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The Emirati-Israeli Agreement: Breaking the Barriers of Illusion
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin acknowledge applause during a Joint Session of Congress in which President Jimmy Carter announced the results of the Camp David Accords. (Warren K. Leffler/Wikimedia Commons)

The Emirati-Israeli Agreement: Breaking the Barriers of Illusion

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, August 14

Put simply and succinctly, the United Arab Emirates achieved a major political, psychological and security breakthrough in the Middle East with the announcement of its historic agreement to normalize ties with Israel. This agreement not only protected the Palestinians’ right to establish their own independent and sovereign state, but also preserved the sanctity of all Muslim sites in Israel. Above all, it strengthened the moderate Arab world and united it against the Muslim Brotherhood, the mullahs and the Arab nationalists who have been rearing their heads in the Middle East. The UAE reaped a tangible gain for the Palestinian cause, not by words but by deeds: It brought to an immediate and unequivocal end the Israeli encroachment of West Bank territory, an achievement explicitly outlined in the tripartite statement released by the UAE, the US and Israel. We all know what to expect next. The well-oiled propaganda machines in Turkey, Iran and Qatar, alongside radical groups like al-Qaida, Islamic State and the Houthis, will all rush to attack the emirates. They will describe the UAE as a “traitor” and as “weak.” But the truth is far from that. Egyptian president Anwar Sadat was vehemently attacked after signing a peace treaty with Israel. But the fact of the matter remains that in historic perspective, he liberated Egyptian lands and prevented a bleak future for his country. He was a true hero of war and peace, and Egypt is still reaping the fruits of the peace he created. The great king of Jordan, Hussein bin Talal, was also attacked after reaching an agreement with the Israelis but he refused to submit to these accusations. This led his country to the great Wadi Araba Treaty, which ensured Jordan’s territorial integrity and water rights with Israel. Therefore – and because he is a realistic and responsible Arab leader – Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi took the initiative to commend this development. Most ironically, those very countries that responded with criticism – Turkey and Qatar – are also those maintaining the most extensive covert trade and tourism ties with Israel. Whether one supports it or not, the Emirati-Israeli agreement will not come at the expense of the Palestinians, but rather in their favor. Like it or not, Israel is one of the countries of the region. Like it or not, most of the harm to Arabs has been carried out by the hands of Iran and Turkey. According to a joint Emirati, American and Israeli statement, this historic diplomatic achievement will enhance peace in the Middle East and preserve the two-state solution on the ground, not in imagination. This is a historic agreement that brings back memories of great leaders who dared take risks to bring about peace. – Mishary Al-Dayidi (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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