Can Israel establish meaningful ties with the Arab Citizens?
Israel, a Middle Eastern country on the Mediterranean Sea, is surrounded by controversies because of the policies of Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel.
Israel – a country regarded as the biblical Holy Land by Jews, Christians and Muslims – has repeatedly been criticized by various world leaders over its policies to Palestinian rights. Israel-Palestine conflict remains a fragile topic among Arab publics. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has to make a choice between annexing further Palestinian territory or establishing peace in the Arab world.
Relations between Israel and the Arab world
The relations between Israel and the Arab world were affected because of the rise in violence against Palestinians across the West Bank.
However, Israel established diplomatic relations with Bahrain and Morocco under the Abraham Accords, which were a series of bilateral agreements on Arab–Israeli normalization. There were shortcomings in the level of cooperation under the Abraham Accords. Israel needed acceptance from people, not just from the Arab government. Other countries did not even truly accept Israel. Meaningful normalization between Israel and the Arab citizens will take a lot of time.
The Arab world has repeatedly demanded a resolution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Many Arab people have openly extended their support for Palestinians. Until a just settlement is reached over the Israel-Palestine conflict, it will be difficult for Israel to establish diplomatic relations with the Arab world.
Earlier this year, a Negev Forum gathering of Israel and Arab allies along with the United States took place with the aim of strengthening the Abraham Accords. However, Jordan did not attend the gathering.
The signing of the Abraham Accords, mediated by the US, was the first Arab-Israeli peace deal in 26 years.
After the signing of the 2020 Abraham Accords, senior diplomats from Israel, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, and the US met several times in order to improve the diplomatic relations of Israel with other leading nations in the Arab region. However, the talks did not nurture fruitful results.
The government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is also reluctant to establish diplomatic relations with Israel. The two countries have never had diplomatic relations. Normalization of ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel would be a historic and transformative moment for the Middle East region.
Arab citizens already view Israel in a negative light because of the Palestinian issue. They are reluctant to accept Israel. It is important to see whether Israel would be successful in establishing meaningful ties with the Arab citizens?