench its stranglehold over Palestinian life. Now, finally, that facade has been ripped away like a stubborn Band-Aid.
Ironically, the Gulf’s open embrace of Israel was facilitated by the demise of the two-state solution. Continued Israeli settlement expansion and the entrenchment of Israel’s matrix of control over Palestinians forced Arab attempts at a two-state solution (like the flawed Arab Peace Initiative) into utter irrelevance.
As the Arab consensus on Palestine evaporated into insignificance, individual rulers were free to pursue their own interests with Israel. From surveillance technologydesigned to repress to military deals, there are substantial mutual interests between Israel and its Arab partners.
Even the talking points used to validate this deal in the Arab world hold no weight. The UAE proclaimed that Israel would freeze West Bank annexation in exchange for peace after the deal was announced in August. The text of the accord, however, makes zero mention of annexation. It would be comical if it weren’t so tragic.
The Palestinians need a new plan
The Palestinians’ biggest failure was sticking to the two-state solution despite all the signs it would only drive them to ruin. They refused to recognize the obvious fact that their fate lay solely in their own hands. The United States, Europe, and their Arab brethren haven’t come to their aid. This is all the more tragic considering virtually no attempt was made to craft an alternative vision despite organic civil society initiatives from the boycott campaign to the March 15th protest movement from 2011 and the more recent Gaza March of…