by Nasser Kandil
Those talking day and night about a wave of normalization invading the Arab world, in the midst of whom voices for resistance have been a dissonant chord, should fall silent. Suffice it for them to read or listen well or view and consider the hundreds of reports swarming in all forms of Israeli media, written, broadcast, and telecast, about the shift of the interest in Qatar’s Mondial from a celebration of normalization to its obituary and burial, regardless of the Qatari authorities’ stance which had granted the Israeli media all necessary facilitation confirmed in Israeli media reports about the catastrophic surprise which awaited their crews who had been sent by their Israeli media headquarters carrying the background intention of holding a celebratory festival side by side with the Mondial entitled normalization, only to find in every corner and every street and with every Arab citizen from Morocco, to Saudi Arabia, to Lebanon, to Qatar, to the Emirates a rejection of normalization to the degree of dealing with an Israeli as a plague requiring handwashing after contact, from the taxi driver, to the restaurant waiter, to passerby Mondial supporters among whom the Israeli media crew utterly failed to find one Arab who agreed to a photo op with them, but instead, faced what one media crew member described, as panic and fear when a mobile phone was snatched and photos taken deleted, or the kicking out of a passenger and leaving him stranded in the middle of a deserted road, or forcibly removing a group of media crew from a restaurant and throwing them to the street. Such signals, the dimensions of which are important and analyzed by the Israelis, and ignored by promoters of normalization of the Arabs, say beyond a doubt, that the span of normalization is packing its luggage and leaving.
Benjamin Netanyahu who accompanied the Deal of the Century and normalization projects and frequently boasted that they were the most important compensation for the fears raised by the growth of the resistance in Palestine, and the growth of its strength on Palestine’s borders, knew fully well that the normalization phenomena in the Gulf were only appetizers awaiting the main dish of Saudi Arabia joining the normalization option, and on the outcome of such joinder, when it occurs, as the remaining hope to restore the entity’s regional role, in the shadow of its receding ability to seize it through omnipotent military superiority, with Netanyahu also knowing that such hope being dependent on American success in bringing Saudi Arabia into obedience, and trading conferring legitimacy on the Saudi Crown Prince Mohamad Bin Salman and bypassing the dossier of the killing of the journalist Jamal Kashoggi as a strong point to pressure him into an advanced step in normalization with the Occupation Entity. Following stumbles during U.S. President Joe Biden’s last visit to Saudi Arabia a few months ago, and in translating the invitation for Saudi Arabia to participate in merging “Israel” in both Gulf and Arab milieus, came the rising setbacks in American-Saudi relations, with Saudi positioning mid-road between Washington, Beijing, and Moscow. Enter the American announcement of judicial immunity to the Saudi Crown Prince, and Netanyahu’s burial of his last dreams and hopes.
The return to Palestine, no longer an option, became a fate for Netanyahu or any other leader in the Entity with the failure of the bet on a wave of normalization as a strategic shift after of Saudi Arabia’s joining. The wailing scenes of the Israeli media about the lie of normalization has fired the bullet of mercy on that delusion, and Netanyahu’s return to Palestine implies a return to the conflict considerations well known to Netanyahu, who knows that he lies when he talks the language of challenge with Al Mukawama (Resistance), being the one who, with deterrence power in the gutter, agreed to a cease fire after the Seif Al- Quds conflict. It was under his successive premierships that the transformation of the resistance in Gaza from a defensive force to one of offense occurred, and the resistance in Lebanon obtained its precision missiles despite his lavish rhetoric about targeting them through Syria, and his inability to respond convincingly to the Israeli interior about the secret regarding not targeting them in Lebanon since he was boasting about his power and knowledge about where they were stored, and displaying photos at the UN General Assembly which he said showed the missiles’ depot locations. For all those reasons, Netanyahu knows that he faces a dead end if he decides to return to classic rules of engagement, and knows well that the loss is certain and the erosion unquestionable. Because Netanyahu knows all of this, his last bet was on a wave of normalization in the hope of changing the rules of engagement, and particularly its Palestinian dynamics with Saudi Arabia’s joining, and what it promises the Israelis economically and in terms of expanding the horizon for their hope to remain in the entity, and reproducing a centrist power in the Israeli aggregate which historically had formed the base for a project of “statehood” and “politics,”, and in the absence of which the project of “statehood” gave in to the ideologues and settlers, and the project of “politics” to bloody civil confrontations on one side between the Palestinians as the authentic inhabitants, and on the other side the Settlers. Netanyahu, who is aware of the fall of the projects of “statehood” and “politics” knows the limits of his options, and in view of his retreat from his threat of withdrawing from the agreement of the division of the economic areas with Lebanon by stating that he would give it the same treatment as the Oslo Agreement, will not even dare to do that, i.e. not to comply, because he knows the consequences, and has been the first in avoiding them and seeking to deal with them realistically.
Netanyahu, returning after the elections, reads the fall of the entity with the rise of the Zionist ideology and Settlement bloc and its call to ethnic cleansing, deportation, and killing represented by its rising star Itamar Ben-Gvir, and despite his awareness of the American and European stance and the consequences of granting the internal security cabinet to Ben-Gvir on internal security itself, and on “Israel’s” image abroad and its positon among general opinion groups and Western rights organizations, undertakes such a step in acknowledgement that the era of the “State of Israel” has ended, and that handing over the standard to the tide of settlers and ideologues, either succeeds in creating a new formula inside Palestine which brings back the chance of uniting the entity under a power ceiling, and restoring its regional position through that gateway, similar to the Independence war of 1948, through the deportation of Palestinians and creating an open massacre against them in Jerusalem and the West Bank and the land occupied in 1948, or such risk results in to more disintegration and rehabilitates politics and the project of “statehood,” with Netanyahu being on the grabbing end in both cases.
In Palestine, a new stage dawns, entitled no voice above the battle’s clamor, and no sound above that of bullets, and with Ben-Gvir, no need for Mahmoud Abbas’ authority or his security forces and coordination with the occupation, but rather need Fateh and the Cyclone Forces and the Aqsa Brigades side by side with the resistance factions from Al Qassam to Saraya Al Quds to Areen Al Ousoud, and just like the Palestinian blood defeated the first wave of normalization and prevented the second, it will successfully undertake defeating its remnants at the sound of the horn of confrontation when Ben-Gvir takes over the Ministry of Internal Security, with the Axis of Resistance who is aware that the preservation of the national and nationalist interests of its forces cannot be secured outside the dialectic of confrontation with the occupying entity, standing as a referee in the same trench with the people of Palestine and its resistance forces.