• Sun. Sep 25th, 2022

The announcement that Israel and Morocco will normalize their diplomatic relations reflects the extent to which interest lies in the Middle East and highlights the geopolitical influence and clout of the United States when it comes to shaping the new regional reality of peace between Israel and moderate Sunni Muslims. countries. The historic peace deal is a huge diplomatic achievement for Moroccan King Mohammed VI and his country – more so than for Israel, and it may not be the last peace deal that falls into place before US President Donald Trump leaves the White House, writes Daniel Siryoti, Israel Hayom’s correspondent for Arab and Middle Eastern affairs.

Read MIFF’s article on the peace agreement that fell into place between Israel and Morocco on December 10, 2020 HERE. Since September, the Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan have normalized their relations with Israel following the mediation of the Trump administration. Thus, four Arab countries have normalized relations with Israel in just three months – this is historic and very startling considering that so far there were only two Arab countries with a normalized relations with Israel – Jordan in 1994 and Egypt in 1979. Read MIFF’s articles on the Abrahamic Agreements HERE. Read MIFF’s articles on normalizing relations between Israel and Sudan HERE. Read MIFF’s articles on the exodus of Jews from Arab countries HERE. Read about MIFF’s efforts to draw attention to the roots of the Jews in Arab countries HERE.

Trump’s senior adviser, Jared Kushner, stated after the announcement of the peace agreement between Israel and Morocco that: – Normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia is inevitable.

Diplomats in the Emirates and Morocco have confirmed to Israel Hayom that officials in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi were instrumental in promoting the peace agreement between Israel and Morocco. According to Riyadh officials, Saudi Arabia’s stance on normalization with Israel has changed in recent weeks. The change is due to the close ties between Rabat and Riyadh – therefore it is conceivable that the Saudi monarchy will take a similar step with Israel in the near future. The Arab English-language newspaper Arab News , which is owned by the Saudi royal family, even ran yesterday’s news about the peace agreement between Israel and Morocco on the front page, according to Siryoti, it can be considered the basis for a similar agreement with Saudi Arabia. p>

It can be argued that Jerusalem and Rabat should have established diplomatic relations even before the Abrahamic agreements between Israel, the Emirates and Bahrain and the normalization agreement with Sudan.

Israel and Morocco have had the infrastructure to establish open diplomatic relations since the mid-1990s, but the outbreak of the Second Intifada in 2000 followed by Israel’s Operation Defensive Shield to stop the waves of suicide bombings by Palestinians committed by West Bank Palestinians (Judea and Samaria), changed the attitude of Morocco and other Arab countries. It forced Rabat to avoid the burgeoning diplomatic relationship with Israel. Read MIFF’s articles on the Second Intifada HERE.

In the decades that followed, the two countries did not sever relations, on the contrary, the relationship was strengthened during the Trump administration. The highlight of the long diplomatic journey towards peace will be the opening of embassies in Rabat and Tel Aviv in early 2021.

Morocco wants to exercise sovereignty over Western Sahara, reminiscent of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – read MIFF’s article on why Israel’s plan to exercise Israeli sovereignty over parts of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) is not contrary to international law – explained by lawyer specializing in international law. For Morocco, the peace agreement with Israel is a huge diplomatic victory because the international community does not recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara – which is equivalent to Israeli settlements in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria).

According to Siryoti, Rabat was not only affected by Washington’s important and dramatic recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara.
. Morocco’s economy is largely based only on tourism and has been hit hard by the Corona crisis. The peace agreement with Israel will mean that Morocco receives generous financial support from the United States. King Mohammed VI was wise enough to realize that the administration of President-elect Joe Biden is unlikely to offer anything like this, and that now is the time to take the plunge and join the Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan before the opportunity would crumble between the hands of him.

Full diplomatic relations with Israel will give Morocco access to a wide range of Israeli know-how in technology, agriculture and drinking water, areas where Morocco desperately needs help, not to mention security and intelligence cooperation between the countries’ security services, which has been secretly maintained for years (since Moroccan Jews left Morocco and moved to Israel in the 1950s and the sinking of the immigrant ship Egoz). Cooperation is now expected to expand and flourish in the light of the mutual security challenges facing both countries.

Just as the Abrahamic Accords and the Normalization Agreement with Sudan were received with mixed feelings at home, there are also many in Morocco who support the peace with Israel, but also those who are against it.

André Azoulay, a senior adviser to the Moroccan king and a prominent member of the country’s Jewish community, is an important architect behind the peace agreement, he told Israel Hayom:

– It is a dramatic and important initiative that will other Arab and Muslim countries to normalize relations with Israel.

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