In this article, we will discuss Israel-UAE diplomatic relations. Israel-UAE has fully normalized their diplomatic relations by signing a historic peace deal on August 13, 2020.
The United Arab Emirates has become “the first Gulf Arab” country that recently announced an agreement “Abraham accord”. So, that will lead to a normalization of diplomatic relations between Israel and UAE.
For a long period of time, only two middle eastern countries Egypt and Jordan had officially recognized Israel. None of the gulf monarchies did.
The agreement is officially known as the ” Abraham Accord “ in honor of Abraham (the Prophet). The patriarch of the three major Abrahamic religions of the world—Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.
Background of UAE-Israel Relations
Israel had signed a peace agreement with Egypt in 1979 and with Jordan in 1994.
Arab nations like the UAE did not recognize Israel and had no formal diplomatic or economic relations with it until now.
However, UAE-Israel has never fought against each other. They never viewed each other as traditional enemies.
Before the agreement between UAE-Israel, Israel had been working in secret with the UAE to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
European media reported that Mossad had diplomatically obtained health equipment from Gulf states.
On August 13, 2020, in Jerusalem, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives a press conference on a deal to normalize relations with the UAE.
And reported that the two states were in cooperation to fight the COVID-19. In addition, Yossi Cohen (head of the Mossad) had traveled many times to the UAE.
Annexing areas of the occupied west bank:
Under the agreement, Israel has agreed to suspend annexing areas of the occupied west bank.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he accept to “delay” the annexation as part of the agreement with the UAE, but the plans remain “on the table”.
Donald trump brokered the deal:
US President Donald Trump has brokered the deal therefore he should be credited for this historic breakthrough.
President Donald Trump’s senior adviser, Jared Kushner, and Avi Berkowitz had been in touch with “numerous” countries in the region. They are trying to see if more agreements would take place.
The deal is a foreign policy victory for US President Donald Trump as he seeks re-election on November 3. And a personal boost to Netanyahu who is on trial for alleged corruption.
The analyst believes that Bahrain and Oman may recognize Israel next.
Why the deals are significant?
Israel and the United States considered Iran as the main threat
Israel and the United States considered Iran as the main threat in the region. Therefore they established opposition against the regional power, which is Iran.
Israel’s home airbases are a long distance from Iran and the UAE’s are just across the waters of the Gulf.
So, it would be highly noteworthy if there was a return to talk of airstrikes against Iran’s nuclear sites.
Strengthening the alliance against Iran is another plane. Benjamin Netanyahu sees Iran as Israel’s one of the biggest enemies.
Israel and UAE formalized bilateral cooperation
Israel and UAE enhanced and formalized bilateral cooperation in many different sectors. Such as energy, medicines, technology, and military industry.
The Gulf states see opportunities for trade and more. The agreement assists the Emiratis, who have built themselves into military power as well as a place to do business.
In addition, Israel has the world’s most advanced high technology sectors.
In non-Covid times, Israelis explore the deserts, beaches, and malls of the Gulf. It is good business all round.
They cooperate with each other on a broad range of areas. Such as including tourism, investments, telecommunication, education, healthcare, trade, and security.”
Strengthen the relations with Gulf countries
Israelis do not like being isolated in the Middle East. They want to strengthen their relations with Gulf countries.
In addition, peace with Egypt and Jordan has never been affectionate. They might be more hopeful about future relations with Gulf Arab countries.
Independence for the Palestinians
The Palestinians condemned Abraham Accords as a betrayal. But according to the UAE, the price of normalization of diplomatic relations with Israel was independence for the Palestinians.
However, Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE’s incumbent ruler, says that the price for the deal was Israel’s agreement. To stop the annexation of large parts of the West Bank.
But Prime Minister Netanyahu seemed to have backed away from the idea, for now at least, because of overwhelming international pressure.