Is Israel a threat to Islam?
When it comes to rhetorical thunder, the Turkish President gives everything. In view of the escalating violence between Israelis and Palestinians on the Temple Mount, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has now called Israel a "terrorist state that attacks the Palestinians mercilessly and without any morality". Erdoğan, who likes to think in superlatives, added with calculated pathos: "Jerusalem is the world, the Muslims represent humanity." On Twitter, he once again let the Turks and the whole world know: "We understand every attack on Muslims as an attack on all of us."
As is so often the case, Erdoğan tried to put himself at the top when it came to the interests of Muslims worldwide, the Palestinians in the Holy Land or Islamophobia in Europe. The criticism of Turkey, other Islamic states and groups around the world of the actions of the Israeli police officers and soldiers was to be expected. Following the well-established pattern of Turkish public policy, Erdoğan again presented himself and his country as the guardian of the Islamic cause: Jerusalem, Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque are sacred to all Muslims, the Palestinian cause is important to him, at least in word.
But even the Arab states cannot and do not want to remain silent when the Palestine conflict boils up, once again. A number of Middle East states may have unofficially ticked off the Palestine question, "normalized" relations with Israel, or unspokenly made their peace with the state. But every Arab leader has to express himself when it comes to Palestine and the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel to this day.
In contrast to the USA and Europe, the Arab and Turkish populations see less of the undeniable threat to Israel from the Palestinian Hamas, which is classified as a terrorist organization. In the Muslim world it is always about the equally undeniable injustice that happened and is happening to the Palestinians, for example through settlement policy.
The Gulf States are more concerned about Iran than about the Palestinians
But, unlike at the height of the Middle East conflict, Egyptians, Saudis, Bahraines, Jordanians or the leaders of the United Arab Emirates can no longer have the big say. Egypt and Jordan have had peace treaties with Israel for decades, Bahrain and the UAE have normalized their relations with the Jewish state, and the Saudis are also discreetly looking for a compromise and cooperation with Israel. The Gulf states are less concerned about the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank than about their neighboring country Iran, which is striving for military supremacy.
So while thousands of Turks and Arab refugees demonstrated in front of the Israeli embassy in Ankara and the consulate in Istanbul - obviously with the approval of the government - despite the strict nationwide corona lockdown, Saudi Arabia and Jordan protested vehemently, but through diplomatic channels. The actions of Israel at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the operations of the "Israeli occupation forces" violated "all international norms and laws," said the Saudi Foreign Ministry. And added what it has been adding for years if Palestine burns again. A comprehensive solution to the Palestinian question is required: an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital. What the Jordanian King Abdullah II uttered sounded similar.
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