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Thursday , October 29 2020

Prepare to board the peace train

Ahmed Al-Jarallah Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

WHAT was the result of the bloody conflict that continued for seven decades, besides waste of wealth and an increase in backwardness and illiteracy in the Arab world? No lands were liberated by force; instead peace had returned them to their owners in Egypt and Jordan, and even to the Palestinians in “Oslo”. The issue turned into a trade because of its people who lost it in the corridors of settlements and interests with the imposition of treason on the Arabs and a vicious circle.

From this perspective, one can refer to the words that the King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa used with the US President Donald Trump – “Peace is a strategic choice. Bahrain’s vision and approach are based on understanding, dialogue, cooperation and rapprochement between people and different cultures away from tensions”.

Whoever has lived through the region’s previous bitter experiences because of the Palestinians’ failure to adopt a unified position that establishes a comprehensive Arab strategy towards their cause must reach this result.

Not far from this stance is the assertion of the United Arab Emirates that, “Peace needs courage. Creating the future needs knowledge. The advancement of nations requires sincerity and perseverance”. This courage is related to translating into reality the message of tolerance on which the Abraham House was founded in Abu Dhabi where the natural path to a solution was born to resolve the problems of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, away from the game of mass mobilization with slogans and continuing waste of energies.

The Emirati and Bahraini options have launched a new phase in line with extinguishing the hotbeds of tension in the Middle East after it turned into a source of terrorism under the pretext of liberating Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa, which were never the target of extremist groups, but rather a ride for them and for hateful regimes against Arabs with the aim of attaining completely different goals.

Yes, the peace train has started, and there is no doubt that it will pass through all the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not far from the peace option, but it may be late in signing a peace agreement due to its regional and international conditions, and because it is the owner of the “Beirut Initiative”, which is considered the most important in the history of the conflict and cannot be abandoned.

Likewise, Kuwait did not object to normalization. Rather, it announced that it will be the last Arab country to give up. Despite that, it is well aware that it would pass its terminus, and would reap its fruits at the appropriate time.

Qatar was the first in the Gulf to take the bold peace move, and it received senior Israeli officials. Opposing it today is a formality of the last steps stemming from media quarrels due to the disagreement with some Gulf states.

Likewise, the Sultanate of Oman has had its own options for a long time and has never been affected by the media hype and campaigns of defamation and betrayal practiced by demonization professionals. Those familiar with its policy know that it does not fall for emotional and provocative attitudes. We have an example of its position during the Baghdad Summit in 1978 when the Arabs declared to boycott Egypt for signing a peace treaty with Israel. At that time, it refused to cut ties with Egypt and retained its embassy in Cairo. Perhaps it will not delay in signing a similar peace agreement with Israel, like the UAE and Bahrain.

What happened in the recent days necessitates reconsideration of the Arab discourse for the next stage, taking advantage of the available opportunities, and not paying attention to the menacing and threatening throats. This is because they have not yet realized that they are living in another time marked by darkness and extremism, and they will not be able to change what history has written.

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah

Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

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