MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Saturday, September 30, 2023


 The following is a brief comment by Norman Fernandez. My comments in blue. 


-Commentary By Norman Fernandez-

In recent weeks, there have been observable steps towards normalisation of relationships between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

If previously both Israel and Arabs engaged in clandestine meetings, both Israel and Saudi Arabia today are open about their rapprochement.

In 1967 when asked “what sequence of events you would like to see now in the Middle East?” Saudi then King Faisal bin Abdulaziz al-Saud swiftly replied, “the extermination of Israel.” Contrast that to the words of Prince Mohamed Bin Salman, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia who now says “we don’t look at Israel as an enemy, we look at them as a potential ally with many interest that we can pursue together.

Also, in 1967 after Israel’s crushing defeat of Arab countries during the Six Day War, the Arab League meeting in Khartoum declared the “Three No’s”- *no* to peace with Israel, *no* recognition of Israel, and *no* negotiations with Israel.

Fast forward to 2018, where in an interview with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, when Prince Mohammed was asked about Israel, he acknowledged that “the Jewish people have a right to a nation-state in at least part of their ancestral homeland,”.

Last week in a Fox News interview, Prince Mohamed said that the prospect of normalising relationship with Israel is “getting closer by the day.” Palestinian cause and interest has waned ( despite the denials). Just observe the watered down language of Prince Mohamed during the Fox TV interview where on the issue of Palestine, he said “we hope it will reach a place that will ease the life of the Palestinians.” Notice there is no longer mention of a “Palestinian State”.

Clearly Saudi Arabia is resolute in their decision to make peace with Israel and to solidify its security alliance with United States. Saudi Arabia in exchange for normalising ties with Israel and to save face is merely hoping for some concessions from Israel for the Palestinians, never mind it falls short of a statehood.

This only works perfect for Israel. The old narrative of “Land For Peace” replaced with the new paradigm “Peace For Peace”. The demand for complete withdrawal of Israel to the 1967 borders, East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine and the right of return of the Palestinians, will remain alive at best on paper or a pipe dream.

If the normalisation deals under the 2020 US-brokered Abraham Accords angered the Palestinians, who condemned them as a “stab in the back.”, the normalisation of relations between Israel and Palestinians is now a stab in the front.

Norman Fernandez. 


My Comments:

Why the recognition of Israel now, after the passage of 75 years? Its all about political survivability of illegitimate Arab regimes. The remaining Arab monarchies (Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the Gulf countries, Morocco) all live on borrowed time. They are not elected. They are long-beyond-shelf-life dictatorships which have no real legitimacy in the eyes of their people.  They can be taken out at anytime. All of them have survived this far because of the American security umbrella. 

Recall this famous 2018 statement from President Trump:

The same applies even for the so called 'democracies' in the Middle East, including Egypt where folks like president el Sisi or Syria's Assad or the Palestinian Authority's Mahmoud Abbas or the fellows in Gaza will most likely win any 'elections' they may "confer" upon the people. The whole lot are autocrats and dictatorships. Power comes out of the barrel of a gun and change in regimes certainly comes through the barrel of a gun. If Mahmoud Abbas the president of ONLY the West Bank sets foot in Gaza he will most likely be shot by the Hamas fellows.

They all lack that most prized of all licenses - legitimacy. They do not have the peoples' mandate. 

When they do not have the people's mandate then they have to pretend to be the people's champions.  To do that they need boogeymen to frighten the people. The Palestinian issue has been the biggest and best boogeyman for all Arab regimes and also the Ayatollahs in Iran. For almost 75 years they have been riding the Palestinian horse to death - that they are defending Palestine, the Al Aqsa Mosque (except Gaddafi - he said he could build another mosque), that they are fighting the Zionists, they are defending Arab honor (aka maruah bangsa - sounds familiar).

(In further away, non Arab countries like Malaysia of course the Palestinian issue has long been a profitable endeavour for the "donations-in-the-Tin-Milo" entrepreneurs. Millions of Ringgit are still being collected in the name of Palestine but as that Palestinian man once said 'not a single dollar reached them in Palestine'.)

But all this always under the omnipresence of the American security umbrella. Protection against what? First against their own Arab people. Then protection against each other.

The Arab Spring (euphemism for a coup by the Muslim Brotherhood) has served as a refresher course for Arab regimes to always toe the American line. The Arab Spring was almost certainly engineered by Hitlery Clinton and Barack Obama. 

"On June 4, 2009 in Cairo, Egypt, President Obama proposed a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world . ."

18 months later on 18 December 2010 Tunisia became the first regime to fall to the Muslim Brotherhood. The new beginning had started. They are burning until today.

Two more things happened. The Iranians began rattling their sabres. Iran will never invade Saudi Arabia, liberate the Al Aqsa Mosque or wipe Israel off the map. Lets not be too daft. It just ain't gonna happen. The Ayatollahs are just as illegitimate as the Arab regimes. They too live on borrowed time.  They too need boogeymen. 

Then 40 years after banning the export of crude oil (since 1976) the US lifted the ban in 2016.  The Americans do not need Middle East oil anymore - until today. Their very expensive security umbrella began to shrink. They left Iraq in a hurry, they got kicked out of Afghanistan, their Africa Command actually operates from Stuttgart in Germany (where the beer and the frauleins are much better than in Africa). 

And then Russia and China have become heavy weights both in the Middle East and in Africa. Syria and Libya are securely inside the Russian orbit. 

Plus the Chinese and Russians have brought opposites like Saudi Arabia and Iran to the peace table. Peace has broken out between these "enemies" in the Middle East. Actually they were both just each other's boogeyman - to frighten their own people into accepting their regime illegitimacy. Nothing more than that.

With the shrinking American security umbrella the militarily super powerful Israel is now being seen as a friend and also  a replacement security umbrella. 

Hence Norman Fernandez's points above.

The whole damn thing is about the survival of these illegitimate Arab and Iranian regimes. They do not have the peoples' mandate. That is all. Nothing more than that.

The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of MMKtT.

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