Israel-UAE peace agreement A new dimension in Arab politics Ziaul Haque Ziad
On Aug. 13, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel have decided to “fully normalize their diplomatic relations.” A mutual statement by the U.S., the state of Israel and the UAE was disclosed. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said that it was a ‘historic’ step. On Thursday, the two countries will validate many bilateral treaties such as tourism, culture, technology, security and investments. The US-Israel-UAE joint statement claims that the full normalization of relations between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi “will unlock the great potential in the region.”
There are lots of factors which could affect this diplomatic normalization. From Israel’s agendas to annex the Jewish territories in the West Bank to their rising problems over Iran, Israel’s economic benefits, political interest of the both Netanyahu and Trump could have played a crucial role in this pathway.
Firstly, We would like to discuss the political interest of this normalization. Many experts call this process as a ‘Win for Trump.’ The momentum of the pact is also critical. It provides a major ‘diplomatic victory’ for President Trump a few months before November’s election. The Mr. Trump’s Iran policy failed to determine any outcome. His outreach to North Korea is yet inconclusive. Also U.S. withdrawing from Afghanistan has faced several questions, they are withdrawing troops at a moment when the Taliban is on the rise. The U.S.’s relations with China have worst day by day. For these reasons, President Trump wanted a diplomatic success, and his intimate allies in West Asia, of course pushed by regional factors, have given him one. On the other, Netanyahu also trapped in an election cycle, he also needs a diplomatic rebellion which pushes him towards increasing his popularity as well as something theirmedia could call histories. Netanyahu was under pressure due to not fulfilled the promise of annexation of the west bank by July 2020. This deal could save his face in Israel. Because, Trump and Netanyahu have understood what would occur to them if they lost power. Experts said that it could mean prison for both leaders. For MBZ it would symbolize exile or loss. His intimate relationship with Israel is his life insurance. Their personal fates are, to an extraordinary sense, intertwined. So to speak, and neither misses a rare opportunity to make political mileage out of a success story.
Secondly, MBZ has realized the necessity of an alternative regional backer, acutely conscious as he was of the decreasing value of his investment in Trump. He has compelled adequate enemies in the CIA and the Pentagon to know that the moment Trump departs the US deep state will return with a vengeance. Due to increase his power in middle east region, he has progressed himself to this treaty.
Thirdly, Many experts described this characteristicas ‘Iran factor.’The conventional analysis is that it’s all about Iran: a shared concern in disputing Iran has lifted Israel and the Sunni monarchs of the Gulf region near together. Recent occurrence has demonstrated that Abu Dhabi is limited, focused on challenging Tehran than is often determined. MBZ has long been more concerned by Sunni Islamists than by Shia Iran. Iran poses an external threat to the UAE, but the Muslim Brotherhood has shown – most notably in Egypt – that it can take power from within. This prioritisation has real-world outcomes. The UAE – especially Dubai – sustains a relatively strong economic relationship with Iran. But since 2017, the UAE has moved a campaign to isolate and punish Islamist-friendly Qatar.
That campaignhas weakened efforts to construct a collective Gulf Cooperation Council front against Iran.Another reason of UAE-Iran rivalry is a fatwa of Ayatollah al-Husayni al-Sistani, he issued a fatwa that only Republican governments are permitted in Islam. As well as the monarchies are anti-Islamic, it built distant enmity between Iran and Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern regimes. When Iran became a republic, he was issued it at this time.
So, in the Middle East, hereactually positioned a rivalry between monarchies and republicans, even though some experts often term this rivalry as Shiite vs Sunni.
Fourthly, Israel will benefit through this normalization by economically. This normalization will enable them to capitalize in UAE, Bahrain. By this investment, earnings of petrochemical companies of Israel will rise. On the other, Israel will begin again the 230 kilometers extended Arab pipeline, which will begin after 40 years. This pipeline will help them to export fuel oil in Saudi Arabia as well as the UAE. This economic reason obviously pushed this treaty.
Now we would like to discuss the potential consequence of this normalization. There are bunches of concern of many countries have related to this agreement. Palestinian freedom, politics of the middle east could play a vital role in this regard.
First and most importantly,The Palestinians, who are not referred in this US-Israeli-Emirati statement, are treated as political instruments and eliminated from decision-making about their own future.A tangible outcome is that Israel will “suspend” its annexation plans in the West Bank. This is clearly a sop to Abu Dhabi to claim continued commitment to the Palestine problem. But it won’t fly. Palestinian officials estimate that the MBZ has betrayed them and Israel’s annexation plans will reappear on Netanyahu’s agenda after a pause. After this agreement, PM Netanyahu blatantly declared that: “I also said I’d bring sovereignty to Judea and Samaria. There is no change in my plan to do so, in full coordination with the United States. I am committed to it. Nothing has changed.”
Obviously, the claim of ‘suspending annexation’ is simply a pretext to justify the UAE’s departure from the Arab and Islamic consensus and betrays the Arab and international communities into watching such a deal as fulfilling the attention of the people of Palestine. The agreement is clearly against the Palestinian people and the Palestinian political actors. But in the UAE-Israel deal, Israel has not made any actual resignation to the Palestinians. The annexation plan was a warning. The withdrawal of the threat was packaged as a concession, which the Emiratis approved. That is why Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “Who would have ever dreamed there would be a peace agreement with an Arab country without our returning to the 1967 borders?” The Palestinians are understandably disturbed. This makes life a bit easier for Israel. The last peace deal it struck with an Arab country was with Jordan in 1994 (it signed one with Egypt in 1979). Now Israel can claim it has more friends in the region, possibly reducing the pressure on it regarding its relations with the Palestinians.
Secondly, Turkey and Qatar will perceive the Israel-UAE strategic tie-up as a protection challenge. For Turkey, Qatar and Iran, this becomes a gift from the heavens giving the chance to take the centre spotlight as champion of the Palestinian resistance. A strongly phrases announcement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry said: “History and the conscience of the region’s peoples will not forget and never forgive this hypocritical behavior of the UAE, betraying the Palestinian cause for the sake of its narrow interests.” On the other, The Iranian Foreign Ministry has called the UAE move “strategic folly.” The statement in Tehran said “the dagger which stabbed both the Palestinian nation and the Muslim peoples in the back will backfire and further strengthen the Resistance Axis by enhancing unity and solidarity against the Zionist regime and reactionary governments in the region.”
Thirdly, More Arab countries will come to engage in relation with Israel after this agreement. Expert describes Saudi Arabia as the de facto leader of the Gulf Sunni kingdoms, it can be determined that the deal was approved with Saudi permissions. So, the likelihood of more Gulf countries pursuing the suit cannot be ruled out.
Fourthly, Jordan’s King Abdullah is a bigger successor of this agreement. Annexation of the Jordan Valley by Israel would have expected a harsh Jordanian response. The king had pointedly not ruled out postponing the peace treaty his father had approved with Israel 25 years ago. Many Jordanians expected him to discontinue the gas deal with Israel, which would have cost Amman a prosperity it doesn’t have. So the suspension of annexation takes a ticking time bomb off the king’s plate. Adding another (very rich) Arab country to the peace camp, with an embassy in Tel Aviv, is also promising for Jordan. It alleviates the isolation of Amman and Cairo. The king has been acclaiming MBZ for months.
Fifthly, The agreement could fast-track the transitions that were already under way in the region. The Saudi bloc, containing of Egypt, the UAE, Bahrain and others, see their concerns being aligned with that of the U.S. and Israel and their backing for Palestine, which Arab authorities had historically authorized, is shrinking, while Turkey and Iran arise as the powerful backers of the Palestinians in the Muslim world. This tripolar contest has been already at…
Sixthly, India-Pakistan interest also related to this agreement. India, too, continues to gain from this. Israel has always been a great ally and a friend, and the Modi government has been able to facilitate healthy connections with the UAE too. Both coming together means a politely diplomatic atmosphere for India. Also, with Oman and Bahrain come in support of the UAE, India will be on the right side when it contains a larger number of the population, which increases their possibility in this circumstance.
On the other, the deal imposes Pakistan in a toughcondition. It couldn’t have harmed its ties with the Saudis at a horrible time when both of political and pandemic crisis ruined the country. Peace accord means all the funds that Pakistan has been taking for running the so-called Kashmir war will be taken off. Already battling to repay USD 3 billion to Saudi, Pakistan’s donor list is drying up quickly. The peace treaty is also a direct signal by the UAE and others that they are not interested with Palestine and Kashmir issues. The UAE is on a very advanced direction and signing numerous contracts across the world for renewable energy, space programme, Med Tech etc. It would not want to be correlated with the stereotypical and regressive mind-set that has now turned Pakistan into a panic factory. Though the Prince is confronting huge criticism for falling from the Ummah and abstaining on Palestinian battle, but he wants to build a great power in this region.
In conclusion, The UAE’s recognition of Israel has nothing to do with the search for an end to war or conflict. Its about founding a new regional decree between dictators and occupiers – Arab dictators and Israeli occupiers. As America withdraws as the regional hegemon, new ones are required. Step forward Israel and the UAE.Israel-UAE agreement has another new dimension in this region nothing else.
The author is an undergraduate student at
the University of Dhaka