Western media outlets have hailed recent deals between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and another deal between Israel and Bahrain as “historic” moments of peace in a region that has been plagued by destruction and instability. The deals come under America’s new policy in the region which seeks to find an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or so it says anyway.
The first breakthrough for both the American and Israeli administrations were the “Abraham Accords”, in which the UAE agreed to recognise the Israeli state and normalise its relationship with Israel by strengthening economic sectors such as security, tourism, and technology. Knowing that the UAE would receive heavy criticism from Arab and Muslim publics across the world for breaking ranks with the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative it defended its decision as a simply pragmatic realist option, this line was particularly championed by the agreement conditioning Israel to postpone its annexation of the West Bank which would allow negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian representatives.
This argument is simply unconvincing for numerous reasons, one can easily point out that this deal was done without the Palestinians being involved or having a say, the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank condemned the deal as a “betrayal” of the Palestinian cause. Hamas in Gaza also weighed in, saying the deal only “serves the Zionist cause”. Whilst the leading Palestinians political organisations have rejected the deal, it’s all the more worrying that before the ink even dried on the paper, Israel was already making it clear they didn’t plan to hold their end of the deal for much longer.
Benjamin Netanyahu was quick to clarify his position on the deal, after Trump had announced the deal he moved quickly, ensuring the public he had only agreed to “delay” the annexation of the West Bank, doubling down by claiming he would not change his “plan to extend sovereignty, our sovereignty in Judea and Samaria”. It becomes rather clear that this accord was made not for peace but for something else, imperialism. This deal allows a reconfiguration of traditional middle easter geopolitics in order to facilitate a new diabolical alliance, but I will conclude on this later, first, we must understand the context which created this deal, by looking at the Arab Peace Initiative and UAE-Israeli relations before the accord.