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How UAE Israel Pact will benefit Muslim world

How UAE Israel Pact will benefit Muslim world
August 27
16:11 2020

A.Q. Siddiqui

The majority of Muslims all over the world including Palestinians are looking at Israel and UAE peace pact with apprehensions and calling it a back stab in Palestinian cause. But in reality, the historic step taken by UAE is a step towards global Islamic advantage And assuredly it is going to pave a path for a Palestinian state, a dream that was hitherto lingering in limbo.

What UAE has done now, the OIC should have called for much earlier. The 1948 Arab League boycott of Israel was aimed to weaken Israel’s economy. Boycott was also endorsed by other Islamic countries including Pakistan and Iran. However, it did not work and Israeli economy, defense strength and development continued growing, making it most powerful country in the midst of Arab world.

From Middle East perspective, the UAE Israel friendship pact is a signal for Islamic world to shun the boycott of Israel and move towards the door it opened for trade and tourism. Jerusalem, the holy land is equally important for Jews, Christians and Muslims.

For years, Muslims from Arab and other countries boycotting Israel, have been denied a visit to the third holiest place in Islam and in fact the land of all Prophets Muslims believe in. A tweet from the Princess Hend Al Qassimi, a member of the royal family of United Arab Emirates and a celebrity in social media, said, “Now after almost 80 years of a ban of visiting the Holy Aqsa Mosque, all Muslims of the UAE are allowed t to go pray in Jerusalem. Can we stop fighting now and start living in peace?”

What Princess Hend said in a tweet is the desire of entire Middle East and Muslims all over the world. After Makkah and the Prophet’s mosque in Medina, Al Aqsa or Quds remains a desired place for a visit by all Muslims. While Jerusalem, the holy land, was the first Qibla – the direction for Muslims to pray, the Al Aqsa mosque Golden Dome has the rock beneath it from where the Prophet rode his flight to Heaven.

A verse in Quran makes an announcement that the mercy of God’s is spread across the Al Aqsa. For years, millions of Muslims could not visit Jerusalem for the fear that an Israeli entry stamp will bar their entry into Middle East countries including Saudi Arabia.

In his famous Urdu book, Al Quds Azan (The call from holy land), Saghar Siddiqui, the first Indian to write an exhaustive travelogue on Jerusalem in recent times, said he met many Palestinians working in Jerusalem on Israeli Iqama (work authorization). Israel needs labor and allows Palestinians to work with authorization. Many Palestinians drive cabs and work in hotel industry in Jerusalem and trade their goods around the holy places, he wrote in his book.

As the Israel opens its door to Arab world, thousands of Muslims will now visit Jerusalem. It will ultimately boost tourism into Israel and Palestinians too will get the benefit. As for Arab world they can invest in hotel and tourism industry in Israel. UAE, a cynosure of tourism in Middle East will attract Israelis for a visit to Dubai.

The UAE Israel pact has also set a tickling clock for the Palestinian leadership. The Palestinians can look forward for mediation from UAE and US for a 2-nation theory and grab whatever offered. Since 1967, Palestinians are living under oppressed rule and losing their lands to Israeli annexations.

At least for the time being Israel has now agreed to stop the annexation plan. It also announced that Jordan remains the custodian of Al Aqsa mosque. The history also speaks to Palestinians that for last 53 years Israel grew stronger a nation to reckon with and Palestinian dream for an established state remained a distant cry. With Muslim world inching towards Israel, the Palestinians will have some soothing aloe on their side. An old adage tells that something is better than nothing.

Now it is UAE turn to convince the GCC partners and other friendly Muslim countries to come forward and develop trade and diplomatic relations with Israel.

As for Israel, it has already hit a jackpot with UAE friendship. The doors are now opened to Muslim world. While Israel tourism industry will boom, investments will also flow. At home, Israel economy will get stronger and outside, it will successfully isolate a powerful enemy Iran from Arab world.

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