Recognition of Israel has always been a sensational topic in the Muslim world. It has remained a part of the debate from time to time. However, this debate has failed to generate the right discourse on Israel and the overall Israel-Palestine issue. It is possible to discuss this issue from two angles. Recognize Israel or not. After reviewing the people as a whole, I have carefully observed their psychology, and have concluded that the views of both parties are based on extremism and sentiments. One group, considering the plight of Palestinian Muslims, says Israel should not be recognized, while the other group opposes the first group considering themselves as liberals, and liberalism has nothing to do with this diplomatic dilemma.
Therefore, in the modern era, we cannot live on emotions, merely. I believe our approach to other countries at the international level should be logical. Since the concept of friendship is slightly different from older times, I think that every state is willing to assist only to the extent of its interests, otherwise, the Kashmir issue between India and Pakistan would have settled by now, as Pakistan has world powers like Russia, United States of America and China, which Pakistan considers its favorite, would have resolved the Kashmir issue by now.
But in practice these states have never tried to decipher the problem in the United Nations Organization (UNO), so I leave the definition of friendship over to you, and moving forward to talk in detail about those elements, whether Pakistan should recognize Israel or not?
Ever since we saw Pakistan as an independent state, except for a few common people, most Pakistanis and government officials have had the same stance on Israel, although I condemn the atrocities of Israel against Palestinian Muslims, I also want to see Pakistan as a developed country.
According to the historical background, everyone, starting from Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah to Prime Minister Imran Khan has refused to recognize Israel. And if you look at their stance, they all seem to agree that as long as Israel continues to burn Palestine, we will not recognize them. Since there is no space in this article to quote the statements of all the historical leaders, I will quote only the statement of Quaid-e-Azam and Imran Khan which reflect all of them.
Before moving forward, let me tell you, that the lands of Israel and Palestine were bought by the Jews, after Zionism, at a price from the Arabs. Keep in mind that the ongoing conflict in Palestine has never been against Muslims or their religion (Islam). This war is only for the land of Palestine in which Jews have inflicted equal atrocities not only on Muslims but also on Palestinian Christians.
Statements of National Leadership
“Pakistan has no direct conflict with Israel, and we are not a threat to Israel’s national security,” Jinnah said in a statement on Israel. “We believe that Israel is not a threat to Pakistan’s national security. But our people are very sympathetic to the Palestinians.”
He added, “Everyone in the Islamic world (men and women) must die for Jerusalem so that it does not fall into the hands of the Jews. The United States and Britain should not help Israel. Then I see how Israel gets Jerusalem.”
“Our position on Israel is clear that Pakistan will not recognize the Palestinians until they have their rights and an independent state.”
At the same time, Prime Minister Imran Khan, quoting Quaid-e-Azam’s statement, speaking to a Turkish television station, said, “We do not recognize Israel for two reasons. First, that Quaid-e-Azam had denied. Secondly, if we recognize Israel, we must also acknowledge India’s oppression of the Kashmiris, it will be our moral defeat.”
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I analytically disagree with these statements. If you look at history, the United States alone has killed about 40 million people in its history. Moreover, the United Kingdom had killed 35 million people in United India alone. But we do recognize the United States and the United Kingdom, knowing that the United States has recently exploited many Muslims in Afghanistan, but what to say about people’s interests, we denigrate humanity here.
Imran Khan says that recognizing Israel is tantamount to acknowledging the atrocities against Muslims in Kashmir by the Indian government. Here the question arises why is India recognized as a state then? recognizing India as a state is proof that what Israel is doing to Palestinian Muslims is right? So the theories contained in these statements are of a double standard. Considering Quaid-e-Azam’s statement, he says that everyone in the Islamic world must fight to the last for Jerusalem, but given the current situation, we see that most of the countries of the Islamic world have recognized Israel.
So, if Quaid-e-Azam were alive today, would he have retreated from his statement or would he have invaded the Islamic world? If Pakistan thinks that avoiding all Israeli goods would support Pakistan’s condemnation, then doing business with India is beyond my comprehension. Is it not possible for us to stop trade with India and make Kashmiris realize that we are on your side against India? If not, so why such an inflexible attitude towards Israel’s recognition?
Furthermore, if the Jews are defeated in this war, who will guarantee that the Christians in Palestine will not stand up for Palestine’s land against the Muslims? And if that happened then what would be the meaning of recognized Christian states all over the world? We must remember that Palestine is not only claimed by Jews and Muslims, but also by the third group of Christians who claim Jerusalem. Besides this, how many Muslims have fallen asleep in the conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran in Yemen, and how many are about to die. Therefore, according to Imran khan’s statement, we must overlook or reject Saudi Arabia and Iran first.
The situation in Saudi Arabia
After some countries in the Islamic world recognized Israel, now Saudi Arabia is also preparing to accept Israel as a nation. As Saudi Arabia’s top priority is to keep pace with the changing world, Saudi Arabia sees a threat in the future. Half of Saudi Arabia’s economy is dependent on oil, and the major powers are preparing to develop electric vehicles shortly, so the oil demand will diminish over time.
For that sake, Saudi Arabia is considering brainstorming for the future. Soon, Saudi Arabia will not be ashamed to recognize Israel as a state.
Pakistan is ideologically familiar with Saudi Arabia from the beginning. Would Pakistan like to turn an angry eye to Saudi Arabia’s policy of starting trade and foreign affairs with Israel? For sure, Pakistan will face more problems if it does not recognize Israel. You can see how Saudi Arabia is promoting Western culture, even banning the “Tablighi Jamaat”. They are trying to pave the way for the future.
Two years ago, Shah Mehmood Qureshi had demanded from Saudi Arabia to convene an OIC consultation meeting on the Kashmir issue. But seeing the irresponsible and impractical attitude of Saudi Arabia, Shah Mehmood Qureshi stated that if Saudi Arabia does not convene the OIC consultation meeting, then we will go to countries like Malaysia and Turkey which are in our favor on Kashmir dilemma.
Upon hearing this, Saudi Arabia issued a notice on the repayment of 1 billion dollars of the 3 billion dollars loan given to Pakistan in the past, on which China took immediate action and returned the same amount to Pakistan. Two aspects are clear from this, first, Saudi Arabia has no sympathy for the atrocities committed against Muslims in Kashmir. Second, what is Saudi Arabia trying to convey to the Islamic world with this aggressive attitude?
If you analyze these situations, you will not disagree with me at all on why Israel should be recognized.
Fear of Iran’s reaction
If Iran wants to make matters worse for us by recognizing Israel in the future, it will be considered a failure in foreign affairs for Pakistan. Since you are probably familiar with the definition of friendship at the international level, I would like to mention some of the reasons why should Pakistan do not think much about Iran’s case. First, Iran itself, knowingly or unknowingly, consumes Israeli goods, and in return, many Iranian goods are used in Israel. Well, It is a different matter that their trade is not direct but is made possible through a mediator, just like in Pakistan, from the year 2010 to 2020 Israeli goods were used in Pakistan through the United Arab Emirates.
Secondly, if Iran has religious differences with the Jews, then it is somewhat rational for them to be angry with us, but if they have differences over the issue of Palestine, then the first thing for Iran is to stand up against India for the Muslims of Kashmir. In Kashmir, Indians are persecuting Muslims, but even then, we see that not only Iran’s trade with India is restored, but in terms of good relations, Iran also wants to get one of our provinces (Balochistan) with the support of India.
For which General Qasim Soleimani has used Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) against Pakistan, which is a threat to our national security. This was confirmed by both India and Pakistan back in 2019. Does Iran have any right to be angry with us for recognizing Israel? Although Iran verbally supports us on the Kashmir issue, I don’t think it is enough. In other words, Iran cannot be an obstacle for us.
Pakistanis should not be hindered:
I also consider it part of the debate to understand and examine the psychology of the Pakistani people. The public understands that Israel’s conflict with Palestine over Jerusalem is on religious grounds, but it is significant to know that this conflict is purely diplomatic, which must be resolved through foreign policy. Therefore, Pakistanis giving it a religious color is evidence of their absent intellectual maturity. Israel has no religious issues with the Palestinians.
Maybe not much work has been done on the intellectual maturity of common masses in Pakistan, you see a Pakistani who does not even know the date of Pakistan’s independence, but he certainly knows and believes that jihad against Israel is definite. Therefore, two things are essential for mental maturity, one is the acquisition of basic education which creates an element of consciousness in an individual, and secondly, the political awareness must be such that even if one cannot comment on the current situation but should understand and evaluate.
Take the example of Kashmir. On the one hand, you believe Kashmir is a diplomatic issue and on the contrary, you reject the state of Israel by seeing the same issue with a religious label. Have you ever thought of it from this slant before?
Adverse effects on India
Pakistan has always blamed Israel against Kashmir, that Israel is providing arms and financial aid to India against us. A London reporter even says that the Israeli government is also giving its pilots to India so that India can always have a safe hand in the Kashmir issue. But I believe it’s better to accept Israel than complaint all the way, the direct negative effects on India will be profound because Israel is one of the five or six countries responsible for 80% of the world’s arms exports. And since India has had the best trade deal with Israel for the last twenty years, it is better to try to reduce Israel’s positive influence on India by recognizing Israel. The ratio of Indian goods which are being used in Israel is much more than Israeli goods are utilized in India, if the Pakistan-Israel situation improves in the future, India will suffer a lot, they will be pressurizing Israel to hold them back.
China’s interaction in the Pakistan-Israel situation
In the current context, China is going to play a special role as a mediator in the Pakistan-Israel issue. China has begun efforts to get Pakistan to recognize Israel soon. There are several reasons for this. First, the Central Asian countries are of great importance in China’s BRI project. Pakistan and Israel are at the top. China can go to any limits to appease its geopolitical and economic factors. If Pakistan adopts an inflexible attitude, it will face many difficulties in the future.
Secondly, the United States has played a successful role as a mediator between Bahrain and Israel. China, which has always challenged the United States, has taken the initiative that we will also play the role of mediator between Pakistan and Israel on par with the United States. China’s ego will be to maintain its international reputation against this action of the USA, which is directly reliant on Pakistan. I do not want any dilemmas which can affect the historic Pak-China friendship.
Israel, a developed state
Despite this, the majority of Israelis live in poverty, yet it has been recognized as a major power in the world. 80% of Israelis are so poor that they are not even eligible to pay taxes. The Israeli government collects taxes from only 20% of its population, but because of its capable and intelligent people, Israel has considered a famous state today. The main reason is their quality education. Moreover, Israel is a great country in the field of health. Countries around the world import diamonds and other stones from Israel. Five countries export 5% of the world’s arms, one of which is Israel. Half of Israel’s land is desert, and Israelis are thirsty for water, but do you know that Israel is the fourth-best country in aquarium production?
In addition, there are many other development works that I will not mention for fear of length, so our economy is yearning to trade with Israel, just as India has benefited so much, we shall also reap economic benefits.
Solution to the Palestine problem
Just as we have not seen the persecution of Muslims from a religious point of view with many countries, we have not only recognized them but have also maintained good trade and relations with them like India. The rights of Palestinian Muslims and the ground war should also be considered as a diplomatic issue. An important question that will come to your mind right now is what can the Islamic Republic of Pakistan do to help Palestine?
Pakistan should never miss the opportunity to put pressure on Israel with China, the United States, and the OIC union.
It is now up to the intelligence of government officials and ministers to decide how cleverly they can use their foreign policy on the Israeli-Palestine issue. Just as the hard work of great leaders in the past gave birth to independent states, this is not impossible. However, this issue of Palestine should not be about recognizing Israel and trading with them.
Syed Mesum Raza is an undergraduate student of History at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the GDI’s editorial policy.