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On January 29, 2023, a group of independent jihadi clerics in Syria's Idlib region published issue No. 45 of their monthly magazine Balagh.
Pages 22-24 of the issue contain the article "Arab Normalization With the Zionist Occupation: How it Started and Where It Got," by Abu Hafs Al-Maqdisi (real name: Isma'il bin 'Abd Al-Rahim Hamid), head of the Al-Qaeda-aligned Gazan jihadi group "Jaysh Al-Ummah Al-Salafi" (Salafi Army of the Islamic Nation).
The article begins by giving an overview of the history of the Middle East after the Sykes-Picot agreements of 1916, which divided the region into spheres of influence between France and Britain.
Following the fall of the Ottoman Empire at the end of the First World War and the abolition of the Caliphate in 1922, the Levant region was divided into a French mandate over Syria and Lebanon, and a British mandate over Iraq, Palestine and Transjordan, ruled by the Hashemite royal family. During this time, various kingdoms were created on the former Ottoman territories of the Arabian Peninsula (such as Saudi Arabia and Yemen), while other territories remained British protectorates (Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar).
Western powers, the article contends, supported sectarian minorities in most of the Middle Eastern countries over which they ruled, most notably in Syria and Iraq, and managed to divide the Arab and Muslim world from within, using tactics such as fomenting rebellions against the Ottoman Caliphate through the attacks launched by "Lawrence of Arabia." At the same time, the article recalls that Britain allowed the Zionist movement to establish a national home for the Jews in Palestine, and that after the "Nakba" of 1948, 56% of the land of Palestine was assigned to the State of Israel with the blessing of the League of Nations, controlled by the West, and the "secret blessing" of the Arab countries, which condemned the act in public.
British, American and Israeli intelligence reports revealed that many Arab leaders maintained secret relations with the State of Israel, including, according to the author, Jordan's King Hussein, who warned Israel of the imminent Yom Kippur attack by Egypt and Syria in 1973.
The following phase, the article continues, saw the establishment of official relations between Israel and Arab countries, which began in the late 1970s, starting with the Egyptian peace treaty with Israel. In order to justify this normalization to the Arab world, and to protect the ruling regimes from revolutions, the Palestinians had to be "at the forefront of the normalizers."
Therefore, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) signed the first Oslo Accords with Israel in 1993, followed by the peace agreement with Jordan in 1994 and the opening of a "coordination" office by Israel in Qatar in 1996. The article notes that the culmination of this process was the signing of the Abraham Accords between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain in 2020, and the ensuing peace agreement with Sudan and Morocco. Following this ongoing trend, other members of the Arab League established semi-official relations with the "occupying State" of Israel, including the Sultanate of Oman and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
In the author's view, these regimes allowed "[Israeli] settlers" to visit their countries and reside in them, open investment projects on their lands and "control their economy and the goods of their peoples," resulting in an "intellectual, cultural and social invasion" that has deceived the Islamic nation and undermined its loyalty to itself and its religion.
Because the Islamic nation has been split up by "artificial borders" created by Sykes-Picot, and its identity replaced by national identities and loyalty to flags, the author concludes, for it to recover its identity and sovereignty, and to resist the Zionist enemy, the regimes in power must be overthrown. The article calls for the dismantling of "all the institutions and armies that were built inside the Sykes-Picot borders, which had nothing to do with Islam and Muslims."
 Telegram, January 29, 2023.
For reports on some recent issues of the magazine, see MEMRI JTTM Reports: Syrian Jihadi Magazine: Revolution Is In Peril After Turkey's Moves To Reconcile With Assad Regime, Rebels Must Immediately Intensify Their Jihad, January 5, 2023, Article In Magazine Published By Syrian Jihadi Clerics Warns That Turkey May Soon Reconcile With Assad Regime, Calls For Concrete Action To Prevent Demise Of Revolution, September 8, 2022, Syrian Jihadi Cleric: Feminism Promotes Homosexuality And Atheism; Action Should Be Taken Against Feminist Associations and Activists, August 9, 2022, Syrian Jihadi Magazine: Amid War On Islam, Muslims Should Continue To Separate Themselves From Unbelievers; Afghan Taliban Is Best Model Of Jihad, July 11, 2022
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