The ripples across the international community in the wake of the UAE/Israel peace accord are beginning to be felt.
There has been virtually no condemnation of the agreement except, and not at all surprisingly, from the regular suspects. They are the Palestinians, Iran, Turkey and Qatar. Several countries in the Arab world are denying that they are in talks with the Jewish state, but they are. And that, too, is to be expected.
The reality is that the Arab world is no longer what it once was. The Palestinian issue, once front and center, is now practically irrelevant.
The change has been evolving over the past few years. Once upon a time when Palestinian leadership requested solidarity among Arab nations against the Jewish State, there was almost complete compliance. Now, when Palestinian leadership shouts and beckons and implores fellow Arabs to participate in mass demonstrations across the Arab and Muslim world and to offer them support, the response they receive is at best muted, more often, silent. With one exception and that exception, of course, is Iran.
The Arab world has determined that Palestinian leadership is locked in the past, that they do not see and are unwilling to accept the new reality that has emerged – that Israel is here to stay and that Israel is a force to be dealt with.
Palestinian leadership remains steadfast. Abbas and his cronies cannot be coaxed or tempted or convinced that it is better to accept the new reality, which means peace and coexistence, than to be locked into an unrealistic hope that Israel will be destroyed by the combined efforts of the pan-Arab society.
They still hold on to the hope, first fostered by Yasser Arafat, that they can push Israel into the sea. They cannot let go of the dream of conquering Tel Aviv and Haifa and of course, the entire city of Jerusalem.
The prevalent stance of greater Arab leadership, in the Middle East and beyond the region, is that there is more to gain from Israel than there is to gain by ignoring or totally rejecting her.
Over the past few decades the Arab world has been divided into two groups. The first of those groups is extremist and the second is the silent majority. Extremism in the Arab world, just like everywhere else in the world, is loud and aggressive. By definition, extremists are the loudest voice in the room, or on the street, or in the conversation. But slowly, incrementally in the Arab world, the silent majority has begun to raise their collective voice. And they are beginning to give voice to their disdain for extremism and to their abhorrence of revolution.
The masses have become angry, really angry. Their anger stems from the realization – slow in coming but now impossible to ignore, that the revolution did not work.
Arabs – especially Palestinians, look around, right and left, and see failure all around. They were promised better times and a better society and instead their lives got worse.
Yasser Arafat’s dream was to fight for and liberate the Palestinians. Mahmoud Abbas, Arafat’s successor, buys into that same vision. It is a vision that requires violence and revolution to bring it to fruition. Their model is not to talk to their enemy, not to sit down and negotiate with Israel. Not to negotiate settlements and not to negotiate agreements.
They want to force Israel to give them a state. They are old school. They want to achieve their goal through terror and violence and through terror and violence only. They don’t realize, cannot accept, that those days are over. That nowadays, the world works differently.
Worse still for the Palestinians is that their plan has backfired.
The model of achieving a state through violence and terror is a broken model. The dream of a Palestinian State is further away today than it has ever been. Fighting Palestinian terror has made Israel stronger, not weaker. And in the greater Arab world, ennui has set in.
Patient for years that turned into decades, Arab leadership has determined that the Palestinian cause has failed. They know that it is time to move on, to set new goals, to change the tried and failed modus operandi. They know and they have accepted what Palestinian leadership denies. What Palestinian leadership refuses to realize.
It took a lot of growth and soul searching to reach that conclusion. Kudos to today’s Arab leadership.
Micah Halpern is a political and foreign affairs commentator. He founded "The Micah Report" and hosts "Thinking Out Loud with Micah Halpern" a weekly TV program and "My Chopp" a daily radio spot. A dynamic speaker, he specializes in analyzing world events and evaluating their relevance and impact. Follow him on Twitter @MicahHalpern. Read Micah Halpern's Reports — More Here.
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