As anger toward Israel’s stated intention to formally annex huge parts of the occupied West Bank mounts throughout the Arab and Muslim world, one of the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) most senior diplomats – Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash – told a pro-Israel lobby group that such a monstrous violation of international law would not affect relations between the two countries.
In other words, there’s no crime or humiliation Israel could inflict upon the Palestinian people that the UAE would deem severe enough to get in the way of its effort to normalize the apartheid and criminal Jewish state.
“Can I have a political disagreement with Israel but at the same time try and bridge other areas of the relationship? I think I can. I think that is fundamentally where we are,” Gargash told the Americ an-Jewish Committee last week.
Hacked emails of a top UAE diplomat reveal that despite its public opposition to Israel’s policies, Emirate leaders have been working feverishly to normalize Israel.
Hacked emails of a top UAE diplomat, which were obtained by The Intercept in 2017, reveal that despite its public opposition to Israel’s policies, Emirate leaders have been working feverishly to normalize Israel and bring it into the fold of a Saudi-led alliance against Iran.
“When Israel and the Arab states are standing together, it’s powerful,” a high-level Israeli official told the Huffington Post when speaking of the fledgling UAE-Israeli relationship.
While it’s almost impossible to find a nation state that puts morality before cold hearted real politick calculus and power accumulation, the UAE, a Muslim majority country, is notable for demonstrating a preparedness to undermine nearly every Muslim liberation cause and human rights concern on the planet in pursuit of its strategic interests.
In Libya, the UAE has armed and backed the war criminal renegade General Khalifa Haftar and his violent militias against pro-democracy, anti-ISIS, and anti-dictator Libyans. His self-titled Libyan National Army, which is not to be confused with an actual national army, has been described as the most violent extremist group on the African continent.
The UAE, among other Arab Gulf regimes, has also undermined the interests and wellbeing of Muslims around the world by forging alliances with far-right groups that push anti-Muslim bigotry in the United States and Europe as a means to erode support for political Islamic groups that challenge its authority and rule.
“They [Arab Gulf regimes] elicit sympathy from the West by claiming to also suffer from the perfidies of radical jihadists.”
“They [Arab Gulf regimes] elicit sympathy from the West by claiming to also suffer from the perfidies of radical jihadists and offer to work together to stem the ideological roots of the Islamist threat,” observe Ola Salem and Hassan Hassan for Foreign Policy.
The UAE has also played a lead role in the proxy war in Yemen, and has been accused by human rights groups for bombing the country’s critical infrastructure, including railways, water storage facilities, and food supply lines – all of which has contributed to what has been described as the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis,” one in which a Yemeni child dies of either disease or starvation every ten minutes.
The Emirates’ duplicitous bloody vendetta against Muslim liberation movements under the guise of fighting terrorism is so blatant that defending the indefensible has become a cornerstone of the UAE’s diplomatic messaging as recently illustrated by its effort to whitewash New Delhi’s anti-Muslim pogrom, which left more than 50 Muslims dead over six days of violence in February, by absolving Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his political party – Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – of responsibility or participation.
Despite the fact the riots were instigated when a BJP politician in the eastern suburbs of Delhi called upon radicalized Hindu supporters to attack Muslim anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protesters, the UAE’s English language newspaper Gulf News published an alternative reality in an op-ed titled “Stop Blaming Modi for Delhi Riots and All Things Evil in India.”
“If even for one second you think that it is Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is to be held responsible for this bloodshed, then think again,” reads the opening paragraph to the article penned by the newspaper’s Senior Pages Editor Sanjib Kumar Das.
It’s reasonable to speculate the newspaper’s editorial decision traces its roots to the role Modi’s government played in the kidnapping of Princess Sheikha Latifa, the daughter of Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
You can “join the dots between India sending back Dubai princess Sheikha Latifa to UAE two years ago and the Gulf countries siding with Delhi on everything from oil to Kashmir,” observes Jyoti Malhotra, a columnist with the Indian newspaper The Print.
When the UAE isn’t bestowing upon Modi its highest civilian honor – the Order of Zayed – it is praising New Delhi for its repressive measures in Indian-administered Kashmir, including parroting its propaganda in claiming stripping the Muslim majority territory of its semi-autonomous status will “improve social justice and security…and further stability and peace.”
It takes a special kind of callous indifference toward 8 million Muslim lives to praise and normalize India’s effort to achieve in Kashmir what Israel has achieved in the Palestinian Territories.
It takes a special kind of callous indifference toward 8 million Muslim lives to praise and normalize India’s effort to achieve in Kashmir what Israel has achieved in the Palestinian Territories—the near total erasure of indigenous Muslim culture and life.
Similarly, the UAE has also expressed public support for China’s ongoing measures to erase Xinjiang, or former East Turkestan, of its indigenous Muslim community – ethnic Uyghur – in joining a coalition of a dozen or so mostly authoritarian countries. In a co-signed letter dated August 21, 2019 – the UAE praised Beijing for its Muslim concentration camps by parroting Chinese Communist Party propaganda in falsely characterizing them as “vocational training” camps.
When you piece all strands of the UAE’s foreign policy together, what you have is a Muslim-led country standing in firm opposition to Muslims who seek freedom from occupation, discrimination, and persecution.
*This column was originally published on July 1, 2020 under the same title.