a not without a hitch

a not without a hitch

During a demonstration in Nablus against the agreement on August 14.

During a demonstration in Nablus against the agreement on August 14.

The agreement between the Hebrew state and the Gulf monarchy is entering its phase of realization, then the first disputes are emerging. The Palestinians, for their part, measure the extent of their isolation in the region, while Sudan makes known its intention to follow the Emirates.

After the announcement, the hiccups. Thursday, Israel and the United Arab Emirates made known the normalization of their diplomatic relations under the aegis of the United States. Or rather, as pointed out by many analysts, the formalization of said relations which had hitherto been taboo. A process that does not go smoothly, each day carries its flood of details, exegeses and other retractions among those concerned, who apparently did not all understand the same thing.

Starting with a “Secret clause” revealed in one of the Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot Tuesday morning, concerning the acquisition of American fighter planes and drones by the Emiratis. Until then, Washington had always refused to sell Arab countries its most sophisticated weapons of war, starting with the stealth F-35 single-seaters, in order to safeguard the air supremacy of the Jewish state in the region.

The lifting of this unofficial embargo would have been one of the first conditions of Crown Prince Mohammed Ben Zayed, known as “MBZ”, making Donald Trump dangle a series of contracts amounting to billions of dollars. Eager to silence the idea that behind the olive branch was hiding a vulgar gunsmith deal undermining his military superiority, Benyamin Netanyahu made known his opposition on Tuesday “Repeated” and “explicit” to any sale of “F-35 and other weapons advanced to countries in the Middle East, including those that have signed peace agreements with Israel”.

Pill and transgression

Another point of dispute, the «suspension» of the partial annexation of the West Bank, a pill supposed to pass the Emirati transgression through the Palestinians and the Arab world, a maneuver that has not been delusional in the eyes of anyone. UAE Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash Persists In Saying Netanyahu’s Expansionary Project Was Suffered There “A death blow”, despite repeated assurances from the Israeli Prime Minister that this is just a postponement.

Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law in charge of the White House fileArbitrator on Monday, explaining that the Americans had the last word here – the Israelis ruling out any annexation without their support – and that they were not ready to consent “For some time”.

In this context, the rantings of Netanyahu, who had known for several weeks his stillborn project, appear above all as an attempt to limit the damage to its pro-colonist base crying out for treason, while the agreement with the Emirates is a resounding success in Israeli public opinion.

“Peace through power”

Target of stubborn demonstrations in front of his home and at the head of a faltering coalition, Netanyahu, awaiting his trial, intends to take full advantage of this reversal. Even if it means transforming the aborted annexation into a diplomatic tour de force and validation of its doctrine.

Sunday, savoring its success in front of journalists (“You laughed at me when I said I would make peace with the Arab world”), the nationalist leader prided himself on having broken the axiom that Israel would obtain peace only in exchange for land – territorial concessions being the basis of peace agreements with Egypt (Sinai) and Jordan (the Oslo accords and the creation of the Palestinian Authority). In short, the triumph of a “Right-wing peace” in front of the “Left peace” of his predecessor Yitzhak Rabin.

“This agreement […] is different because it is based on two principles, “peace for peace”, and “peace through power” [car] strength attracts, and weakness repels “, he unrolled, citing his opposition “Lonely in front of the rest of the world” against Iran as the trigger for rapprochement with the Emirates. And to congratulate oneself on having thus blown up “The right of veto” Palestinians on the relations that Israel could have with its neighbors, for whom it «cause» now appears more like a ball than a unifying pillar.

Master spy

This nickname “peace agreement” (dixit Trump) between two countries that have never been technically at war should take several months, according to an Israeli source. And if he does not really reshuffle the regional cards – the Israeli-American-Gulf alliance against Iran has hardly been a secret for several years – he is forcing each party to adjust their posture in this new order. Middle East in the process of materializing. Between vociferous condemnation (the Palestinians or even Turkey, which threatened to recall its ambassador from the Emirates) and speaking silence (the Saudis).

In the media, American and Israeli sources are spreading the rumor of a domino effect, Bahrain, Oman and even Morocco, among others, being announced as ready to follow in Ben Zayed’s footsteps. Sudanese diplomacy spokesman has already assured Sky News Arabia his country is waiting “Looking forward to a peace agreement with Israel, […] in the right way of the Emirates ». On the other hand, anxious to spare Iran, Gargash, the head of the Emirati diplomacy, assured that Tehran should not see in this declared alliance a threat.


At the same time, the security services of “MBZ” would have silenced critics of the deal, increasing arrests and intensifying censorship on social networks in the Emirates, before the arrival of the head of Mossad in Abu Dhabi Tuesday after- midday. Expected to smooth the terms of the agreement, the spy master has served for several years as secret foreign minister in the Gulf. Because the agreement is only one “roadmap” for the Emiratis, whose concrete effects are limited for the moment to the unblocking of calls from Israel and to the visit of Israeli journalists to Dubai, while awaiting a concert by the Israeli crooner Omer Adam.

As for the Palestinians, they understand the extent of their isolation in the region. After canceling their participation in the World Expo in Dubai (where Israel, precisely, will be present), their call for an emergency meeting of the Arab League has gone unheeded.

Several demonstrations took place in the West Bank, where portraits of “MBZ”, but also of his Palestinian adviser Mohammed Dahlan, great rival of Mahmoud Abbas in exile, were trampled. Tuesday evening, a rare meeting is to bring together Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad to agree on a common strategy which it is difficult to see how it could stop the great bazaar of the Palestinian national project on the scale of this movement of tectonic plates .


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