The Israel-UAE Agreement: Muslim Reactions
Cooperation rather than confrontation between Israel and its neighbors – and between Jews and Muslims – makes sense on both a practical and a moral level.
Reprinted from Daily Alert, August 19, 2020
- Why Israel’s First Peace Agreement in Decades Is with the Emirates – Ed Husain
The UAE-Israel peace treaty is a blueprint for what is yet to come with the other moderate Sunni Arab nations, and beyond. We are in the midst of an existential shift in the global Muslim mind. In the last few years, the Emirati leadership slowly started to dismantle its suspicions of Jews and Israel, by, for instance, sponsoring and publicizing interactions between rabbis and imams, and by speaking openly about the common Abrahamic heritage of Jews and Muslims, as well as Christians. From these first steps came last week’s long stride toward a new, peaceful order in the Middle East.
In the newly built Abrahamic Family House in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the Emirates, a mosque, church, and synagogue are located inside a single shared compound. The message sent by this symbol is that it is time to turn away from fighting the religious wars of the past. For enlightened Muslims, Jews are not our enemy. We are brothers.
Hamas or Hizbullah cannot win anything for ordinary Palestinians. The Emirati diplomacy of direct conversations with the Israelis, far from closing off the idea of a Palestinian state, has provided the Palestinians with their last hope for one. The writer, a British Muslim, is a doctoral researcher at the University of Buckingham. (Mosaic)
- Saudi Journalist: Every Arab Country Is Entitled to Establish Relations with Israel
Senior Saudi journalist Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed wrote in Asharq Al-Awsat on Aug. 15 that 163 of the 193 countries in the world recognize Israel. The establishment of ties between the UAE and Israel comes 40 years after the appointment of Egypt’s first ambassador to Tel Aviv. “Every state makes its own sovereign decisions according to its own interests, not according to what the Palestinians or other Arabs desire.”
“The Arabs have already gotten over the stage of establishing relations with Israel, and doing so is no longer shocking – it is considered old hat. The Israelis have already landed at every airport in the Arab capitals, and have been officially received there as diplomats, athletes, security officials, or journalists….The Palestinian losses have never stopped, because of their failure to deal with reality and their refusal to understand the circumstances of the Arab countries that establish relations with Israel.” (MEMRI)
- Saudi Journalist Praises Israel-UAE Normalization Agreement
Saudi journalist Mishari Al-Dhaidi wrote in Asharq Al-Awsat on Aug. 14: “The UAE achieved a great political, psychological and security breakthrough in the Middle East when the historic agreement with Israel was announced….It provides a feasible opportunity…to implement the two-state solution in practice.”
“Being a realistic and responsible Arab leader, Egyptian President ‘Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi welcomed the [agreement] between the UAE and Israel….Whether we like it or not, Israel is one of the countries of this region, and Iran and Turkey are the ones who do us harm that we feel and that burns us.” (MEMRI)
- No Reason for Muslims and Jews to Be Enemies – Dr. Qanta Ahmed
As a Muslim, I know there are no theological or historical reasons for Muslims and Jews to be enemies. In fact, throughout much of history Muslims and Jews have lived together in peace in many Muslim-majority nations, in what is now Israel, and in other nations as well. Cooperation rather than confrontation between Israel and its neighbors – and between Jews and Muslims – makes sense on both a practical and a moral level. I know that many Muslims feel the same way as I do about the need to make peace with our Jewish brothers and sisters, although many stay silent to avoid criticism and threats of violence from some fellow Muslims.
The UAE’s decision to move forward to establish normal relations with Israel is a sure sign that leaders of other Arab nations will also come to the realization that it makes no sense to allow Palestinian opponents of peace with Israel to hold the future of the region hostage and require a perpetual state of hostilities with the Jewish state.
The UAE is home to some of the most educated and empowered Muslim women in the region, including Maj. Mariam Al Mansouri, the UAE’s first female fighter pilot, who led the first airstrike her country launched against ISIS. It is in the self-interest of all Muslim nations to at long last accept the fact that the modern state of Israel exists and is here to stay. The writer is a senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum and an attending critical care physician at New York University Langone. (Fox News)