The MOVEMENT FOR AN INFORMED SOCIETY MALAYSIA (WADAH) condemns the normalisation of diplomatic relations between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel, which shall undermine the Palestinians’ rights to return to and/or remain in their homeland. WADAH also calls upon the leaders of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to convene a summit to re-establish the commitment to peace in the Middle East, to end Israeli-Palestinian conflict and re-affirm the solidarity for the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian State, with Baitu ‘l-Maqdis as its capital.
 The diplomatic accord, brokered by the United States, was announced by President Donald Trump through a joint statement with Israel and UAE on 13 August 2020. The joint statement also states that the three countries shall launch a Strategic Agenda for the Middle East to expand diplomatic, trade, and security cooperation.
Subsequent to this, agreement on the mutual establishment of embassies is expected in the coming weeks as well as investment and economic cooperation between the two countries. For the time being, Israel agreed to “halt” its plan to further annex parts of West Bank, but the annexation plan still remains “on the table” as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to pacify its right-wing coalition in Tel Aviv.
 HAMAS and the Palestinian Authority have unanimously rejected all declarations and unilateral decisions that aim to destroy the Palestinian rights. The decision taken by the UAE is considered as treacherous – an act of betrayal and treason to, and aggression against the Palestinian struggles. The Palestinian people were right to react strongly against this diplomatic accord.
UAE is now seen as a mere pawn that is being exploited by Israel and the US to serve their geopolitical ambitions in the Middle East. It is the UAE that shifts its ground towards Israeli’s who has never moved its position with respect to the Palestinian rights. The balance of power has steadily tilted towards Israel. The diplomatic accord will abolish the 2002 Peace Plan which envisioned a normalization of diplomatic relations between the Arab World and Israel in exchange for a full withdrawal by Israel from occupied Palestinian territories.
 The diplomatic accord is the third after that of Egypt in 1978 and Jordan in 1994, and the first for Gulf Arab states. Despite the conclusion of earlier two diplomatic accords, no satisfactory management of relationships has been evident. Israel does not respect both Arab countries when it continues annexing various parts of Palestinian lands. With three (3) Arab states’ relations normalized and as the only nation to have nuclear facilities, Israel would expect that its “strategic moves” within the Middle East to be simply rubber-stamped. The decision appears to support Israel’s one-state solution without the Palestinian state.
No guarantee that Israel would not continue its annexation into Palestinian lands even though normalization of relations continues. With this decision, annexation becomes an effective policy tool for Israel to prod the Arab countries to come to terms set by Israel.
 Whilst President Trump is expecting other Arab countries to follow UAE’s steps to normalize their respective diplomatic relations with Israel, the Muslim World should brace themselves for more sinister moves, moving forward. Palestinian issues should not be sidelined just to secure economic benefits with Israel.
It is imperative therefore that the OIC Summit be convened to restore the “collective conscience” of the people in the Middle East. Make no mistake – the Palestinian issues resonate not just within the Arab World; they also reverberate through the whole International Community, from masyriq to maghrib.
Please be reminded that the OIC was established and had its first meeting in September 1969, a month after an arson attack inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque that destroyed part of the roof and the 800-year-old pulpit of Salahuddin, who had re-captured Jerusalem from the Crusaders in the 12th century. Since then, OIC has grown to 57 countries today, from the pioneering team of 24 countries in 1969, and the Palestinian issues have been central to OIC ever since.
AHMAD AZAM ABDUL RAHMAN
The Movement for an Informed Society Malaysia (WADAH)
Wadah Pencerdasan Umat Malaysia (WADAH)