Meher Azeem Hakro
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain have signed a historic diplomatic normalization agreement with Israel at a ceremony at the White House on 15 September 2020. UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Bahraini Foreign Minister Dr. Abdul Latif bin Rashid Al Zayani inked agreements with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Historic Abraham accords will lead to enhanced trade, deeper security ties and perhaps a second election victory for President Trump. Mr. Donald Trump also predicted more Arab nations would soon follow suit in making their own agreements with Israel. The deal by the Gulf Arab states violates a major Arab convention, which states in the 2002 Arab Peace Accords that no Arab country will recognize Israel as long as it recognizes the occupied Palestinian territories Gaza and West Bank) and do not allow its establishment. The East Jerusalem will be the capital of Palestinian state. Palestine also presented a draft in Arab League for condemning the UAE-Israel normalization agreement and Arab League rejected the draft. So Palestine failed to persuade the Arab League to condemn the usual deal. The Palestinian Authority and Hamas have also condemned the Israeli-Bahraini agreement. The UAE's move was criticized by several Islamic countries, including Iran and Turkey. Iran has strongly condemned a deal establishing full diplomatic relations between the UAE and Israel, calling it a stab in the back to all Muslims. The Palestinians have also criticized the UAE-Israel deal, saying it does not serve the Palestinian cause and ignores the rights of Palestinians. However, Pakistan's clear position has been that it would not recognize Israel until there is a Palestinian state acceptable to the Palestinians. The UAE has for years wanted to buy the F-35, a sophisticated stealth fighter jets and advances drones from the United States, which might now increase the chances of them getting it. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears to have privately sidelinedany opposition to the sale of US F-35 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates. The United States was first hesitant to sell F-35 jet to the UAE, in order to preserve Israel’s air supremacy in the skies of the Middle East but after this agreement, the Emirati request will most likely be granted. It is also a fact that Egypt and Jordan signed peace agreements with Israel; in return, they received American weapons such as F-16 fighters and M-1 tanks. Whatever the geopolitical considerations, it is difficult to decide whether diplomacy has won or personal interests.
(-The writer is a Pursuing M.Sc in Defence and Strategic Studies Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. )