The United Arab Emirates surprised everyone by striking a deal with the United States and Israel, laying the groundwork for new relations between the UAE and Israel.
The deal sparked the expected controversy and debate around any action taken in relation to Palestine. The UAE says its decision stems from the principle that a sovereign state is able to take decisions in the interest of itself and its people – an inalienable right no matter the circumstances.
As part of the deal, the UAE also stipulated that Israel desist from its plans to annex around one third of what remains of the West Bank, in addition to lands previously annexed by Israel. Controversy has raged ever since the deal was announced as to what exactly the UAE gained. And what benefit, if any, did the Palestinian cause garner?
Some say that the moratorium on annexation is temporary, based on the word “suspend” in the text of the agreement, while others hail this move as paving the way to a return of peace talks, and tips the scales further in favor of a two-state solution.
On the other hand, the deficient trio, the leaders of Qatar, Turkey and Iran, accused the UAE of treason and backstabbing, as per their usual hypocritical rhetoric. Sadly, the Palestinian leaders have also thrown their lot behind this trio, who have never – and will never – support the Palestinian cause with anything other than empty slogans.
The Turkish leadership claims to be against normalization, an absurd claim seeing as it has led the charge towards normalization, starting with Turkey’s initial recognition of Israel and in its prime ministers and recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital in the agreement that he signed with Israel.
Now President Erdogan wants to withdraw his ambassador from the UAE, while his ambassador is busy enjoying life in Israel, and while hundreds of thousands of Israeli tourists are having fun in Turkey’s nightclubs and bars, not to mention the existing military and intelligence cooperation between the two countries.
As for Khamenei, himself a successor to a man who served to ignite sectarian conflict between Muslims – Shiites and Sunnis alike – have we so quickly forgotten the cooperation of his predecessor’s acquiring Israeli weapons during the Iran-Iraq war? Do we forget how he now directs his militias and missiles to kill Muslims across the Middle East, in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, instead of Israel? And again, here he is today threatening to invade the UAE.
As for their lackey, the leadership of Qatar, they have only succeeded in throwing insults and curses, and in paying royalties to the terrorists, both Shiites and Sunnis, and using all the blessings God has bestowed on their country to rain destruction on Arab countries. All while remaining hand in hand with Israeli leaders ever since the son overturned his father.
Leaders of Palestine, take note of the words of Samir al-Mashharawi, a prominent leader of Fatah’s democratic reform movement, and silence those among your citizens who cast aspersions and blame.
Do not forget that the interests of the Palestinian people lie with the United Arab Emirates, home to more than three hundred thousand Palestinians who live in peace and prosperity in its lands. Do not forget that you have normalized relations with Israel for over a quarter of a century, and that the legitimacy of the Palestinian Authority is based on your recognition of Israel and ending the state of war with it. Take care of your own home, and end the division with the side that curries favor with Khamenei while receiving financial assistance from Israel.
What has not been mentioned in this storm of controversy, the main thing the UAE gained, is that the leader of the most powerful country in the world turned to the UAE for help and support during a critical election season. In return, the UAE was able to impose the condition of an end to annexation – the same annexation that was part of President Trump’s “deal of the century” – and that Trump agreed to this condition.
If any Arab country is considering joining the UAE and following suite, it must ensure that the price is a high one. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia set the price for achieving peace between Israel and the Arabs, which is nothing less than the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, based on the initiative of the late King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz. May we live to see that day.