The fact that the landmark deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates was announced in Washington shows how much it is more about consolidating Trump’s collapsed election campaign and improving the image of Netanyahu, who faces criminal charges in Israel, than to bring peace to the Middle East.
The joint statement released by Israel, the United States and the United Arab Emirates is clear on this. And Netanyahu was keen to stress that he had only agreed to “delay” annexation of the West Bank and that he “would never give up. [aux] rights [des Israéliens] sure [leur] Earth”. “There is no change in my plan to extend sovereignty, our sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, in full coordination with the United States,” he said using the biblical name of the occupied West Bank .
This pact is only a pause in the creation of a Greater Israel from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River. But the Jewish settlers in the West Bank and the Israeli far right still denounce the decision to postpone annexation as a betrayal.
This normalization is a sham that will allow Israel to consolidate its control over the West Bank and build more settlements against international law with the enthusiastic endorsement of the United States. Trump, Netanyahu’s eager accomplice, has already moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognized the Syrian Golan Heights annexed by Israel, and created his so-called peace plan without Palestinian participation or contribution which provides for annexation by Israel of 30% of the occupied West Bank.
The Palestinians reacted with fury. The deal violates the 2002 agreement between Arab countries that no peace accord will be signed with Israel until the Palestinian issue is resolved. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called the deal an “aggression” against his people and a “betrayal” of their cause, including their claim of Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. The Balad, the political party of the Israeli Arabs, declared that by signing this pact, “the United Arab Emirates officially joined Israel against Palestine and placed itself on the camp of the enemies of the Palestinian people.” Same story with Turkey which speaks of “hypocritical behavior of the United Arab Emirates, which tries to portray the deal as a sacrifice for Palestine, when in reality it is a betrayal of the Palestinian cause for their own benefit ”.
The agreement makes public and formalizes what has been going on between Israel and the Emirates for a long time. The two countries have been cooperating secretly on security issues for years. I already wrote a blog about it last year.
It is said that other Gulf Emirates and Saudi Arabia, which have secret intelligence relations with Israel, may soon follow the US lead. With their tiny population of citizens and vast oil wealth, the emirates are little threatened by popular backlash. Saudi Arabia is probably reluctant to formalize its secret relations with Israel because of the internal strife it would cause.
The agreement will further increase the desperation of the Palestinians and the fury of the Islamists and jihadists who support them with all the dangers of terrorist reprisals that this generates against its three signatories.
In announcing the UAE-Israel pact, Trump said with ridiculous boast that if he wins the election, there will be a new deal with Iran within 30 days. On the contrary, its stupid anti-Iranian policy will bring Tehran to get closer to Beijing, which aims to integrate it into its ambitious “One Belt, One Road” project for a rail link across Eurasia. It would save Iran from economic ruin by integrating it into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization with China, Russia and the Central Asian states.