Morocco has become the next stop of the Arab-Israeli normalization train. The news of the development like before was given by the US President Donald Trump to take the credit for a new achievement in the closing days of his administration.
“Another HISTORIC breakthrough today! Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Morocco have agreed to full diplomatic relations – a massive breakthrough for peace in the Middle East!,” Trump in a Twitter message wrote on Tuesday night.
According to the deal, the two sides are expected to open embassies and launch flights to each other’s airports.
Morocco is the fourth country to normalize ties with the occupying Israeli regime. The country cut off its diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv in 2000 in protest at the Israeli military atrocities against the Palestinians.
Shameful dealing with the Palestinian fate
While many Muslim and Arab countries deem the move by a couple of Arab countries to enter a thaw with the Israeli regime a “treason” that would aggravate the Israeli repressive measures against the Palestinians and their rights, the common feature of the deals of the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and now Morocco with the Israelis is selling out the Palestinian people’s rights and Al-Aqsa Mosque by Arab rulers.
Like the other three, Rabat is setting its heart on the White House support to settle its home problems, as Trump sets normalization with Tel Aviv as a precondition for any help to the interested countries. This is seen by many as a “deal of shame” by Rabat leaders to betray the Palestinians.
Reports said that Washington vowed to recognize, in return for Rabat’s thaw with Tel Aviv, the Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara, over which Morocco for decades has a dispute with the Polisario Front. In the past two months, the two sides clashed for the disputed region.
“The United States believes that an independent Sahrawi State is not a realistic option for resolving the conflict and that genuine autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty is the only feasible solution,” a statement published by the White House on December 10 read. The White House also called the involved sides to immediately start a dialogue based on the Morocco “autonomy” proposal as a framework.
Earlier, media reported about this deal. Earlier this year, the New York Times reported that Tel Aviv promised Rabat to persuade Washington to support its sovereignty over Western Sahara if it advocated the “deal of the century.” The Moroccan Foreign Minister Naser Bourita at a meeting of the Arab League in February in which the bloc rejected the deal of the century in meaningful comments had said: “No, we must not be more Palestinian than the Palestinians themselves.”
It seems that the American side has also offered military support to Rabat in its battle against the Polisario Front. Shortly after the normalization announcement, informed American sources said that the US nears the sale of MQ-9B Seaguard drones to the African kingdom.
Getting rid of the economic problems is another reason driving Rabat leaders to accept normalized ties with Tel Aviv. Following the Trump statement, King Mohammed VI talked about a decision to facilitate direct flights to the occupied Palestinian territories, boosting economic and technological relations, and opening various representation offices between the two sides.
Moroccan economy has had hard times amid the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, with its GDP in the current year shrunk 4.5 percent, showing a sharp downturn compared to the 3.6 percent economic growth in 2019. The shocks of the COVID-19 on the Moroccan economy, which is reliant on tourism, have caused a severe recession. The pandemic shocks are worsened as the agriculture sector suffers as a result of unusual famine in the fall and winter. Exports have shrunken 18.3 percent this year, reports said.
Public and foreign debt are both higher now and the job market and the private sector have suffered the impacts. In the unofficial job market, over 66 percent of the workers have lost their jobs and the income of 19 percent of the nation’s households deceased. In 2020, the costs of healthcare and social securities witnessed an increase.
But certainly in addition to damaging their image and position among the Arab and Muslim nations, seeking solutions to the economic problems by these countries through conceding to the normalization with the Israeli regime has prompted a confrontation with their societies as they lack internal support and independent policy.