The Israel-UAE Agreement's Greatest Achievement: Little Arab Protest

(Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University) Prof. Hillel Frisch - As an El Al plane flew over Saudi Arabia carrying a bevy of Israeli officials to the Emirates, there were no demonstrations of consequence in the Arab world. Amman, Beirut, Tunis, Algiers, and Rabat, where demonstrations against Israel and the "desecration" of al-Aqsa mosque are generally well-attended, were silent. There was a din of voices castigating the UAE for normalizing ties with Israel, but they emanated mostly from dinosaur institutions linked with the Arab League, professional unions, and political movements whose common characteristic is a fossilized leadership that has been in place for more than 25 years. In photos taken in both the PA and Hamas-dominated Gaza, only a dozen or so demonstrators are shown, mostly members of the older generation. The lack of demonstrations was most assuredly noticed by state leaders in the Middle East. It is one more sign of long-term processes of political maturation in the Arabic-speaking public. The Arabs taking to the streets today do not believe the Palestinian nationalist vision is more deserving of their efforts and attention than their own struggle for a better future at home. The writer is a professor of political and Middle East studies at Bar-Ilan University and a senior research associate at its BESA Center.

2020-09-03 00:00:00

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