'Friends with Israel? Better watch out'
SHAH ALAM – In recent years, the international community has witnessed a surge in countries normalising relations with Israel, a move often driven by the promise of economic gains and diplomatic progress.
“If you give Israelis a chance, they will certainly undermine your sovereignty. This is happening to the countries that normalised relations with Israel,” said Asia-Middle East Centre for Research and Dialogue (AMEC) director Dr Muslim Imran.
Muslim, in Sinar Daily’s The Palestinian Diaries Podcast, sheds light on Jordan, which normalised relations with Israel in the mid-1990s.
In 1996, Israel attempted to assassinate a Palestinian leader, Khalid Mish, within Jordan’s borders, he said.
“That's why it's essential to be cautious when normalising relations with this aggressive entity.
“Normalising the relationship with other countries, specifically Muslim countries, is something that many have done in recent years.
“Do you think they should take a step back, or how can that happen? I believe they should think for themselves,” he added.
He said on Oct 7, Israel's military was challenged, and its intelligence exposed this, which prompted calls for a reconsideration of approaches towards the nation.
“For those countries that normalised relations with Israel for potential economic gains, let's look at some examples. Egypt normalised relations with Israel in the late 1970s.
“How much economic progress has Egypt made since then? Jordan did the same. Jordan is now very reliant on Israel for its water supply, even though the river is called the River Jordan.
“But Israel now controls the water supply and other aspects, and Jordan's economy hasn't prospered,” Muslim added.
He said that countries under the illusion that fostering friendlier ties with Israel will resolve their challenges may be indulging in a dream.
In fact, the stark reality was that such amicable relations were unlikely to yield either economic advancement or just enhanced security, where Israel has exhibited a proclivity to exploit its partners.
Muslim also gave an example by adding that the modus operandi has been observed in various African nations and Latin America, showing Israel’s knack for thriving amidst turmoil.
“Israel is primarily a security entity, created by colonial powers. Its army has around 3 million reservists, and hundreds of thousands are in military service, in addition to agencies like the Shabak and the Mossad.
“Their technologies are mainly military. It's a highly militarised society and regime. They thrive on problems; they don't thrive on economic prosperity and peace,” he stressed.