MESOP MIDEAST WATCH : ISRAEL Special Dispatch No. 9899

Emirati Journalist Highlights UAE Role And Efforts To Foster Peace And Stability In The Middle East, Calls For Adopting New Approaches To Resolve Arab-Israeli Conflict: ‘The Violence And Terrorism Directed Against Israel… Undermine The Chances Of Fostering Peace’

In two articles published on the Saudi website Elaph, Emirati journalist and political analyst Salem Al-Ketbi highlighted his country’s role and efforts in fostering sustainable peace and stability in the region by adopting new approaches to resolve the ongoing conflict between the Arabs and Israel. The article titled “The Culture of Peace in the Middle East,” published April 6, 2022, described the speech delivered by UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan at last month’s Negev Summit as characterized by “transparency” and “courage,” and argued that it “breaks through the wall of silence, maps the way towards building real regional peace and discloses what many have not been able to express.” Al-Ketbi’s second article, titled “The Palestinian Issue and the Changes in the International Scene,” published April 11, 2022, defended the position of the Arab states that have normalized relations with Israel against the accusation that they have betrayed the Palestinian issue. It also argued that the hostility between the Arab countries and Israel has neither brought peace to the region nor resolved the conflict, and that it was now time to try new approaches that take into consideration the reshaping of international relations according to the realities resulting from the Ukrainian crisis.

The following are translated excerpts from Al-Ketbi’s articles.

“The Culture of Peace in the Middle East,” Al-Ketbi, April 6, 2022: At The Negev Summit, The UAE Foreign Minister Said That “Israel Is Part Of The Middle East… The Lack Of Communication Channels Between Israel And The Arabs… Does Not Mean That Israel Does Not Exist’

“The speech delivered by His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, during the Negev Summit, which took place recently, has received substantial attention by observers and experts around the world – notably, his expression of regret that 43 years have been wasted (since Egypt and Israel signed the peace treaty). He said: ‘We lost those 43 years of knowing each other better, of working together and of changing the narrative that many generations of Israelis and Arabs have been living… I think what we are trying to achieve here today is changing the narrative and creating a different future.’

“Indeed, that speech deserves all the attention – not only because it included transparency, courage, openness and clarity, but also because it breaks through the wall of silence, maps the way towards building real regional peace, and discloses what many have not been able to express.

“The speech of Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the historic summit comprised hard facts that no one can deny. Actually, Israel is part of the Middle East and the lack of communication channels between Israel and the Arabs does not negate that fact and does not mean that Israel does not exist and those who say so are deceiving themselves and others. Therefore, to continue betting on the slogans of the past and pleasing the masses with the resistance discourse means underestimating the suffering of millions inside Palestine, and also a political gain which many regional forces are seeking. Acknowledging facts and using them as a starting point towards finding genuine resources for peace is the only way out from this absurdity, which has been exhausting a just cause.

“One of the important facts included in the speech is that changing the future requires changing the present, and that any attempts to building real peace in the Middle East must start with modifying the rigid stereotypes with which the generations in the region have grown up, and planting a culture of coexistence that is different from the culture of marginalization, exclusion and violence upon which radical and terrorist groups which use the Palestinian issue to score religious or political gain thrive.”

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