Arabs support UAE agreement

After the UAE-Israel Agreement

The Arabs taking to the streets today do not believe the Palestinian nationalist vision is more deserving of their efforts and attention than their own struggle for a better future at home.

Reprinted from Daily Alert, September 3, 2020

    • Israeli and Arab Interests “Have Begun to Coalesce” – Dore Gold interviewed by Jenni Frazer
      In 2015, Dr. Dore Gold, a former director-general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, opened a small Israeli economic office in the UAE and is better placed than most to judge the pace of Israel’s outreach to the Arab world. He told the Jewish Chronicle this week that other Arab countries are quietly falling into line behind the UAE, driven not only by fear of Iran, but also by concern at the machinations of Turkey, where President Erdogan is trying to revive the status of the Ottoman Empire.
      As far back as 1996, when he first came into government as foreign policy adviser to Prime Minister Netanyahu, “I visited a number of countries, including Qatar and Oman,” Gold said. He also went to Paris that year for a meeting with a senior Saudi diplomat.
      When he served as Israel’s ambassador to the UN between 1997 and 1999, “there was an African country with a Muslim majority, whose ambassador was head of the committee for the inalienable rights of the Palestinians.” After a fire-and-brimstone speech to the General Assembly, “he came up to me and asked, ‘Dore, maybe you could take me for lunch at one of your kosher restaurants?'” Today, Israel and the country have full diplomatic relations.
      “The point here is that countries are driven by a keen understanding of their interests. If their interests lead them to closer ties with Israel, they will pursue them. First perhaps in a hidden way, but later in an overt way….Our vital interests and those of the Arab world have begun to really coalesce. And that makes great opportunity for dramatic breakthroughs. I am optimistic with respect to what can be done.”  (Jewish Chronicle-UK)
    • The Israel-UAE Agreement’s Greatest Achievement: Little Arab Protest – Prof. Hillel Frisch
      As an El Al plane flew over Saudi Arabia carrying a bevy of Israeli officials to the Emirates, there were no demonstrations of consequence in the Arab world. Amman, Beirut, Tunis, Algiers, and Rabat, where demonstrations against Israel and the “desecration” of al-Aqsa mosque are generally well-attended, were silent.
      There was a din of voices castigating the UAE for normalizing ties with Israel, but they emanated mostly from dinosaur institutions linked with the Arab League, professional unions, and political movements whose common characteristic is a fossilized leadership that has been in place for more than 25 years. In photos taken in both the PA and Hamas-dominated Gaza, only a dozen or so demonstrators are shown, mostly members of the older generation.
      The lack of demonstrations was most assuredly noticed by state leaders in the Middle East. It is one more sign of long-term processes of political maturation in the Arabic-speaking public. The Arabs taking to the streets today do not believe the Palestinian nationalist vision is more deserving of their efforts and attention than their own struggle for a better future at home. The writer is a professor of political and Middle East studies at Bar-Ilan University and a senior research associate at its BESA Center. (Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University)
    • Palestinians Prefer to Cling to Hopeless Dreams – Prof. Eyal Zisser
      What’s bothering the Palestinians isn’t the declaration of peace between Israel and the UAE, or the fact that most Arab countries welcome and support it, a few evening signaling that they would soon join the journey toward peace. It’s that the Palestinians have been left on their own, and the Arab world, which was supposed to fight their battles for them, is now lining up to make peace with Israel.
      Basically, only Iran and Turkey took a stand against the Israel-UAE peace deal, and even they didn’t do so for the sake of the Palestinians, but because they see the deal as hurting their own status in the region.
      The Palestinians prefer to cling to dreams that will never come true and anger, disappointment, and frustration that will lead them nowhere. The writer is a lecturer in the Middle East History Department at Tel Aviv University. (Israel Hayom)
    • Palestinians Are No Longer a Priority – Dr. Adnan Abu Amer
      The Arab League refused to hold an urgent meeting at the request of the Palestinian Authority to discuss the UAE-Israel normalization agreement. This suggests that the Arab world is more or less satisfied with the deal. In the deal with the Emirates, Israel is taking a big step toward its long-term strategic goal of integration into the region. Saudi Arabia’s permission for the first Israel-to-UAE flight this week to use Saudi airspace is partial normalization.
      The Arab world in general still cares about the Palestinians. However, the Palestinian issue has been transformed from a pan-Arab cause and is no longer a priority for the UAE and other Arab states. The writer heads the Political Science Department at the University of the Ummah in Gaza. (Middle East Monitor-UK)
    • Arafat’s Widow Backs UAE Peace with Israel
      Suha Arafat, widow of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, told Israel’s Channel 11 TV that she is under attack by the Palestinian Authority after she apologized for Palestinians’ burning of UAE flags in the wake of its peace deal with Israel. “There are instructions to turn me into a traitor and these instructions come from the head of the president’s office,” she said. “Enough with the slogans. We collaborate with Israel, with the Israel Security Agency and the Mossad. Who are you kidding?”  (Times of Israel)
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