Turkish Paper: Palestinian Cause Now ‘Much Less a Priority’ for Arab World
The Palestinian cause is now “much less a priority” for the international community and Arab world, Turkish state media contended on Friday.
The reason: “Observers argue that ongoing political upheaval in several Arab countries has largely shifted the focus away from the Arab-Israeli conflict.”
The article, published by Andalou Agency on the date Israel declared independence in 1948, which is also the day Palestinian commemorate what they view as the mass expulsion of Arabs from lands absorbed into the newly declared Jewish state, discusses how Arab calls for the “liberation of Palestine” have diminished greatly in the four years since the beginning of widespread political unrest in Arab countries.
“The Nakba’s 67th anniversary, however, comes as most ‘Arab Spring’ states remain embroiled in deadly political infighting and derailed democratic transition,” referring to the Arabic name for that perceived catastrophe (nakba) as well as the common moniker for the Arab uprisings that began in 2010 (the Arab Spring).
The article said Arab governments were preoccupied, among other issues, with the unfolding crisis in Yemen, where an international coalition of Arab Sunni states launched an air campaign against anti-government Shia rebels, and in Syria and Iraq, where Islamic State militants have established what they call a modern caliphate.
Turkey played a much larger public role in trying to mediate a solution to the Syrian crises in its first years, even calling on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, but largely stepped away from such posturing once the Islamic State invaded and conquered large swaths on the Turkish-Syrian border.
Since the rise of the Islamist AKP party to power close to a decade ago, Turkey has championed the Palestinian cause and heavily criticized the policy of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s successive governments.
Recently, reports indicated that Turkey together with Qatar was working with Hamas to create a long-term solution to recurrent hostilities between Hamas in Gaza and Israel.
Meanwhile, Middle East commentator Aaron David Miller said that regional turmoil also played a dominant role in keeping Netanyahu in power and into his third consecutive government.
“Perhaps more than any other single factor, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s durability is a response to a Middle East that is angrier, more turbulent, and more dangerous than ever before,” wrote Miller in the National Interest.
He said “the meltdown across the Arab world only reinforces Netanyahu’s harder edge and very cautious approach when it comes to making concessions to the Palestinians.”
He said a dysfunctional Middle East remained Netanyahu’s “best talking points.”