The Arab Group for the Protection of Nature has been invited to a number of different events to speak about the realities of normalization and make recommendations on confronting it. They were invited to speak at the General Arab Conference 'United against Normalization', the Popular Conference for Palestinians Abroad, and other events organized by Women for Jerusalem and BDS Egypt.
General Arab Conference 'United against Normalization'
On February 20-21, APN and ANFS President Razan Zuayter chaired the seventh session of the General Arab Conference "United Against Normalization.” Over 500 participants from most Arab countries responded to the invitation of the Arab National Congress, the General Congress of Arab Parties, the Arab Progressive Front, Al-Quds International Foundation, the National Islamic Conference, and the Arab Left Forum.
Zuaiter opened the session by saying, “there is no excuse not to resist by every available means. The condition for success is to unify plans and take collective action.” She noted that the United Against Normalization conference is an important step on this path and that confrontation at the popular level is the basis for any positive change.
In the first speech of the session, the former Secretary-General of the Arab National Congress, Maan Bashour, presented a paper on “Normalization: Reality and Confrontation at the Popular Level.” After, many opponents of normalization presented papers on their country's experiences in confronting normalization: from Palestine, Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, Secretary General of the National Initiative, and Dr. Jamal Amro; from Egypt: Dr. Hassan Nafaa, professor of political science at Cairo University; from Jordan: Dr. Ahmed Al-Armouti, former head of the Jordanian Doctors Syndicate and Chairman of the Executive Committee to Protect the Homeland and Confront Normalization; from Morocco: Ahmed Wehman, head of the Moroccan Observatory against Normalisation; from Bahrain: Radhi Al-Mousawi, the former Secretary General of Wa’ad Society; from Sudan: Mr. Othman Al-Kabashi, general coordinator of the Sudanese popular forces against normalization; from Lebanon: Mr. Abbas Qaddouh, Hezbollah representative in Arab and international relations; and from Mauritania: Dr. Mohamed El-Amin El-Nati, head of the Mauritanian Commission against Normalization.
Razan Zuayter concluded by saying that the work begins now to convert the important words spoken at the session into a plan of action. She stressed the need to establish regularized communication channels and networks between all the anti-normalization movements and to establish a comprehensive Arab movement that includes all sects. She said, “if we succeed in that, it will form an impenetrable dam to normalization and the psychological wars waged to thwart the people.”
The conference, chaired by General Coordinator of the National Islamic Conference Khaled Al-Sufyani (Morocco), saw important dialogue on strategies to resist normalization at a time that witnesses a race for Arab normalization with the occupation. The participation of leaders of the resistance movements, parties, unions, institutions, Islamic and Christan religious groups, and others showed the complementarity of most of the ideological, intellectual, and political spectrum active in the Arab region, from the Atlantic to the Gulf.
The Popular Conference for Palestinians Abroad
Chair of the Board at the Arab Group for the Protection of Nature, Mrs. Razan Zuayter, spoke at a conference that focused on the issue of normalizing with Israel. The event was organized by the Popular Conference for Palestinians Abroad as part of a larger International Conference to Resist Normalization. Many Palestinians, Arabs, and people of other nationalities attended the event with the aim of creating a global movement to resist Arab and global normalization with the Israeli occupation (February 27 - March 3, 2021).
Zuayter called for forming a unified and institutionalized front against these agreements, which she describes as "agreements of despondency and subjugation made not for the good of the people, but for states, their heads, and their rulers." She also pointed out that history has shown that rulers of these countries are the first to pay the price of getting involved with normalization.
She added that the first step would be to document and circulate the experiences of Arab countries which have entered into normalization agreements with Israel. She added that "We have to prove that deceit and lies are involved with these agreements that purport to help with improving the economy and the tourism and agricultural sectors in those countries. This will help with explaining how these sectors have reached unprecedented levels of collapse."
She explained with numbers some of the consequences of these agreements in the past century (Oslo 1993, Camp David 1978, Wadi Araba 1994). She compared the dynamics of each country before and after entering into these agreements revealing that normalization has pushed these countries backward.
Zuayter stressed the need to turn frustration into action and that there are many means to resist normalization. She gave the example of the Arab Group for the Protection of Nature which works within the framework of 'green resistance.' She went on to describe how the organization supports farmers and works towards improving rural development and food sovereignty in Palestine and the Arab world. Such work, she said, though seemingly small, has had great results and has even alarmed the occupation forces.
She demonstrated the impact of these projects in helping Palestinians endure the difficulties they are facing, also explaining that settlers and occupation forces are constantly carrying out attacks on Palestinian lands to destroy trees. She cites Swiss anthropologist Christine Perinolli who said that Israel uses these measures to erase Palestine by changing its natural landscape. Perinoli wrote that, "
At the end of her speech, Zuayter recommended filling the gaps in global and international platforms with a mandate on influencing policies related to the protection of natural resources under occupation, noting that participants from Arab countries are not being engaged in these forums.
The International Conference to Resist Normalization was held in cooperation with more than 100 international and Arab institutions and organizations and many media outlets.
Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Egypt
Chair of the Board at the Arab Group for the Protection of Nature, Mrs. Razan Zuayter, was invited by BDS Egypt to discuss confronting normalization with Israel. She revealed the many deceptions on the part of Israel and its allies when entering into these agreements with Arab countries.
Zuayter spoke about the experiences of Palestine, Egypt, and Jordan, who have entered into normalization treaties with Israel in the past (Oslo 1993, Camp David 1978, Wadi Araba 1994). She compared the dynamics of each country before and after entering into these agreements revealing that normalization has pushed these countries backward. She argued that promises of development in the economic, tourism, and agricultural sectors as part of such agreements are illusive.
She also warned of the dire consequences to the region due to the agreement with the UAE. Furthermore, she shone a light on Zionist plans which target Morroco as a 'new Israel' by igniting discord and internal strife based on ethnic, tribal, and regional grounds.
Zuayter called for the need to be united in confronting normalization through programs and movements. She also called for raising awareness to youth and the new generations so as not to lose hope.
Arab Committee to Resist the Zionist Project
Chair of the Board at the Arab Group for the Protection of Nature, Mrs. Razan Zuayter, stressed the importance of reviving the boycott movement through a clear program and strategy, referring to it as one of the most effective ways of resisting normalization.
This recommendation came during a discussion with politicians and activists from around the Arab world on forming an 'Arab Committee to Resist the Zionist Project'
A number of proposals on ways to confront the current wave of normalization were presented at the 'United Against Normalization' conference (February 20, 2021). The most prominent of these was to form a coordination framework to oppose normalization and resist the Zionist project.
Zuayter called for involving volunteers and launching specialized workshops on various aspects of combating normalization. She also stressed the importance of establishing a data platform and studies that list popular boycott movements, successes, and a list of those who have normalized relationships with Israel.
She recommended diligence in providing moral and material resources to activate this body to be an effective and practical platform. Also, she advocated for comprehensive representation in the body to benefit from diverse experiences.