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April 13, 2016 8:20 am

Kuwaiti Columnist Demands Arab, Muslim Countries End ‘Political Charade,’ Recognize Israel

avatar by Lea Speyer

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Kuwaiti writer Yousuf 'Abd Al-Karim Al-Zinkawi has said all Muslim and Arab states must take immediate steps to recognize Israel. Photo: MEMRI.

Kuwaiti writer Yousuf ‘Abd Al-Karim Al-Zinkawi has said all Muslim and Arab states must take immediate steps to recognize Israel. Photo: MEMRI.

A Kuwaiti columnist on Saturday called on all Arab and Muslim states to officially recognize Israel, the Middle East Media Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reported.

In an op-ed in the Kuwaiti daily, Al-Seyassa, Yousuf ‘Abd Al-Karim Al-Zinkawi demanded that Arab and Muslim states stop using the terms “Zionist entity” and “Israeli occupation.” He said that “decades ago, most of the Islamic states [started] 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,’” he wrote.

Al-Zinkawi continued, “The very presence of the Arab and Islamic states in the UN General Assembly, under the same roof as the Israeli delegation, means…that they recognize Israel. Otherwise, what is the meaning of their presence [there], alongside Israel, which they do not recognize?” 

He also noted that at the time of Israel’s admittance to the UN in 1949, 37 out of the then 57 member states voted in favor of recognition, “which means that over 62% favored Israel’s admittance.”

“Today, when the [UN] General Assembly has swelled to include 193 states, I believe that the proportion of states that support Israel is even greater, and is over 83%. This, especially after some five Arab states and quite a few Muslim ones have recognized the state of Israel,” he wrote.

Al-Zinkawi named Qatar and Oman as good examples of how Arab and Muslim states should “deal with the reality of Israel pragmatically, and recognize it is a fait accompli that we cannot ignore.” In the 1990s, the governments of both countries established formal trade with Israel. At the outbreak of the Second Intifada in 2000, Qatar cut off ties. However, Al-Zinkawi observed, “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 concluded: “If for decades we have been maintaining indirect ties with Israel, by means of Israeli companies that [operate under the flags of] other countries – and most Arab and Islamic companies and businessmen are aware of this ridiculous reality — why should we keep up this political charade, and until when?”

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