Tuesday, August 25, 2020

  • Tuesday, August 25, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

Pakistan’s English language The News International has two sepratae op-eds that say that the UAE has every right to establish diplomatic relations with whomever it wants, including Israel.

Saleem Safi writes:

Though very painful for Muslims, it is a glaring reality that 162 countries of the world, including the US, China, France, Germany and Russia, have recognized Israel and have established close diplomatic relations with her. The US – the world superpower – has become Israel’s patron-in-chief. However, Muslim countries like Pakistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Cambridge, Djibouti, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brunei, Iran, Malaysia, Indonesia, Mali, Niger do not accept Israel as a legitimate state and thus do not recognize it. Three non-Muslim countries – Bhutan, Cuba and North Korea – also do not recognize Israel.

…Besides Turkey and Iran, Egypt, an Arab country, established diplomatic relations with Israel in 1980 after the Camp David Accords. Though Oman – a member of the Arab League – has no formal diplomatic relations with Israel, close cooperation and trade links have been established between the two. Moreover, the Central Asian Muslim states such as Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan have also established friendly diplomatic relations with Israel. With the mediation of President Bill Clinton, Jordon signed an agreement with Israel in 1994, paving the way to close trade ties and opening of several crossing points at border for tourists.

It is also a reality that national interests are the guiding force of every state’s foreign policy, relations and engagement. So one could question why some, especially some religious parties, in Pakistan are putting the country in an unenviable position of being seen as hostile by the UAE, by blasting the latter country’s decision to establish diplomatic relations with Israel?

Pakistan itself should never give up its principal stance on Palestine and should never recognize Israel as per the wishes of most Pakistanis. That is our sovereign decision and right. But what is the justification of our anger at the independent decision of other sovereign states? Will we also protest against Turkey and China tomorrow because these two countries also have diplomatic relations with Israel? Will we now also protest against Iran for its close relations with India?

Dr. Naazir Mahmood:

Turkey has termed the deal as a betrayal to the Palestinian cause. Here, we may raise a question or two about Turkey’s trade relations with Israel which apparently do now sound a ‘betrayal’. Moreover, every year over half a million Israeli tourists travel to Turkey and visit cities and historical places. Does this also not fall into the category of ‘betrayal’ with the Palestinian cause? All this shows a blatant duplicity that the president of Turkey, Erdogan, has been displaying over the years. There is also annual trade of over two billion dollars between Israel and Turkey.

Turkey keeps its embassy In Israel, which shouldn’t be a problem as in the modern world we must keep all diplomatic channels open for negotiations, despite having myriad differences. India and Pakistan do not enjoy good relations but have diplomatic ties, which is how it should be.

After the unilateral announcement of annexation of Kashmir into India, had Pakistan snapped diplomatic ties with India, it would have been a wrong move. Similarly, if Pakistan can maintain such relations at the diplomatic level, all Arab and other Muslim countries do have a right to establish diplomatic relations with Israel. They may keep chattering about the rights of Palestine as Pakistan does about the Kashmiris.

I can’t say I’ve been following Pakistan’s media closely but this seems surprising, although it fits in well with Pakistan’s mild reaction to the news of the agreement.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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