What’s Really Behind Israel-UAE- “Peace Deal”


As I write this, the euphoric dust continues to hang low over Israel and America, following the announcement of the normalization agreement between Israel and the UAE. The superlatives (thrown about to distort the truth) were so overwhelming that even a veteran observer such as yours truly found it difficult to clear the fog of falsehood. Of course, none was bigger in this regard than President Trump’s tweet: “HUGE breakthrough today! Historic Peace Agreement between our two GREAT friends, Israel and the United Arab Emirates!”

Caught in the jubilation were—except the Palestinians, for obvious reasons—not only the major players themselves, but the media here and in Israel, including long time, astute observers of Trump, Netanyahu, and the Middle East. Who, feeling the urge to join in this intoxicated international Hora dance, lost momentarily their usually analytical observation power. And so I aim, in my limited capacity – though as always dedicated to the truth – to clear some of this stardust for your benefit. But before I do that, some important—indeed promising—developments of this deal (yet to be ironed out,) must be highlighted and commended.

This development is welcomed and, if successful, opens a wealth of opportunities for Israel, the UAE, and the entire Middle East. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi and the Emirati leader who brokered the deal, described it in a tweet (second to Trump, of course) this way: “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 toward establishing a bilateral relationship.”

Unlike Trump’s bombastic tweet, this one is rather clear and informative. It states first that the raison d’etre for the deal is to stop Netanyahu’s planned annexation, promised to his voters in the last election. Only secondly comes the promise of “cooperation and setting a roadmap toward establishing a bilateral relationship.” It’s worth pointing out here that Netanyahu, in his major speech to the nation, not only minimized the annexation issue and insisted it’s only a “temporary suspension,” but like Mr. Trump declared it a “done deal,” rather than a work in progress. Furthermore, it’s important to state here that Israel and the UAE have been engaged in economic, scientific, and intelligence cooperation for quite some years, indeed under the radar. In that sense, bringing it to light is also an important achievement.

I should acknowledge also that this ‘new deal’ opens the possibilities of similar such agreements in the near future with other Middle East countries, especially other oil-rich sheikhdoms such as Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman, small countries that share also a common enemy: Iran. Which is another factor in this equation, and a rather important one to Israel and America. It creates a buffer zone for the Iranian aspirations and adds the most powerful army in the Middle East—i.e. Israel’s IDF—permission to defend and possibly attack Iran. Of course, with the backing of America. What’s wrong with all that, you ask?

Let me tell you. First, this is not a peace deal. Nothing of the sort. A peace deal is an agreement made between enemies, most often after a long, protracted war. Israel and the UAE were never at war with each other. Not even close. Growing up in Israel, and serving in the IDF both in compulsory and reserve duties for many years, no one ever mentioned that sheikdom, let alone even knowing where it is. (Confession: I had to look at the map just to make sure.) Yes, it’s part of the larger Arab League, and as such it’s also a signatory to its peace proposal of 2002, which it now has betrayed, according to not just the Palestinians, but Saudi Arabia as well.

This is not a peace deal; rather, it’s a normalization agreement. Which brings me to my second point: Annexation. On the face of it, what a great deal. It stopped (or suspended) Israel’s annexation of a large part of the West Bank. Now, I ask you, if this is such a great deal, why the Palestinians are not happy about it? They should be celebrating in the streets, right? But no, they know better. And what they know is that, first, the threat of annexation is not gone. Second, they know that annexation de facto is still in progress, acre after acre, kilometer after kilometer, hill after hill. For them, the need for a united Arab League to stick with the 2002 peace plan, which Israel has done its best to disregard, is much more important.

Regarding this crucial element of the agreement, I’ll say one more thing: It’s mostly thanks to Benny Gantz and his Blue and White Party, on the receiving end of so much ridicule in Israel—but not from me, as I laid out in a previous post — The Lesser of Two Evils, from April 26 — because they joined the coalition with Netanyahu. But he and his party were the ones to actually prevent Netanyahu from going ahead with it on July 1st. They refused, unless America supports it, and unless it’s part of the overall ‘peace deal’ the Trump administration has suggested with the Palestinians. In a way, they are the ones who prevented it—if it’s indeed prevented—and not the agreement with UAE.

Lastly, I believe the real reason beyond this deal is Netanyahu and Trump’s way of escaping jail. Wait, let me explain. While the said deal is important on some levels (as pointed out above), it’s the political gains that the two of them are seeking, to ensure they stay in power and avoid prosecution. In Netanyahu’s case, his court proceeding will kick into high gear next January, where and when he’ll have to appear in court to defend himself three times a week. Imagine that. He cannot stop these proceedings, as they are underway already. His only chance to stay out of jail is to remain in power and to bend the rule of law—Belarus, Russia, China—his way. Had Trump not being president currently, he’d probably be in jail by now, that’s my belief. And should he lose the coming election—he better!—the democrats, justice, and law forces will go after him like a ‘huge’ fireball. His only salvation is to stay in power. Hence this deal.

Lastly: Comparing these so-called “Abraham Accords” to Israel’s peace treaty with its sworn enemy Egypt in 1979, and to the peace treaty with Jordan in 1994; comparing the major players of this deal to Sadat, Begin, Hussain, and Rabin is at best misleading, and at worst an outright lie. So befitting this marriage-of-convenience of Netanyahu and Trump.

* The ‘Leave a Comment’ link is the last tag below, in blue.

Truth, Lies & the Peace Plan

imemc.org

Allow me to reverse the order of the title and start with the Peace Plan. Yes, that Peace Plan: “The Deal of the Century!” It’s not a Peace Plan, let’s get this out of the way first: it’s an Annexation Plan. It’s a real estate deal meant to subdue the Palestinian People once and for all into submission, and solidify the Biblical inspiration of the zealotry, messianic settlers movement—pushed from behind by Netanyahu, Kushner, Friedman and Greenblatt—for eternity. There isn’t a lot of peace to be found in this plan; a plan which demands two sides; a plan which demands consultations ahead of time; a plan which demands compromise; a plan which demands an understanding of the complex situation and an agreement of principles. There is none of it in this Peace Plan. It’s one big lie.

Which brings me to the ‘lies.’ First lie: this Peace Plan will bring about a Two-State solution. Complete nonsense. It’s a plan which has one state, Israel, controlling and humiliating the other nation and its people, the Palestinians. It is, for all intents and purposes, a continuation of the occupation by other names. Therefore, the second lie to come out of it, that the Palestinians will have a state to call their own, is also complete nonsense. Again, calling something a state doesn’t make it so. That entity will be surrounded and controlled by Israel, with no borders with any other nation, and with no outlet to the sea or river—yes, my friends, the conqueror has taken away even the Jordan River from the Palestinians. It’s an enclave, at best. A ghetto, a… well, as a son of Holocaust survivors I won’t say more. You get the message though, I’m sure.

Lie number three: East Jerusalem will be the Palestinian capital. That’s a good one, really, for a skit on Saturday Night Live. There is no longer East Jerusalem, since it’s already unified into one big Jerusalem: The capital of Israel. Again, if you throw people out of the city walls, and tell them to call that wadi, that hill, that remote neighborhood outside the city wall a Capital, and call it East Jerusalem, doesn’t make it so. It probably makes it worse than your current situation. Live with it or die, the Palestinians are being told. Well, it seems clear from their collective reaction that they prefer to die, rather than live with it and the humiliation that comes along.

Lie number four: Land swap. So instead of all the land Israel is taken by force away from the Palestinians in the West bank, it will give them two small—separate, albeit—pieces of barn land in the western Negev Desert, where nobody lives, with no connection to either the West Bank or the Gaza Strip. This is not a land swap; it’s a land grab. I take your prime real estate—most valuable for its historical, cultural, economic, heritage reasons—away from you, and give you in return two small pieces of land of no value to you whatsoever. Which, nonetheless, some Israeli citizens are already claiming is important to them for agricultural purposes.

Lie number five: Some 250,000 Arab residents of Israel, citizens since birth, will become Palestinian citizens, including their cities and villages. Nobody had asked them about it, consulted with them about it, and upon learning of it they immediately voiced strong objections to relinquish their current citizenship. Jews too, are already objecting to it, including Netanyahu—the mastermind behind the Peace Plan—who just announced in a per-election campaign (trying in vain to bribe some Arab voters to vote for him) that he’s going to nix this part of the deal. I can go on. But in short: the whole ‘deal’ is one big lie.

Now to the truth: The Israeli settlers movement has won the day. And not from today. It pains me to say so (though I’ve said this before), but there is no going back. There is no peace, and there is no plan. What we have is a continuation of the occupation by a different name. There is no Two-State solution. It’s dead too (at best, it’s in a coma.) There is one state: The greater Israel. That state has two terrible options to make as result of its occupation and colonization of the West Bank. One: grant all the Arab, Palestinian People under Israel’s control Israeli citizenship and equal rights under the law (as president Rivlin has suggested, for instance), including voting rights. Sooner rather than later that would mean the end of Israel as predominantly a Jewish state.

Second: Don’t grant them citizenship and equal rights, as basically Israel is doing now, and solidify what already, and for some years, is in plain sight: An Apartheid State. (50 former European leaders just signed an open letter expressing “grave concern” over President Trump’s Peace Plan, criticizing the plan for allowing Israeli annexation… creating a situation tantamount to “apartheid.”) So the Jews, refugees of European Pogroms and the Holocaust, and refugees of Arab countries mistreatment, would then, in less than a century to the end of World War Two, will create an Apartheid State of their own. Making the Palestinians segregated, second class citizens. Behind a wall, barbed wire, and army guns. There is no escape from it. And there is no escape from the outlook that the free, democratic world—if such world will exist for long—will not live with it. And I don’t believe the majority of American Jews will live with it either. There will be a war. And another one. And so it goes.

* The ‘Leave a Comment’ link is the last tag below, in blue.

%d bloggers like this: