The deal struck between the UAE and Israel may well have been “historic” as Trump called it, but that doesn’t mean by any stretch of the imagination that it is a good thing. For anyone.
Middle East commentators pouring over the deal vociferously point out the benefits to the UAE (access to Israel’s defense and spying technology, not to mention the hardware), Israel (more money coming in, jobs created), and Trump (hailed as a broker of peace in the Middle East). And that’s before we even look at secret F-35 fighter jet sales to the UAE.
It’s like any presidency that matters has to come with the auspices of being a broker of peace in the Middle East. Who can forget the comedy of Tony Blair becoming a “peace negotiator” in the same region where he was responsible of murdering thousands of innocent Iraqis based on faked intel? Sarkozy wanted the same and so formed his very own MENA think tank type organization to run parallel to the UN, EU, and Paris’. Macron is now pretending to care about Lebanon but really using the crisis there to send French battle ships to the region to square off with Turkey which is busy expanding its energy footprint in the Eastern Mediterranean.
What the commentators fail to mention with Trump’s deal making the headlines through August is that, first and foremost it’s a fake deal.
But what the commentators fail to mention with Trump’s deal making the headlines through August is that, first and foremost it’s a fake deal. Second, two of the leaders in the region who previously— in 1979 and 1994— struck peace deals with Israel ended up being assassinated (Sadat and Rabin).
Furthermore, as soon as the agreement was signed, Saudi Arabia signaled that it can’t support any peace deal unless the Palestinians are supported. In the present one, they have been bypassed entirely almost like lost sheep driven around on a Scottish hillside. Such is the level of dehumanization of the Palestinians that they are mocked for threatening to remove their embassy from the UAE. What the Saudis are saying, simply, is that the state of Palestine needs to be recognized before we can move forward with anything called a “peace deal.”
But then, what has been signed between the UAE and Israel is really anything but a peace deal, it’s more one which assures even more tension in the region – and one which might leave the UAE crown prince the only leader of the three countries still in power in his own country after November.
Both Trump and Netanyahu, let us not forget, are battling to survive as their political careers drown them in scandal and graft allegations. What unites them both is their dismal response to COVID-19 and how they are facing real challenges in their own countries because of their failure to protect jobs and save the economy.
Both Trump and Netanyahu, let us not forget, are battling to survive as their political careers drown them in scandal and graft allegations.
Perhaps that’s what Mohamed bin Zayed (MbZ) is banking on as the longevity of the deal is really questionable. Is he just in it for kicks? Can he make a killing on arms deals and then when Israel reneges on its promises over land grabs, he can just throw his resplendent robes in the air in despair and curse the Israelis for their craven, callous ways – while comforting himself that he has a formidable arsenal of Israeli and US made weapons and technology?
Certainly, the deal isn’t going to last long. And besides, who can trust the Israelis anyway, or should that be who can trust Benjamin Netanyahu, who is looking for any chaff he can throw in the air to distract journalists away from the cauldron he is sitting in and which will get particularly hot in the coming months.
He tried to create a crisis on the border with Lebanon and sent military units there for the media to get the sexed up story they want – only to retreat them the moment the Beirut bomb blast made the new and weary old school hacks in the region see a link there hard to ignore. In fact, history once again shows us that in Israel at least there is a pattern of leaders who have used Lebanon and the Hezbollah foe as a pretext to invade or bomb, to give themselves a shot in the arm politically.
We shouldn’t be surprised if that is what Netanyahu is plotting in Lebanon as many seasoned journalists privately believe that Israel had a hand in the Beirut blast – not necessarily with a jet dropping a bomb from a height. Curiously, there were a number of “reconnaissance” planes in the air at that time keeping an eye on something and disappearing seconds before the second, big explosion.
If you like conspiracy theories, there’s plenty there for you to mull on. As indeed the fake “peace deal” which the UAE and Israel have signed, which in many ways is a strengthening of Israel’s bonds with Arab countries who know they can’t hope to present any real threat to Iran on their own.
This particular deal will only further antagonize Iran and probably lead its regime to fund groups in the West Bank and Gaza even more when the shells start coming.
Ironically, of course, this particular deal will only further antagonize Iran and probably lead its regime to fund groups in the West Bank and Gaza even more when the shells start coming and Israel – inevitably – starts a new intifada with its enemies in the occupied territories.
And Iran is more or less preparing itself for a war with the US and its allies anyway, as few in Tehran believe the regime can last unless it gives into the demands of the hardliners who have made it clear they will not sit out another four years in the event of a Trump win.
Given all this, it’s hard to see where the good news is anywhere, for anyone intelligent and knowledgeable of the region’s history. The Palestinians were sold down the river, Trump is on a suicide mission regardless of the elections result in November, and Netanyahu is struggling to stay relevant in Israel, in a country whose judiciary is still preparing criminal cases against him but which, ironically, is rapidly cultivating a new class of younger people who have completely lost faith in the system he manipulates.
The UAE royal, MbZ, also has real problems with the economy as the country already has lost a massive 75 percent of its tourist dollars and expat workers are packing up and leaving. Relaxing laws on alcohol there is hardly going to make a difference.
Everyone it seems needs a war with Iran just to point the cameras in a direction which takes the heat off, while they figure out their next move.
* The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Inside Arabia.