On January 28 of this year, Donald Trump presented his friend Benjamin Netanyahu with the Deal of the Century, announced in a public ceremony at the White House. Trump allowed Netanyahu to annex settlements to Israel and gave the Palestinians a state on the way – in essence it’s a client state. In the third round of elections in March 2020, in order to gain 61 seats in the Knesset and to hurdle his prosecution process in court , Bibi needed this agreement, and especially its accompanying glorious ceremony, like oxygen. The end is known. The goal was not achieved, and Bibi was forced to swallow the poison pill and form a parity coalition with the Blue and White faction, agreeing to transfer government authority to Benny Gantz in November 2021. Added to this was the COVID-19 epidemic that reduced Netanyahu’s political maneuvering space, not to mention bringing down his good friend Trump.
Meanwhile, the Deal of the Century, known from the onset to be a colossal failure, has fallen out of favor. The annexation was not implemented for the simple reason that the cake could not be eaten and left whole, meaning that it was impossible to annex the West Bank and leave the Palestinian Authority on its feet. No wonder no one took responsibility for this farce. Yet miracle of miracles, a new farce immediately emerged – the peace agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It was produced by Jared Kushner, the master mind of the failed Deal of the Century. This is not surprising. At the same White House ceremony in January, where the settlers were the guests of honor, UAE Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba gathered alongside the ambassadors of Oman and Bahrain. These are countries that place their trust in the Trump administration, whose Middle East policy is based on isolation of Iran while giving full support for Saudi policy.
Yousef Al Otaiba is a man of Trump and a friend of Kushner. He is thus a friend of Netanyahu. As we recall, the latter did everything to overthrow the Democrats. We still remember his speech in Congress, on March 2015, coming out against Obama’s Iran policy. Donald Trump was and remains the winning card of Netanyahu and the Saudis, and he is the glue that unites Israel with the “moderate Sunni axis.” This is the same axis, which, unfortunately, the Israeli left also sees as a basis for achieving “regional peace.” It turns out that their bitter rival, “crime minister” Bibi Netanyahu, fulfilled the Israeli left’s dream through his agreement with the Emirates. They celebrate this achievement with him at the beginning of Shabbat, but demonstrate in front of his house at the end of Shabbat.
Thus, the ruler of the United Arab Emirates, Mohammed bin Zaid, known colloquially as MBZ, saved Israel from the nightmare of annexation, which makes Israeli apartheid official and final. In fact, the Zionist left celebrates twice, both for the “regional peace” and perhaps postponement of elections which it had no chance of winning. And not only is the Zionist left celebrating, but with them are also celebrating the Republicans, who are doing everything in their power to escape a painful defeat in the upcoming November elections. And what is more effective than relieving the pain of COVID-19 with another peace ceremony on the White House lawn? With a reality in which daily over 50,000 are diagnosed and 1,500 die day from COVID-19 in the United States, America is experiencing one of the worst health, economic and social crises in its history. Trump is living in denial.
Trump is experiencing his last days in power and is doing everything to postpone the end: he is harming the postal service to delay mail-in ballots, attacking vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris while spreading a false theory that she is ineligible to be president as her parents are immigrants, supporting opening of the school year despite the spread of the pandemic, attacking epidemiological experts for warning of a health catastrophe, and more and more delusional acts in the hope they will prevent his overthrow.
His dear friend Netanyahu is doing exactly the same thing, all to thwart his trial on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust that is due to open in January, just days before the next American president takes office. Netanyahu sends public letters raising baseless accusations against the state attorney, his wife gives delusional interviews, he conducts press conferences that show achievements when in reality the health and economic crisis worsens. All the while the government is engaged in quarrels and Netanyahu relentlessly acts to provoke another round of elections so he can attain the 61 seats that will save his skin.
What does MBZ have to do with all this? He himself does not need elections as he has no parliament and no coalition. He is the sole ruler of a union of seven tiny emirates with a population of 10 million, only 1.5 million of them are citizens. The rest are workers, or more accurately foreign slaves whose job it is to serve the locals, who enjoy a high standard of living. It is a totalitarian country like its sisters in the Persian Gulf, facing two enemies different in nature: the ayatollahs’ regime in neighboring Iran, and the youth movement that demands democracy in the Arab world. In the face of two such powerful enemies, MBZ requires serious allies: the United States, and the regional power, Israel, which is how we reached “regional peace” with the “moderate” Sunni states.
The claim that the Gulf states are moderate is, of course, an Israeli fairy tale. Saudi Arabia is the major propagandist of radical Wahhabi Islam from which bin Laden grew, with two of the perpetrators of the September 2001 attack on the Twin Towers being citizens of the Emirates. Until the outbreak of the Arab Spring, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates operated behind the scenes. But with overthrow of the Mubarak regime by Egyptian youth in January 2011, and election of Mohamed Morsi as president following the first democratic and free elections in Egyptian history, the Emirates became active in thwarting any democratic change in the region that could endanger the dark regimes. The money of the Emirates funded the military coup that brought General Sisi to power, the UAE is actively involved in the civil war in Libya, and is a key factor in the civil war in Yemen, all the while committing war crimes against innocent Yemenite civilians.
Peace with Israel is meant to deter Iran, and not by chance. The Israeli bombings in Syria, the cyber war against vital Iranian facilities, the assassination of nuclear scientists, theft of the Iranian nuclear archive by the Israeli Mossad, all of these proved to the Saudis and their partners the efficiency of Israel, and they are an important entry ticket to regional peace. And one more important thing: Israeli cyber capabilities help not only to deter Iran, but also the citizens of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE, who demand freedom of expression, democracy and equal rights for women, for which they are persecuted and sent to lengthy prison terms without a fair trial. The Israeli electronic surveillance software Pegasus, for example, helped Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, or MBS, eliminate journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Finally, it should be noted that the regional peace so favored by the Israeli left buries peace with the Palestinians, and ostensibly proves the correctness of the right-wing thesis that regional peace does not require peace with the Palestinians. A simple problem remains – Netanyahu’s relinquishment of West Bank annexation does not eliminate the occupation. Israelis may be able to spend time in Abu Dhabi malls, but Palestinians will continue to be imprisoned within the Separation Wall without a minimum of human and civil rights. Preventing annexation does not at all promote establishment of a Palestinian state and a two-state solution, but rather buries the idea deep in the ground.
It turns out that regional peace and the normalization of relations with Arab countries inevitably leads to the normalization of apartheid, and enables anyone who wants to forget about the Palestinians to enjoy the fruits of peace without them. The political fruits of the agreement will be reaped by the three best men – Trump, Netanyahu and MBZ. Yet reality will continue to knock on their doors. The democratic processes that began in Cairo in 2011 will be unstoppable, and toward January 2021, the fate of Trump and Netanyahu will be decided. One on election day, and the other in the Jerusalem District Court. It seems that regional peace is doomed to a fate similar to the fate of the Deal of the Century.