‘Normalizing ties’ is an absurd phrase of today’s global politics.
Sovereignty, self-determination, and recognition are some of the most absurd terms when one considers the realities of world politics. And now ‘normalizing ties’ joins the row. It is quite clear that the qualification of statehood is, “a fixed territory, population, a government, and sovereignty”. But it is obvious that sovereignty or in other words ‘self-determination’ does not have any fixed definition in today’s global politics. For instance, the United States of America has dominating influence over world politics, IMF and the World Bank, almost hijacking the United Nations Organization, and she does not care about the self-determination or sovereignty of any state when it comes to defending her interests. ‘Invasion of Baghdad’ is an elephant-like mighty and huge example in this regard as George W. Bush Jr. did not care about the UN or the international community before hampering the sovereignty of Iraq. US, its allies, and its mighty foes often damage the self-determination of the states in the Middle East and the world whenever they feel a challenge to their interests, making the term ‘sovereignty’ or ‘self-determination’ absurd. Another example in this regard is the assassination of the commander of the Iranian elite Quds Force Major General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad, which was confirmed by the current president of the United States Donald J. Trump that he had ordered Soleimani’s execution. Iran in response fired eighty missiles on American brigades in the same city of Iraq, Baghdad. Which calls the attention of the international community particularly the scholars to clarify whether Iraq is a sovereign and independent nation or not.
International law defines sovereign states as having a permanent population, defined territory, one government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood that a sovereign state is neither dependent on nor subjected to any other power or state.
‘Recognition’ ranks second in my list of absurd terms as it is merely a coin used for bridging diplomatic ties between the states and nothing much more than that. For example, many states in the Muslim World, particularly in the Middle East do not recognize Israel but they do have cordial terms under curtain with the only Jewish State on the globe. Their citizens visit one another’s states via indirect flights, many Israelis have businesses in Muslim, specifically in the Arab states under proper government shelter and the governments also enjoy secret support for one another. For instance, Ayatollah Khomeini, the founding father of the Islamic Republic of Iran, including many other elite politicians of Tehran, had often termed America ‘Great Satan’ and Israel ‘Little Satan’. Whereas it is not negligible that the ‘Islamic Republic’ contacted the ‘Little Satan’ to ask the ‘Great Satan’ for weapons, known as ‘Iran Contra Scandal’, as the Iran-Iraq war (1980–88) was still on. Morocco is also in the list as she enjoys secretive terms with Israel, but has not recognized it yet.
Besides, many states have not recognized Israel as a state yet but that has not changed her status as a state on practical grounds. The American president, Donald J. Trump has recently recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel giving an obvious signal that mighty states do not care about international law and international organizations, making the term ‘recognition’ even more complex than before. Also, he recognized Western Sahara as Moroccan territory and nobody can do anything to reverse the recognition but to question it verbally and remind the world that the peak of the civilization holds no more credibility to be the flag bearer of the ‘New World Order’ that she promised to the world in the early 1990s, Francis Fukuyama claiming it to be ‘The End of The History’.
‘Normalizing ties’ ranks third in the list now. As, Morocco joins UAE, Bahrain, and Sudan in normalizing ties with the only Jewish state in the world. Definitely, from the surface it seems that Rabat and Tel Aviv will have diplomatic relations now, they will trade mutually and also support each other on political grounds where required2.
But wait a minute, then what is so absurd about the term, ‘normalizing ties’?
The answer is not very straight. Ronen Bergman may answer this question well. He wrote in ‘The New York Times’ on 10th of December, “Behind the announcement Thursday that Israel and Morocco will establish their first formal diplomatic ties, there lies almost six decades of close, secret cooperation on intelligence and military matters between two nations that officially did not acknowledge each other.”
Let’s count the blessings that both the states have showered on each other for decades. Then ponder with deeper concerns whether ‘normalizing ties’ has a definite definition or it has zig-zag meanings like the terms mentioned before;
· Some one million Israelis are from Morocco. As, a great number of Jews were living in Morocco before the birth of the Jewish State in 1948. Many of those Jews migrated to Israel secretly and many with the help and consent of the Moroccan state and authorities.
· Israel provided weapons and trained Moroccans in using them; it supplied surveillance technology and helped organize the Moroccan intelligence service; and the two shared information gathered by their spies — the start of decades of such cooperation.
· Another crucial moment came in 1965 when Arab pioneers and military leaders met in Casablanca, and Morocco permitted Mossad (Israeli intelligence agency) to bug their gathering rooms and private suites. The snooping gave Israel an exceptional understanding of Arab thinking, abilities, and plans, which ended up being essential to Mossad and the Israel Defense Forces in planning for the 1967 war, a nail in the coffin of the Palestinian cause.
· Mr. Ben Barka, the opposition leader of Morocco was abducted by the Moroccans and allied Frenchmen in Paris, who was then tortured to death (in 1965). His dead body was disposed of by Mossad agents, which was never found.
· In the mid-1970s Morocco became the site of secret meetings between the former rivals Egypt and Israel. Meetings between the Egyptian and Israeli officials paved the way for the Camp David Accords of 1978.
· Later on, Tel Aviv persuaded the United States to provide military assistance to Morocco.
· In 1995, Moroccan intelligence became a part of a Mossad plan of recruiting Osama bin Laden’s secretary, to find and kill Bin Laden.
· King Muhammad VI has sought Israel’s help in winning American acquiescence to Morocco’s annexation of Western Sahara. Though the current American president has called it a ‘historic breakthrough’ as, consequently Rabat is to be included in the Abraham Accords, but that’s not all to understand the ground realities.
Let’s take a pause from the topic of the article and understand the Western Sahara Conflict.
The Western Sahara conflict is an ongoing conflict between the Polisario Front and the Kingdom of Morocco. The conflict originated from an insurgency by the Polisario Front against Spanish colonial forces from 1973 to 1975 and the subsequent Western Sahara War against Morocco between 1975 and 1991. Today the conflict is dominated by unarmed civil campaigns of the Polisario Front and their self-proclaimed SADR state to gain fully recognized independence for Western Sahara.
“This will not change an inch of the reality of the conflict and the right of the people of Western Sahara to self-determination,” the Polisario’s Europe representative Oubi Bchraya said earlier on Thursday. “The Polisario will continue its struggle.”
Senator Jim Inhofe, a member of Trump’s Republican Party, said the decision was “shocking and deeply disappointing.”
The peak of the civilization holds no more credibility to be the flag bearer of the ‘New World Order’ that she promised to the world in the early 1990s, Francis Fukuyama claiming it to be ‘The End of The History’.
According to an analyst, America has to favor more liberal ideas than favoring Israel to give a clear message that it is not Israel who controls the White House or America. But this seems a far cry. Because things are not working this way. Donald Trump and his senior advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner seem more pro-Israel than pro-liberal ideas or liberalism.
To conclude, from the mentioned points it is crystal clear that Israel and Morocco already have very good relations, and the latest normalizing agreement is nothing more than a formality. Whereas the term ‘officially’ gives an additional covering to the phrase. But where stands law, what does ‘sovereignty’ mean and what can one understand from the term, ‘normalizing ties’, is absurd. One can easily reach to the conclusion through arguments presented in the article that Rabat and Tel Aviv are enjoying cordial and supernormal ties for a very long time. Then what does ‘normalizing ties’ mean which was called by the Trump administration on Thursday, 10th December 2020, that is beyond common sense.
Note: Pictures’ courtesy does not belong to the writer.