The Israeli delegation, comprising representatives from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was welcomed to the conference on cultural heritage and education, ostensibly aimed at promoting dialogue and cooperation among different countries and cultures. However, the absence of any minister from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government only heightened suspicions about the true intent of this event.
The refusal of Saudi Arabia to grant visas to Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and Education Minister Yoav Kisch led to their apologies for not attending. Israeli Army Radio reported that this decision was influenced by the United States, raising further questions about the motives behind the delegation’s visit.
The radio station revealed that the U.S. administration actively intervened to ensure the Israeli participation, seemingly prioritizing diplomatic efforts to normalize relations between the Israeli occupation and Saudi Arabia over other considerations. These secret talks, mediated by the U.S., have been ongoing for several months, with the goal of establishing formal diplomatic ties and cooperation.
The visit of the Israeli delegation to Saudi Arabia occurs amidst a backdrop of normalization agreements between the Israeli occupation and several Arab countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan.
However, it is important to emphasize that Saudi Arabia has not officially recognized the Israeli occupation or established formal relations with it.
Critics argue that the decision to host the Israeli delegation sends troubling signals and may undermine efforts to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Palestinians and their supporters have long called on Arab nations to withhold recognition and normalization with the Israeli occupation.
As Saudi Arabia appears to take steps towards normalizing relations with the Israeli occupation, it faces strong opposition from many who view this move as a betrayal of the Palestinian cause and an abandonment of longstanding principles. The controversy surrounding Saudi Arabia’s stance on the Israeli occupation is likely to persist as diplomatic discussions continue behind closed doors.
In the face of these normalization agreements, voices in support of Palestine have risen, condemning what they perceive as a departure from the longstanding struggle for Palestinian rights. Palestinians unequivocally rejects the Abraham Accords, viewing them as a betrayal and an unwarranted reward for the Israeli history of aggression and occupation. This sentiment is shared by numerous Palestinian factions, civil society organizations, and dedicated activists who argue that these agreements represent capitulation to U.S. and Israeli influence.
These voices continue to call for increased solidarity and resistance not only from the Arab and Muslim world but also from the international community, aiming to bring an end to the Israeli occupation and the suffering of the Palestinian people. Notably, countries including Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Tunisia have joined in expressing their opposition to the normalization deals, reaffirming their unwavering support for the Palestinian right to self-determination and the realization of a sovereign Palestinian state.