JERUSALEM – A Kuwaiti writer and media personality called on all Arab and Muslim states to recognize Israel in an article published over the weekend.
Writing in Al-Siyassa, Yousuf ‘Abd al-Karim al-Zinkawy advocated that Arab and Muslim states should stop using terms like “the Zionist entity” or “the Israeli occupation” when referring to Israel.
The Arabs should follow the example of Qatar and Oman, which openly maintain ties with Israel, Zinkawy wrote, according to a translation of his comments published by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) on Monday.
Zinkawy noted that when Israel became a member state of the U.N., more than 62 percent of members favored its acceptance to the world body. At the time, the U.N. consisted of 57 countries. Since then, he wrote, the number of member states rose to 193 and the percentage of support for Israel among them grew as well, to over 83 percent.
The Kuwaiti writer noted that by merely sitting alongside Israel at the world body, Arab member states effectively recognize it.
The large percentage of U.N. members recognizing Israel, “especially after some five Arab states and quite a few Muslim ones have recognized the state of Israel, [that state] which the dreamers – those who dream of restoring the stolen homeland [Palestine] – so expertly call by a whole bunch of names,” reached the point that even “the Arab League itself proposed in 2002 that the Arab states normalize their relations with Israel as part of the Arab peace initiative and as part of resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”
Zinkawy noted that several decades ago most Islamic countries began “changing their political tone vis-à-vis Israel, and started calling it by names that those dreamers [i.e., those who dream of restoring Palestine] had not previously heard, such as ‘the Israeli government’ instead of ‘the government of the Zionist state,’ and ‘the state of Israel’ instead of ‘the Israeli occupation.’ ”
The Kuwaiti writer noted that, among Arab states, Qatar had open relations with Israel until the second intifada began in 2000, when official representations in both countries were closed.
“But it seems that the closing [of the representations] was only nominal and was meant as a political gesture, for it did not prevent the maintaining of bilateral relations in various domains, such as sports. These relations existed openly and directly,” he wrote.
Other Arab and Islamic countries have maintained indirect ties with the Jewish state for decades by allowing Israeli companies to operate under the flags of other countries.
With “most Arab and Islamic companies and businessmen aware of this ridiculous reality – why should we keep up this political charade, and until when?” Zinkawy asked.