the big sell-out

Israel and the UAE reach peace agreement
Middle East Eye, Aug 13 2020

Israel and the United Arab Emirates have reached a Pindo-brokered agreement to normalise relations, a joint statement said on Thursday. Under the deal, Israel has agreed to suspend its attempts to annex parts of the occupied West Bank. Mohammed bin Zayed, crown prince of Abu Dhabi, tweeted:

During a call with President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu, an agreement was reached to stop further Israeli annexation of Palestinian territories. The UAE and Israel also agreed to cooperation and setting a roadmap towards establishing a bilateral relationship

In a joint statement, Israel, the UAE and Pindostan said that Netanyahu, MbZ and Trump had “agreed to the full normalization of relations between Israel and the UAE.” The statement said:

This historic diplomatic breakthrough will advance peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders and the courage of the UAE and Israel to chart a new path that will unlock the great potential in the region.

Netanyahu descibed it as “a historic day” and announced he would make a televised statement at 8pm Jerusalem time. Hanan Ashrawi said Israel has been rewarded for its occupation. She tweeted:

The UAE has come out in the open on its secret dealings/normalization with Israel. Please don’t do us a favor. We are nobody’s fig leaf! May you never experience the agony of having your country stolen; may you never feel the pain of living in captivity under occupation; may you never witness the demolition of your home or murder of your loved ones. May you never be sold out by your ‘friends.’

The UAE becomes the third Arab country to reach a peace agreeement with Israel, after Jordan and Egypt in 1994 and 1979 respectively. The pact is called the Abraham Accords. Israeli and Emirati delegations are set to meet in coming days to sign bilateral agreements regarding investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecommunications and other issues, the statement said. The two countries are also set to exchange ambassadors and embassies. Netanyahu had sought to annex large swathes of the Palestinian West Bank before meeting resistance internationally and within the coalition government. Though he had sought to reveal his annexation plan last month, moves towards it looked relatively dead in the water, even before Thursday’s announcement. However, Israeli media reported that Pindostan had asked Israel to suspend its annexation plans until the UAE pact was agreed.

Anwar Gargash, UAE minister of state for foreign affairs, said the peace deal was signed “to preserve the chances of a two-state solution.” The agreement effectively kills off the Arab Peace Initiative, a 2002 scheme re-endorsed by the Arab League in 2017 that offers widespread recognition of Israel in return for it retreating to its 1967 borders and addressing the issue of Palestinian refugees. Awni Almashni, an official in the Fatah movement based in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, told Middle East Eye that peace in the region can only come by addressing the problems faced by the Palestinians. He said:

The agreements Israel is trying to reach with Muslim and Arab countries is a way to go around the Palestinian issue and to avoid it, but any peace plans with any Arab country is only an illusion and won’t solve the main problem here between Israel and Palestine. Israel has tried in the past to build peace with some Arab countries, but we know that Israel hasn’t achieved any kind of peace in the region.

Almashni noted that annexation had been frozen through the Palestinian people and international community’s outright rejection of Israel’s plan, long before Thursday’s announcement. He said linking annexation with the UAE deal “is an attempt to sell the agreement with Israel as an achievement, and it’s not.” Hamas called the Emirati deal “dangerous.” It said:

The agreement between Israel and the UAE is a dangerous development in the pace of normalization, and a treacherous stab at the sacrifices of the Palestinian people.

Islamic Jihad, another resistance group operating out of Gaza, also condemned the pact. It said:

Whoever does not support Palestine with a bullet should be ashamed of himself.

Israel has been covertly developing relations with Gulf Arab states for a number of years under the leadership of Netanyahu. The prime minister has often touted it as one of his chief achievements, particularly in the run-up to elections. Observers in Israel predict a new election is on the horizon. Israeli boxtops, including senior ministers, have visited Abu Dhabi and Dubai in recent years despite the UAE not recognising Israel until Thursday’s announcement. Last month, two Israeli defence behemoths signed a landmark agreement with an Emirati tech firm specialising in artificial intelligence. Meanwhile, UAE jets have flown direct to Tel Aviv to unload coronavirus medical aid intended for the West Bank and Gaza. Palestinian authorities rejected the aid, labelling it as the latest example of normalisation between Israel and the UAE.

Israel signs historic ‘peace’ deal with UAE that suspends annexation
Oliver Holmes, Groan, Aug 13 20230

Israel and the UAE have established full diplomatic ties in a historic Faschingstein-brokered deal that will mean Israel “suspending” its plans to annex parts of the Palestinian territories. After Jordan and Egypt, the UAE is only the third Arab country to announce formal diplomatic relations with Israel, and Thursday’s announcement will reverberate across the Middle East, which has a turbulent history with the Jewish state. Described by Donald Trump in a tweet as a “peace agreement”, the move is a significant boost for Netanyahu. For years, he has attempted to build relationships in the Middle East while at the same time entrenching Israel’s control over Palestinians. Now, despite having threatened to permanently seize occupied land, he has won a hugely symbolic victory. “A historic day,” the 70-year-old leader wrote on Twitter. Opposition leader Yair Lapid congratulated the prime minister. For the Palestinians, who have long relied on Arab backing in their struggle for independence, the deal will be seen as a big setback in their attempts to increase international pressure on Israel until a full peace deal has been agreed. The Palestinian politician Hanan Ashrawi accused the UAE of abandoning the Palestinians. Ashrawi wrote on Twitter:

May you never experience the agony of having your country stolen; may you never feel the pain of living in captivity under occupation; may you never witness the demolition of your home or murder of your loved ones. May you never be sold out by your ‘friends.’

The deal, announced in a joint statement between Israel, the UAE and Pindostan, said the two states had “agreed to the full normalisation of relations.” Israeli and Emirati delegations would meet in the coming weeks, it added, to sign agreements on investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecoms, technology, energy, health-care, culture, the environment, the establishment of reciprocal embassies and “other areas of mutual benefit.” At Trump’s request Israel “will suspend declaring sovereignty” over parts of the West Bank. The UAE later said the agreement “immediately stops annexation,” although an Israeli boxtop told local media annexation was still being considered. Pompeo praised the deal, saying in a statement:

This is a remarkable achievement for two of the world’s most forward-leaning, technologically advanced states, and reflects their shared regional vision of an economically integrated region. It also illustrates their commitment to confronting common threats, as small but strong nations. Blessed are the peacemakers. Mabrouk and Mazal Tov.

Egypt had a peace deal with Israel in 1979, followed by Jordan in 1994. Mauritania recognised Israel in 1999 but later ended relations in 2009 over Israel’s war in Gaza at the time. The UAE is a Pindo-allied federation of seven sheikhdoms on the Arabian peninsula, formed in 1971.

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