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Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv...The Truth is Painful

Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv...The Truth is Painful

Tuesday, 18 August, 2020 - 10:30
Salman Al-Dossary
Salman Al-Dossary is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

The term "state sovereignty" has been violated to such an extent that it made it lose the concept of interstate relations. Qatar secretly funds Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis, and al-Nusra Front. When the matter is exposed, Qatar says it a sovereign matter. Turkey violates international law in Libya, Iraq and Syria, and attacks the Greek continental shelf, yet it views its behavior as a sovereign matter. Iran messes with four Arab capitals, and also justifies what it is doing as a pure sovereign affair.

But when the UAE establishes relations with Israel, there are those who deny that it's a sovereign right and blame it for making such a step without returning to them and asking for their permission!

This leads us to ask a very important question: Does a country, any country, have the right to prevent another from making sovereign decisions?

In my opinion, the answer depends on these decisions, and whether they reflect negatively on other countries or cause harm to their national security.

Will the Emirati decision change the course of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? To put it frankly, the UAE’s decision not to establish normal relations with Israel has not and will not affect the future of the Palestinian issue and its complexities, and will not return to the Palestinians one percent of their lands. Similarly, establishing full diplomatic relations between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv will not give the Israelis any additional advantage.

What no one wants to hear is that the Palestinian cause is going through its worst situation, not because of the UAE and its new relationship with Israel, but because of the accumulation of complex problems and the political and economic conditions that have become more difficult year after year.

The dilemma of the region does not lie in Israel, which has become a reality that cannot be changed whether we like it or not. The real dilemma is that slogans still replace logic and reliance on populism is much easier than facing facts.

Qatar took the same path 25 years ago with the normalization with Israel, but it failed in it because it sought to fight with its neighbors more than gaining actual interests in establishing those relations.

Iran? It is not surprising that it continues to exploit the Palestinian Cause for its own purposes, not to mention that Iran, not Israel, has been occupying Emirati islands for fifty years.

Turkey? It wants to remove its ambassador from the UAE, although it has had relations with Tel Aviv since 1949, and is the largest Muslim country that has economic ties with Israel. These three countries should be a little ashamed of themselves when they put forth the Palestinian cause.

As why is it permissible for the Emirates and forbidden for Qatar?! The answer, in short, is that the UAE did not try outshine Qatar and Oman, for example, when they received the Israeli Prime Minister in their capitals and opened commercial offices, nor did it deny Jordan’s sovereign right to establish full relations, even when it did not back those countries in their decisions.

Moreover, the UAE did not incite against them and betray them in the media, unlike what the Qatari and Turkish regimes are currently doing, while their relations with the Israelis are exposed and known.

If only the solution of the Palestinian Cause depended on the establishment of diplomatic relations with Israel... I am certain that it’s not. Unfortunately, delaying interests has only resulted in the head-in-the-sand situation - a situation that populists enjoy instead of facing reality.

Perhaps it was necessary for the Emirates to do it with courage and confront everyone with what they are looking at but not truly seeing.

For those blaming Abu Dhabi, we say: Which one is more harmful to the Emirati interests, Israel or Turkey? Which one is more hostile to Bahrain, Israel or Iran? Everyone knows the answer, but they want to cover the truth and maintain their collective coma for another 80 years.

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