Palestine won the world football championship

“No one, especially Qatar’s leaders, expected that it would become the mouthpiece of the world.” Arab street and defends the Palestinian cause.

A column by Leslie Varenne

The World Cup in Doha promised to be boring for football fans with the expected controversies: the choice of this country to host the planetary event, democracy, human rights, boycotts, etc. But nothing went as planned, the Western narrative was forgotten, the reality of the Arab world escaped the stands and it was the bigots who dictated the narrative, trapping everyone, Westerners as well as the leaders of the Arab states.

All supporters from Arab countries raised Palestinian emblems alongside their national flags, including the United Arab Emirates, Sudan, Bahrain, and Morocco, which signed the Abraham Accords in 2020. If the Western media is shy or silent on this topic, the rest of the press mainly interprets and analyzes this phenomenon. As Middle East Monitor headlined: Opinion: Palestine won the World Cup » Brazilian newspaper prosecuted « that it has become the thirty-third team of the most popular and mass sport”. Those heads of state who ignored public opinion on the issue and normalized relations with Israel or treated it like Saudi Arabia had the least remorse. The first Muhammad VI who did not expect such enthusiasm from his compatriots.

And that’s not the only lesson of this World Cup, there was Arab joy at Morocco’s exploits, pride at having one of their countries host such a well-organized cup, and joy at reviving a sense of pan-Arabism that was thought to be dead. . Despite the political tension between the two countries, Algerians who rejoiced at the victories of the Moroccan team were an example of this.

world cup effect

The first result was not long in coming, on the night of December 30-31, a resolution was passed at the United Nations requesting a ruling from the International Court of Justice in The Hague. legal consequences Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories was accepted. With 87 votes in favor, 26 against and 53 abstentions, this vote aroused the anger of Israel. it was the moral duty of the United Nations “. All Arab countries, including the signatories of the Ibrahim agreement, voted… After the provocative visit of the new Israeli security minister Ben Gvir to Al-Aqsa Mosque, the United Arab Emirates decided to postpone Netanyahu’s visit to Abu Dhabi. For an emergency meeting of the Security Council. Morocco As for the fact that he has just made the opening of his planned embassy in Tel Aviv conditional on the recognition of Western Sahara, which Israel has refused to commit to. To be fair, the World Cup reaction to these decisions and this vote may have been the same, if not the same, but on the one hand it is certain on the other hand, it is no longer possible for these leaders to be of no importance.” doha effect “.

Plate tectonic shaking

In addition, this world championship took place at a time when the region was completely rebuilt. For more than a year, reconciliation efforts have been made between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Their respective foreign ministers met in Baghdad last December, the first time since the two countries severed diplomatic relations in 2016. Ultimately, it could promote the Yemeni peace process and Syrian repatriation within the framework of the Arab League.

But without a doubt, the most important action at the moment is the Syrian-Turkish reconciliation. Turkey, which is trying to normalize its relations with Arab countries and get rid of the trap it fell into in 2011, has been trying to open up with Damascus for more than a year. The intelligence chiefs of the two countries met in September. On December 28, both defense ministers met in Moscow with the participation of their Russian counterparts. A new meeting between the three foreign ministers is planned for January, possibly in the United Arab Emirates. Bashar Assad’s interview with Recep Tayyip Erdogan has already been announced, the date and place have not yet been determined. This file is complex, full of problems that need to be solved, the fate of the Kurds, thousands of jihadists in Idlib, Syrian refugees in Turkey. Nevertheless, this Syrian-Turkish reconciliation would signal the end of the 12-year conflict. And this is a sign of the failure of America’s neoconservatives. the larger Middle East project as the name suggests, it involved the reorganization of the region as a puzzle between small community-based and/or denominational institutions.

This is exactly what was discussed in Doha. Through the defense of Palestine and the freedom given to them by the tribunes, the supporters asserted their Arab identity, Arab solidarity, which is supposed to be dead and is actually only narcosis. This also means, and above all, a return to the primacy of politics over religion. This World Cup effect, combined with ongoing geopolitical upheavals, could create significant changes far beyond the region.

*Source: IVERIS

Leslie Varenne is an investigative journalist and filmmaker From IVERIS (Institute for Monitoring and Study of International and Strategic Relations).

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