Oman has broken ranks with the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) by endorsing President Trump’s efforts to resolve the Arab-Jewish conflict.
The PLO has made it crystal-clear on many occasions that it wanted nothing to do with Trump’s upcoming proposals.
The PLO Central Council also threatened on 30 October to suspend its recognition of the State of Israel and halt security coordination with Israel.
Addressing the 14th Middle East Security Summit in Manama, Bahrein, Yousef Bin Alawi – Oman’s Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs – declared:
“I would like to tell you very clearly that we call, we request and we affirm and confirm that the main role is mainly relying on the role of the US and what the US president will be doing regarding the deal of the century, because we want this effort to be very successful and to lead to getting rid of all the problems that we have faced recently or during the last 40/50 years.”Oman had in the previous week hosted separate visits within days of each other by PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Alawi still continued to utter the following Arab mantra to the Summit – which would not have impressed Trump:
Conflicts in Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Kuwait and the rampage by Islamic State – all having nothing to do with the Palestinian issue – strangely seem to have escaped Alawi’s purview.“We consider that the Palestinian issue is the core of all the problems that we have seen during the second half of the last century and the 18 years of the 21st Century. We have to see how we can solve this problem and find a future for a new generation of young persons in this area who can really live with the other generations of this world into the future.”
The Palestinian issue had not even been referred to once in an earlier keynote address to the Summit by US Secretary for Defense, James Mattis.
Alawi returned to reality when answering a question posed to him:
“How can we involve Israel and prompt it to contribute to the affairs of the region? I am going to say something that I say for the first time. Israel is a state that is present in this region. We all understand this, we know this; the world is also aware of this fact. But despite that, Israel is not being treated by the other countries as it is treating the other countries. Maybe it is time for Israel to be treated the same and it should also bear the same obligations as other countries. Why? Those are really facts. History says that the Torah saw the light in the Middle East, that the prophets of Israel were born in the Middle East, and that the Jews also used to live in this area of the world.”Building on this reality is key to ending the Jewish-Arab conflict.
Meanwhile, Brazil’s President-Elect – Jair Bolsonaro – announced that Brazil was moving its Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, tweeting:
“Israel is a sovereign state and we shall duly respect that.”Balsonaro – echoing the Trump administration’s stance – also announced he will close the Palestinian embassy in Brasilia stating:
“Is Palestine a country? Palestine is not a country, so there should be no embassy here”The 22 member Arab League includes Oman, the “State of Palestine” and Brazil as an observer state – whilst the 134 members of the G77 include all three. Some soul-searching by fellow-members is urgently required.
Trump’s focus on reality – not fantasy – is bearing fruit.
(Author’s note: The cartoon – commissioned exclusively for this article – is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones” – one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators – whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog)