Conflict Alerts

Conflict Alerts # 163, 16 September 2020

The Middle East: Another Arab State follows the UAE, as Bahrain normalizes its relationship with Isr
Lakshmi V Menon

In the news
On 11 September, the US President Donald Trump sharing a joint statement announced the decision of the Bahrain-Israel normalization on Twitter. "It's unthinkable that this could happen and so fast," he wrote. Sharing the joint statement of the United States, the Kingdom of Bahrain and the State of Israel on his Twitter handle, Trump called it a historical day and said other countries would follow suit. The US-brokered deal is said to be concluded on 15 September 2020. 

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority recalled their Bahrain envoy and denounced the deal as "another treacherous stab to the Palestinian cause." Bahrain's opposition has rejected the deal.

Iran and Turkey have condemned the development. However, Egypt appreciated the "important step" while Jordan called for necessary steps from Israel for ensuring a comprehensive and fair regional peace, and the United Arab Emirates and Oman welcomed the initiative.

Issues at large
First, the US efforts are gaining success. The Donald Trump-Jared Kushner "deal of the century" is working. Since the beginning of Trump's term, various Arab states have been warming up to the state of Israel. Making the world call the Bahrani and Emirati normalizations as no surprise.

Second, the willingness of the Arab countries to go along with the US plan. This highlights the readiness of these Arab countries to work towards a deal that derails the earlier Arab League Peace initiative, 2002 which centres on the Palestinian cause. Perhaps the Arab countries were awaiting such a push from the United States.

Third, the growing irrelevance of Palestinian statehood. The joint statement merely makes a passing mention of the Palestinians, leaving the Palestinian grievances unaddressed. According to the statement the three countries will work “to achieve a just, comprehensive, and enduring resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to enable the Palestinian people to realise their full potential”. The end of the traditional collective regional understanding for peace which prioritised Palestinian statehood.

Fourth, the angle of common geopolitical interests. The Bahraini normalisation is a piece in the larger puzzle of attempts to single out the regional rivals – Turkey and Iran. It sits well with US’ ‘isolationist Iran policy’ and Riyadh and Abu Dhabi’s multi-pronged efforts against the theocratic country.

In perspective
The recent development reflects the weakening of the Pan-Arab position that calls for Israeli withdrawal and Palestinian statehood in exchange for normalization of ties between Israel and the Arab states. 

Does Bahrain's decision reflect Saudi acquiescence? Saudi Arabia, the bastion of the two holiest sites of the Muslim world – Mecca and Madina, cannot openly follow UAE's path due to internal and external constraints.  Soon, more Arab states may follow suit, perhaps, starting with Oman, thus materializing a novel Arab-Israeli peace. One that is devoid of Palestinian statehood.

April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 358
India: Another Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh
April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 356
Global Gender Gap Report 2021: Main Takeaways
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 353
Niger: 137 massacred in the latest attack by gunmen
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 351
Yemen: Saudi Arabia announces ceasefire
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 347
Australia: Women fight against sexual violence 
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 345
The US: The George Floyd trial begins
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 340
Syria: UN report calls for a complete ceasefire
February 2021 | Conflict Alert # 333
South Korea: The 'Comfort Women' issue returns to haunt
January 2021 | Conflict Alert # 222
Russia: Pro-Navalny protests turn anti-government 

January 2021 | Conflict Alert # 220
COVID-19: The Vaccine Wars
December 2020 | Conflict Alert # 200
India: Farmers' protests intensify as deadlock persists
November 2020 | Conflict Alert # 191
Pakistan: Anti-French protests called off
October 2020 | Conflict Alert # 174
Bangladesh: Protests intensify against sexual violence

October 2020 | Conflict Alert # 167
India crosses 6 million-mark in COVID-19 cases
September 2020 | Conflict Alert # 166
Pakistan: The persisting polio problem

September 2020 | Conflict Alert # 156
Pakistan: Targeted Violence continues in Waziristan
September 2020 | Conflict Alert # 154
The anti-Racist Protests in the US: Between
August 2020 | Conflict Alert # 148
Israel and UAE normalize relations
August 2020 | Conflict Alert # 146
Bolivia: Protests against the Election postponement
August 2020 | Conflict Alert # 138
In Iraq, the protestors return to the streets 
July 2020 | Conflict Alert # 118
J&K: Geelani's Exit and Continuing Violence
June 2020 | Conflict Alert # 105
Black Lives Matter brings the US to its knees
May 2020 | Conflict Alert # 86
Libya: Khalifa Haftar announces ceasefire 
May 2020 | Conflict Alert # 81
India: The surge in violence in J&K
April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 71
Afghanistan: 300 Taliban prisoners released
April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 67
Syria: New UN Report on Idlib
April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 64
A lethal impact on the Refugee/Migrant Camps 

April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 63
Indigenous Communities battle a complete wipeout 
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 51
Coronavirus & China: Fall in numbers 
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 47
Coronavirus & Nepal: In the second stage, cancels
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 44
Two Presidents in Afghanistan

March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 42
'Aurat March': A New beginning across Pakistan 
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 38
Sri Lanka withdraws from 30/1 Geneva Resolution
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 35
A ceasefire between Israel, Islamic Jihad in Gaza
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 34
Libya: rivals withdraw from Geneva peace talks
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 33
India: Violence in Delhi
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 32
Afghanistan: Seven Days of Peace

February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 31
Climate Change Fallouts: Impacts the Bird population
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 28
Pakistan: Court convicts LeT founder Hafiz Saeed

February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 27
Pakistan: Suicide terrorism returns to haunt Quetta
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 26
Afghanistan: The US-Taliban Seven Day Deal
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 24
Israel: Violence in post  Trump-deal

January 2020 | Conflict Alert # 20
Kenya: Al Shabab and a week of killings

December 2019 | Conflict Alert # 19
Citizenship Amendment Bill:2019
November 2019 | Conflict Alert # 18
Lebanon: PM Hariri quits, but protests continue 
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 16
Bolivian unrest

October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 15
Hundreds protest in Haiti
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 14
Protests rock Chile
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 13
Hong Kong Violence: A divide within
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 12
Spain: The trouble in Catalonia

October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 11
Turkey's Offensive in Syria
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 9
Africa to be Polio Free
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 7
Myanmar: Teenage girls traded as brides to China
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 6
Moscow Protests: Thousands rally in Moscow
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 3
Jordan Restores diplomatic ties with Qatar