Middle East Split: Turkey and Iran against Bahrain, Israel and US

After the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain has also started diplomatic relations with Israel. But the Middle East is still split.
The Trumpian narrative is that everything in the Middle East is settling down. After the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain also took the historic step of starting official diplomatic relations with Israel, guaranteeing greater stability to the region. But there are those who think differently, primarily Turkey and Iran, without mentioning the Palestinians. In short, the Middle East is still divided.
Iran condemned Bahrain for becoming an accomplice to “Israel’s crimes” after the announcement of the agreement by which the two countries normalize their relations. “The Bahraini authorities will now be complicit in the crimes of the Zionist regime, as a constant threat to the security of the region and the Islamic world”, reads a statement from the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

The recent agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, sponsored by Donald Trump, with the recognition of the State of Israel by Abu Dhabi has provoked heavy negative reactions among the Palestinians. PLO and Hamas have accused the Emirates of having betrayed their cause, effectively endorsing Netanyahu’s annexationist policy.

These accusations were immediately aligned with Turkey and Iran, both non-Arab states, but within the Arab world the positions seem less compact, arousing the concerns of the Palestinians that other governments in the region will follow the example of the Emirates. As has now happened for Bahrain, which has also decided to participate with Israel and the United Arab Emirates in the signing of the agreement in Washington, in the presence of Donald Trump. Trump stressed that the deal with Bahrain was announced to coincide with the anniversary of the 2001 attack on the Twin Towers.

At the official level, the UAE-Israel agreement was condemned by all Palestinian exponents and therefore caused a sensation in the position of Suha Arafat, as reported by Al Monitor. The widow of Yasser Arafat apologized to the Emirates for the Palestinian protests in which their flags and effigies of Mohammed bin Zayed, the prince protagonist of the agreement, were burned. The reactions of the Palestinian establishment have been very clear, accusing the widow of taking advantage of Arafat’s name to speak on behalf of all Palestinians, while she has no official role and speaks only in her name. Suha Arafat also stated that she has been threatened and that she is willing, if forced, to reveal the contents of Arafat’s diaries, which she says are “uncomfortable” for the Palestinian leaders.

Turkey also condemned the agreement between Bahrain and Israel to normalize bilateral relations, calling it a “new blow” to the Palestinian cause. The Turkish Foreign Ministry said it was “worried” by the initiative and “strongly condemned” the agreement. “This is a new blow to the efforts to defend the Palestinian cause”, the ministry denounced, “and will further encourage Israel to continue its illegal practices against the Palestinians and its attempts to make the occupation of the Palestinian territories permanent”. Iran also condemned the agreement, pointing the finger at the Bahraini authorities, who thus became “accomplices in Israel’s crimes”.

By Domenico Greco

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