The UAE and Israel have agreed to normalize relations in a deal brokered by the United States. The “Abraham Accord,” announced in early August, was contingent on Israel halting its plans to annex Palestinian territory.
Before Washington starts providing unconditional support to another Arab authoritarian, the United States should be clear about what it wants out of the relationship and how it should use the leverage it has with the UAE to achieve those outcomes.
The EU should seize the historical opportunity of the Israel-UAE agreement to propose bold, new ideas for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and bringing peace to the Middle East.
Whether the Israel-UAE deal holds and has an enduring impact on the region will depend on several factors.
It should be obvious that the timing of normalization efforts in the Middle East are tied to the political interests of the key players.
Perhaps a more accurate way to evaluate this agreement is the consolidation and formalization of ties that have been in the works, largely subterranean, for a decade or more. But the strategic impact, at least for now, won’t be nearly as consequential as Israel’s peace treaties.
The loss of the Arab world’s commitment to an end of Israel’s occupation as a precondition for Middle East peace will spell the death knell for a negotiated political solution.
The United Arab Emirates becomes the third Arab state to formally recognize Israel after Egypt and Jordan.
The Emirati-Israeli peace agreement will help refocus Palestinian objectives on securing equal rights.
Israel’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank may have been temporarily suspended, but anyone who believes the world is any closer to a negotiation, let alone an agreement to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is mistaken.