Tags: Israel | Media Bias | twitter | israeli | qatar | palestinians

Yes, Israel's Relations With Neighbors Improving

israel and mideast neighbors

(Sharaf Maksumov/Dreamstime)

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Thursday, 13 February 2020 04:45 PM Current | Bio | Archive

According some certain media outlets, the Palestinians have succeeded in galvanizing support for global condemnation of Israel. According to others U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s Deal of the Century triggered a downward spiral in the entire Mideast.

Neither of these perceptions is true — neither one is accurate.

Simply look at three events from this week alone.

These events, not secretive behind-the-scenes occurrences, but on-the-record public and publicized happenings of seismic proportions, point to a seismic shift in the Mideast.

All are positive.

Here’s event number one: Hamad bin Jassim al Thani, the former prime minister and foreign minister of Qatar announced on Sunday, via Twitter, that "On December 14 last year, I published a tweet, in which I spoke about the deal of the century, I said that it will be announced at the beginning of thisyear. Now, a non-aggression pact between Israel and Gulf Cooperation Council countries as well as Egypt, Jordan and possibly Morocco, will follow."

He continued with his tweet and wrote that he was "not against signing a non-aggression pact after clear results in the peace process are reached."

Event number two comes to us courtesy of Ibrahim Ajami, head ofthe Abu Dhabi mega wealth fund named Mubadala Investment Company. Ajami told his colleagues gathered at a conference that the Arab world needs to "up its game" to draw more international investors — Israeli investors.

In Ajami's own words, "We are open for business in the region and we need to welcome all sorts of investors." Speaking directly to fellow panelist Avi Eyal, co-founder of Entree Capital, a venture firm focused on Israel, Ajami said, "We need to welcome investors, Avi, even investors that are very active in Israel, and Israeli investors, that would ultimately come and see opportunity in the region. I don’t see why we should not do that."

The final event of the week involves the host of a very popular, political, interview show on the Arabic TV network Al Jazeera. Faisal al Qassem, the host of a program "The Opposite Direction," tweeted that Israel is the most successful project of the past two centuries.

This is what he wrote, "For most Arabs, if they want to curse you, they will describe you as a 'Zionist,' even though they know that the most successful project in the current and last century is the Zionist project." 

There was, as expected, blow-back on Twitter.

So Qassem decided to ask his 5.5 million followers what they thought.

About 6,000 responses came in and well over 80% of them agreed that Israel was more modern, more democratic and more technological than Arab countries.

Qassem also hosted the IDF Arabic spokesman on his show via skype.

As expected once again, there were people who condemned him.

Qassem’s response was that people just do not understand history.

He said that in Arabic calling someone a "Zionist" is considered a curse while it should be considered a compliment because Israel has achieved what every Arab state merely promised.

That’s three events marking not only acceptance of Israel by her Arab neighbors, but praise for the Jewish State.

It all happened after the Trump Plan was released and is proof positive that Israel is making serious headway in the established Arabic world.

These events are telling us that people, especially people in power and in business in the Arab world, realize how positive it would be to have healthy interaction and relations with Israel.

There are many more examples, but for the time being, most remain behind closed doors.

That is to be expected.

But every week there are a handful of these examples and every week more and more thought leaders write and talk — publicly and openly, about normalizing relations with Israel. That is good for the Arab world.

Unfortunately, however, the Palestinians cannot understand what is happening.

They cannot fathom why it is happening. And they certainly don’t consider it good news.

The reason for their bewilderment and rejection of these advances is clear.

It's the Palestinians who used to direct the agenda on the Arab world's attitude toward Israel. That role has been usurped, it's no longer the status quo.

The fragile hold that Palestinians had in the Mideast agenda is slipping away — quickly.

Opposition to everything about Israel is all they had. Now they are not merely powerless, they are also marginalized. That’s not a good position at all.

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. To read more of this reportsClick Here Now.

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People, especially people in power and in business in the Arab world, realize how positive it would be to have healthy interaction and relations with Israel.
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Thursday, 13 February 2020 04:45 PM
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