Naysaying poobahs (“experts”) never sawing it coming…
The EU mindset is seen in today’s foreign news section in Finland’s largest daily newspaper, the Helsingin Sanomat. Instead of highlighting the greater ramifications of peace breaking out in the M.E., they choose to take swipes at the US-Saudi relationship, Kashoggi, Bob Woodward’s book. They trot out professor Hannu Juusola (who has been habitually wrong on Middle Eastern/Israel issues) to bemoan about the poor Palestinians getting short shifted. Typical.
Some read the EU stance as constituency-tending, given the large and growing demographic of Muslims in Europe from all regions and backgrounds. No doubt, radicalized elements of that population are prepared to foment increasing unrest on any pretext.
But I think much of the Muslim population of Europe is ready to adopt the more conciliatory, hopeful posture of the Arabs and other Muslims in their countries of origin. The real problem in the EU is its cultivation of Iran. Iran, under the leadership of “revolutionary” radicals, is why the EU is standing off from today’s signal, unprecedented, and — yes — tectonic development.
‘A change in the heart of the Middle East’
In defiance of social media, which are busy squashing the “Abraham Accords” signing as a trending topic, the world witnessed today possibly the most remarkable development in the last 100 years or more. Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and the United States signed a set of accords expanding peace between the Arab world and Israel beyond the late borders of war.
These accords are different from the ones between Israel and Egypt, and Israel and Jordan. Those earlier accords, pioneering and necessary, solidified decisions made to halt the animus of war across contiguous borders. They were signed because there had been war — land war, across disputed terrain — and the formal protocol of peace agreements could stabilize the peace, and give the combatants and the region breathing space for hope and prosperity.
But today’s accords are something new. They are not signed to punctuate the ending of a land war. They are signed to inaugurate a better peace.
As UAE’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan said during the ceremony, representing President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, they signify “a change in the heart of the Middle East.” These are words it was up to the Arab nations to say. Today, the UAE spoke them, and Bahrain concurred.