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By: Prof. Dr. Mohsen Mohammad Saleh.

Nearly eight months after Operation al-Aqsa Flood and the devastating Israeli war on Gaza Strip (GS), and amid ongoing repercussions for the Palestinian people, the region and the international community… Isn’t it time for the official Arab stance to break free from its inertia, coldness, indifference and failure?!!

The question may seem unusual, akin to “beating a dead horse”!! and since “Idle hands do no harm”!! However, the question aims to understand the official behavior, not to justify or alter it…!!

In the initial stages of conflict and tension, an impartial assessment revealed that the “moderate” Arab official establishment was displeased with Hamas due to its “disruption” of the peace process and normalization efforts. This disruption dealt a significant blow to both processes. Many Arab leaders and figures openly expressed their desire, during discussions with US or Western officials, to eliminate Hamas and terminate its governance in GS. This sentiment was echoed by sharp criticism of Hamas from countries involved in normalization, such as the UAE and Bahrain. Additionally, the Arab-Islamic summit conference (held on 11/11/2023) was characterized as lacking substance and impact. Despite a slowdown in normalization efforts, these countries maintained political ties with Israel. Some even established an alternative land-based economic and commercial route (from the UAE to Israel) to bypass disruptions caused by the cutting of Israeli supply lines through the Red Sea by Ansar Allah (the Houthis).

However, haven’t several significant developments emerged necessitating Arab regimes to assess the situation and reconsider their calculations, lest they be caught off guard by unfolding events and history?!

Among the most notable of these developments are:

1. The insistent and strong resistance of Palestinian forces spanning over 230 days, alongside its competence and effectiveness in inflicting significant losses on the Israeli side, underscores its enduring capability to sustain resistance for prolonged durations. A consensus among numerous US, Western and Israeli experts, analysts and leaders has emerged, indicating the impracticability of eradicating Hamas.

2. The enduring endorsement from the people for Hamas and the resistance, underscored by its extensive popular backing both domestically and internationally, alongside its increasing popularity in Arab, Muslim and global spheres, highlights the failure of all efforts to vilify the resistance and sever it from its grassroots support.

3. Israel’s significant inability to attain its goals in the conflict, be it the complete neutralization of Hamas, liberation of the “captives,” seizure of GS, or establishment of an alternative or proxy administration in the Strip; coupled with the increasing consensus within Israel, US and globally that any future agreements in GS necessitate engagement with Hamas.

4. The US and its allies’ inability to effectively handle the war in support of Israel has tarnished the US image, and made supporting Israel a significant liability, both domestically and internationally.
This failure serves as a warning to Arab regimes not to rely on the US, as its track record reflects significant shortcomings, betrayal, self-interest and pragmatism.

5. The remarkable accomplishments of the resistance in recent months, particularly in challenging the Israeli security paradigm, undermining the notion of a secure refuge for Jews in occupied Palestine, contesting the role of the region’s police, demonstrating the feasibility of overcoming Israel, and the profound sense of empowerment that the resistance has instilled in the Ummah (Muslim nation)…
Furthermore, the resistance has exhibited a political demeanor marked by efficiency, efficacy, accountability, pragmatism, a commitment to national unity, endeavoring to align the Palestinian factions in accordance with the overarching interests of the Palestinian people while honoring their autonomy. Despite enduring wounds inflicted by its own kin, the resistance has weathered campaigns of provocation and demoralization… asserting its authority with dignity.

6. Israel is currently grappling with significant internal crises across political, security, military and economic spheres, compounded by escalating internal conflicts.

7. The significant advancements achieved by the Palestine issue on the global stage; the rise in international popular and official empathy and backing for Palestine and its resistance efforts; the unveiling of the true nature of Israel, with all its narratives and propaganda tools (such as claims of being a bastion of democracy, references to the Holocaust, accusations of anti-Semitism…) being discredited, leading to its isolation and pariah status worldwide. Notably, Israel faces scrutiny from both the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the first time in its history, while universities worldwide have become bastions of support for Palestine…

8. Numerous governments have altered their stance toward Israel since the onset of GS war. Some countries have severed diplomatic relations, recalled ambassadors or actively supported joining the ICJ against Israel. Some European countries have acknowledged the sovereignty of Palestine, while others have ceased arms sales to Israel…

Without dwelling excessively on the matter, there’s something significant to reconsider within the Arab system, where persisting with traditional thinking would be a misguided approach, especially when “placing faith” in the Israelis and the US to “crush” the resistance.

On the other hand, the prevailing “moderate” official Arab stance typically lacks the capacity to enact substantive changes, often remaining inert unless directly affected. This can be attributed to:

– A disturbing trend of prioritizing narrow national and personal interests over broader national and Ummah related concerns, leading to the latter’s neglect in decision-making processes.

– Persistent reliance on US dominance in the region and the belief in Israel’s capacity (albeit delayed) to address Hamas and stabilize the situation in GS.

– Ongoing faith in the efficacy of the peace process and the Palestinian Authority.

– Failing to comprehend the significant disruption brought about by Operation al-Aqsa Flood and the incapacity to acknowledge the opportunities it has presented, particularly given the unsuitability of such rulers to capitalize on such opportunities!! This is further compounded by the inherently restrictive and constrained nature of the regimes.

– Lack of vision, and the absence of civilizational, unity and revival perspectives to liberate from US and Western hegemony.

– The hostility towards Islamism, apprehension regarding movements advocating revival and change, and concerns surrounding the implications of Hamas’ Islamic resistance project for the region.


The governing authorities may aim to maintain the status quo and bide their time, however, the ongoing Israeli brutality, the persistent humanitarian catastrophe in Palestine, the steadfast resistance and the growing global solidarity… will serve as catalysts for change, mobilization and anger within the Arab people. The regimes must cease relying on their iron grip, as well as on distractions and tools to distort resistance… Historical precedent in the region underscores the potential for sudden shifts and the emergence of waves that upend all calculations.

Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations, 29/5/2024

The opinions expressed in all the publications and studies are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of al-Zaytouna Centre.

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