Recent deals between Israel and Arab States only Normalise one thing: Imperialism.
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.
Arab Peace Initiative 2002
In 2007, the US at the prime of its powers after the imperial adventurism into Iraq and Afghanistan was putting in the effort to improve its image in the Middle East, identifying the treatment of Palestinians by Israel as a major producer of anti-American sentiment. Using its political weight, it got the Saudis to reissue the Arab Peace Initiative in hopes that it could solve the decades-old conflict. The Arab Peace Initiative offered Israel full normalisation not just with Palestine, but all 22 members of the Arab League. In return, Israel would have to withdraw from all Occupied Territories and the Golan Heights, furthermore Israel would have to recognise a sovereign Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and a solution to the refugee problem that both parties found acceptable. The Saudis also made it clear that these were a basis for negotiations, not a take it or leave it policy.
The deal didn’t go far, the Israeli prime minister at the time, Ehud Olmert, declared that even the return of one Palestinian refugee was simply “out of the question”. The Arab League was told by the Americans to alter the deal, so it was more likable for the Israeli’s. At this point it was too late, it seemed Israel was demanding too much even for the Saudis to make the deal work.
In 2004, Hamas, considered the most radical of Palestinian opposition to Israel, had been attempting a cease-fire in 2002, the cease-fire collapsed after the IDF assassinated a Hamas leader and killed fourteen others, nine of which were children. Things only got worse when in 2004 Israel had assassinated Hamas leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin with an American-made Hellfire missile. This was a move that seemed to truly condemn peace, as it was perceived that America had consented to the assassination of a quadriplegic bound in a wheelchair who was returning from morning prayer.
The Arab Peace Initiative was in tatters, Israel would not budge on positions such as the refugees who were to be compensated and it continued to raise tension by carrying out assassinations of individuals apart of Palestinian organisations trying to find agreements. This led too many Gulf States forming alliances with Israel behind closed doors, one such state was the UAE.
UAE and Israel in secrecy
Most Arab nations have publics who feel very strongly about the suffering of the Palestinian people, while at the same time the head of these states sees profitable alliances with Israel or exterior pressure from the West forces them to seek a relationship with Israel.
The UAE however has had secret relations with Israel for decades now, sharing information in areas such as intelligence has been occurring for years, the UAE also needed Israel’s approval so America could sell military weapons to the Gulf State. It shouldn’t come as a surprise within weeks of signing the accord, America began to sell advanced military equipment to the UAE, a decision that raised concerns in Israel.
Relations hit a rocky patch, when Israeli intelligence service Mossad, had killed a Hamas leader on UAE soil, provoked the UAE cut relations, but were quickly soothed when Israel agreed to sell weapon technology to the UAE.
The Persian Elephant in the Room: Iran
As previously stated, this accord has allowed the reconfiguration of traditional Middle Eastern geopolitics in order to form a new diabolical alliance, one that groups, America, Israel, and the Arab States together against a common enemy, the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iran poses a threat to all three, broadly the most anti-western state in the region, which poses uncomfortable realities to the Sunni mega-rich Gulf States and being the most zealous anti-Zionist state makes it naturally at odds with Israel.
Iran has broken through the efforts of the Gulf States and Israel to contain it, events such as the Lebanon War has allowed it to back Shia groups across the regions, breaking the Imperialist hegemony of the Gulf States and Israel. Saudi Arabia which has positioned itself as the leader of the Muslim world, due to its wealth and the geographical position of important Islamic sites such as Mecca AND Medina now has a rival in Iran.
The UAE and Israel have used the suffering of Palestinians as a fig leaf to form an alliance against Iran, with it almost certain that more Arab states will join them, such as Bahrain and heavily rumoured that the Saudis will too, we are now seeing the erection of imperialist barbed wire erected across the region to trap and suffocate Iran.
The Results of Imperialism
The Abraham Accords were never intended to create peace in the region, hands drenched in the blood of Palestinians, and Yemenis can never write in the words of peace. The deal has been used to foster a new imperialist alliance that transcends traditional relations in the region, the Palestinians have been discarded by their supposed allies in the Arab states and are seemingly condemned to the continued colonisation of their nation by Israel.
However, the Arab public are far more sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinian people then their rulers who are using the situation to justify their imperial ambitions, one-day Arab people, Persian people will be united to throw the shackles off imperialism, as a famous Persian proverb says “When the Cat and Mouse agree, the Grocer is ruined”
Mearsheimer J. John & Walt, M. Stephen. (2007). “The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy”
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