Alwaght- In an op-ed to the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, the UAE ambassador to the US Yousef al-Otaiba called on Tel Aviv to halt the West Bank annexation plan, warning that the move could quickly and definitely shatter the Israeli dream to normalize relations with the UAE and the other Arab world states.
In reaction to the opinion, the Director of Strategic Communications at the UAE Foreign Ministry Hend al-Otaiba, said that we tried to reach the belief that Tel Aviv is an opportunity, not an enemy.
But will the annexation of the West Bank destroy the plans for Arab-Israeli normalization?
UAE ties to the Israeli regime after annexation plan announced
While the Abu Dhabi officials warn that implementation of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan will make impossible the diplomatic normalization of the Israeli regime and the Arab states, evidences show that even after revealing the plan, Abu Dhabi did not downgrade its relations with Tel Aviv and even moved close to Zionist circles.
Inviting the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash by the American Jewish Committee, a pressure lobby working for the Israeli interests in the US, to join an online conference of this committee, sending two planes carrying medical aids to Ben Gurion airport under the excuse of delivering them to the Palestinian Authority, the Dubai police chief’s call for people to use word “friend” instead of “enemy” in their addressing of the Israeli regime, and Tel Aviv’s praising of the UAE space program all took place after Netanyahu unveiled his annexation plan. So, very confidently it can be claimed that Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi continued towards warmer ties even after the plan was announced.
Clearly, not only the UAE has not decreased its relations with the Israeli regime in protest to the annexation but also there are signs the Arab country has even accelerated its movement towards normalization of ties with Tel Aviv, demonstrating that its anti-annexation stances are sham.
The nature of the annexation plan
The plan, which seeks annexation of 30 percent of the West Bank lands, is practically part of the “deal of the century”, an initiative the US President Donald Trump unveiled two years ago.
The UAE and Saudi Arabia have been picked as the propellants of the deal of the century in the Arab world. Also, they participated in the US-led Manama conference in late June last year which was aimed to introduce and implement the deal. So, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh have no opposition to the annexation of the West Bank and even worse they expressed their readiness to Israeli and American circles to help implement it.
With these in mind, the only hard obstacle preventing the implementation of the American initiative is the firm opposition of the Palestinian groups, the Muslim public, the Iran-led Axis of Resistance, and the international community. This massive opposition increases the costs of the active and brazen participation in the American-Israeli plot for both the UAE and Saudi Arabia. To put it differently, the substantial opposition prevents the open implementation of the deal.
To bypass this obstacle, Washington and Tel Aviv have resorted to phase-based and covert implementation of the deal. Despite European opposition to Netanyahu’s plan and the existence of reports that the US opposes its implementation at the present time, an American official who spoke to an Israeli radio station on the condition of anonymity said on Thursday that if Tel Aviv manages to successfully realize its annexation goal, Washington will likely support the move, though in a limited way.
Having in mind that the annexation is not new and is part of the deal of the century and considering the UAE’s advocacy to the deal, the recent Abu Dhabi stance on the Israeli plan is dishonest and a show move.