Middle East is once again boiling due to Israel-Hamas conflict. The issue is so sensitive and religious in nature, that all stakeholders are bound to have stands based on their bias, religious mindset, and political compulsions.
Here’s a little insight into what Middle East/Regional Muslim Governments are thinking right now:
UAE: Attempting to sell themselves as a ‘Middle Eastern Switzerland’. Have used their influencers and religious leaders to discourage boycotts and protests. Many in the government think they are being attacked by Iran/Muslim Brotherhood – believe they are the victim of a conspiracy to derail their ties with Israel. To counter the criticism they are getting, spearheading efforts in the UN to support Palestine.
Saudi: Very busy in events and the pursuit of Vision 2030. Shakira is coming, she takes precedence. Doing basic back-channel diplomacy, but not concerned with Palestine. Secretly hoping America takes out Iran, but do not want a BIG war that brings their key assets like oil plants, desalination plants, airports or seaports under fire. A policy of doing the bare minimum.
Turkey: Erdoğan says one thing, does another. Local elections are coming up, appealing to his voter base with critique of Israel. Still exporting goods and oil to Israel. A policy of speeches, and then more harsher speeches.
Jordan: As always in the pocket of America, doing some public condemnation of Israel, but policy has not changed. Calling for installation of air defenses and supporting an American air-bridge to Israel. Tear-gassing protestors and pushing local religious leaders to tell people to stop voicing concern for Palestinians.
Egypt: Sisi, thinking similar to the Emiratis, wants Hamas gone. Initially allowed protests, now heavily clamping down. Fears public pressure, but militarily assisting Israel. Does not want a Tahrir 2.0, but also does not want to upset his American patrons. Concerned about Israel’s plan to push 2.2 million Gazans into the Sinai desert, but might be willing to capitulate for the right price.
Bahrain: Working in lockstep with the UAE. Attempting to avoid public attention. Waiting for everything to roll over, so they can go back to normal. As always, offering lip service to Palestine.
Algeria: Occupied with planting trees and domestic issues currently. Not wanting to recognize the Palestinian issue. After much domestic pushback, the government issued statements in favor of Palestine. A ‘doesn’t concern me’ policy currently.
Qatar: Facilitating hostage negotiations and making big attempts to avoid a regional war. Doing their best given the unprecedented amount of American pressure upon them.
Kuwait: Among the most loud and loyal to the Palestinian cause. Financially and politically and socially providing support to Palestinians. Encouraging boycotts, protests, and all forms of solidarity.
Iran/Lebanon: The key players in this entire thing. Working closely with proxies to help the Palestinian cause militarily. Taking a major risk to itself and others to strategically defeat the West and to liberate Palestine. Implementing decades long plan to remove the USA from the region.
Pakistan: Engrossed in domestic politics, trying to somehow either kill Imran Khan or ‘remove’ him from the picture. No actual support for Palestine other than aid and UN speeches. However, have issued a legitimate warning that if Iran is hit with nuclear weapons, they will nuke Israel in return and provide Turkey with the means to develop its own nukes.
Syria: Working to defend itself while supporting its local and regional partners. Does not have much to fight with but committed to a big war to defend Palestine if it breaks out.
Yemen: Finger on the trigger, looking forward to inflicting a loss on the Saudis, Israelis, and everyone else they think they’ve been wronged by. Increasing their presence in the war, have shot above American naval assets and has used ballistic missiles.
Morocco: Along with the UAE, committed to preserving normalization with Israel by any means. Facing severe backlash from public, very large demonstrations are planned within the country. A wild card, Moroccan analysts are split on what the country will do next despite the King’s loyalties.
Iraq: A complex case, as there are American military bases along with anti-American forces. The government is attempting to stabilize the situation, trying to avoid conflagration. Proxy-forces are increasingly joining the war, many fighters from other regions have travelled to Iraq. Allegedly, many are on standby to join the fight once the order comes (if it ever comes).
Libya: Has seen large pro-Palestinian demonstrations. Another complex case as there are major differences between government factions. If you recall the foreign minister was suspended after an ‘illegal’ meeting with Israeli officials a few months ago. However, some factions have made statements saying they will provide military support to Palestine if a larger war occurs.
Oman: Just recently closed its airspace to Israeli flights (El-Al). Is working along side the Arab League and other gulf partners to provide support to Palestine. Large pro-Palestine protests have taken place in the country, which seems to be initially affecting government policy.
Also, to note:
- The Muslim countries all feel like they are on a poker table waiting for someone to make a move. There is talk of expelling Israeli ambassadors, but everyone is waiting for someone else to do it. Current discussion in the UAE has said if Turkey expels their ambassador and sever ties, then they could be ‘willing’ to do the same for example.
- Past grievances on other regional issues and wars is playing a major role in decision-making, the countries are putting their own disputes before the safety of Gazans.
- Everyone wants to be seen as the ‘liberators of Al-Aqsa’ so that they can get the prestige and power that comes with such a title, however there is little work towards it. Everyone is shooting down each other, almost as if we are on a school yard and no one likes anyone and everyone is bringing down each other.
- The above in NO WAY reflects public sentiment. Every single country’s populations are in FULL support of Palestine, with many calling for major action and a final battle to solve the issue once and for all.