Initially, it sounded absolutely historic. One could even call it miraculous. It hasn’t happened in 26 years, and this is only the third time that it has happened in the last 72 years. It’s hard not to consider it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, even at the price of compromise. It might lead to evictions and the destruction of homes, but if it leads to peaceful relations with the neighborhood, it’s all worth it; right?
I’m speaking, of course, of the historic and bombshell news that the United Arab Emirates decided to normalize relations with Israel. Effectively, they will be entering into a peace treaty. It will only be the third Arab country in Israel’s modern history to do so, and the first in 26 years.
When Israel and the US first made the announcement, it was promoted as an extraordinary move for the region and a mutual benefit for both Israel and the UAE. Both countries will begin cooperating in areas such as travel, security, investment, and tourism, and eventually establish diplomatic offices in each other’s countries. What has emerged since the announcement, however, is that the deal is also seen by the US and the UAE as a “land for peace” deal.
After the initial announcement, Prime Minister Netanyahu said that the US had asked Israel to temporarily suspend plans of applying sovereignty in Judea and Samaria. The US confirmed this in similar statements.
The UAE had something different to say. Foreign Affairs Minister Anwar Gargash told reporters shortly after the deal was announced: “What you’re saying as suspension, we’re seeing as stopping.” Gargash also had harsh words for Israel, saying that annexation “would deal a death blow to the two-state solution.” He also said, “The UAE is using its gravitas, its promise of a relationship, to try to really unscrew a time bomb that is threatening a two-state solution.”
A tweet from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed of the UAE, declared, “In my phone call today with US President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, it was agreed to stop Israel’s annexation of the Palestinian territories. The UAE and Israel also agreed to lay down a roadmap towards launching joint cooperation, leading to bilateral relations.”
I just want to point out here that Bin Zayed first announced that Israel agreed to stop any plans toward annexing “Palestinian” territories and then mentioned that the UAE and Israel are working towards bilateral negotiations. It’s almost as if stopping Israel’s plans toward sovereignty was the UAE’s main objection in the deal and normalizing relations with Israel was secondary.
The reaction from the Palestinian Authority was less than positive. Besides hundreds of Palestinians rioting and protesting in Judea and Samaria, Hamas and Fatah, who are mortal enemies, got together to mutually protest the peace treaty. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum in the Gaza Strip also condemned the plan, saying: “The declaration of normalization between Israel and the UAE is a free reward for the occupation for its crimes and violations against the Palestinian people.”
Palestinian leaders called for an urgent Arab League meeting to reject what they called an “aggression against the Palestinian people.” They also said, “The leadership affirms that the UAE, or any other party, has no right to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people.” The Palestinian Authority already withdrew its ambassador to the UAE in protest.
A few days after the announcement of the peace treaty, Jared Kushner addressed Israel reporters, saying: “Israel has made a very generous proposal for the establishment of a Palestinian state, including an exchange of territories. The understanding that this is the situation has enabled the breakthrough that led to the current agreement. There is a generous offer of a state and an exchange of territories, and we offer the Palestinians a return to the table.”
When asked how the US would make certain that Israel does not unilaterally annex any territory, Kushner said, “We built a very trusting relationship with Israel. President Trump is committed to holding them accountable to it, and Israel has agreed with us that they will not move forward without our consent. We do not plan to give our consent for some time, as right now the focus has to be on getting this new peace agreement implemented.”
As pro-Israel as President Trump is, it is coming across as very strange for one of his top advisors to be announcing that Israel has generously agreed to the establishment of a Palestinian state, something which is not really true.
There are some positive elements to this entire situation. Since the US and the UAE are counting on Israel not to make any steps toward applying sovereignty, this means that the “deal of the century” has been shelved for the time being. Since the plan called for Israel to apply sovereignty over 30% of the biblical heartland, but also required Israel to establish a Palestinian state if the PA met certain conditions, I believe that its halt is a good thing.
In regards to Kushner’s statements that Israel has finally agreed to a Palestinian state, everyone in Israel knows that this is not true. Even Netanyahu, who has seemed to agree to a Palestinian state in the past, would not dare to try and implement such a thing now. Besides, when is it a good idea to negotiate with a government whose mission in life is to kill you and confiscate your entire land (and I don’t just mean the “West Bank”)?
The negative side of the peace treaty is the fact that the UAE and the United States are now touting the fact that Israel will not move towards any type of sovereignty for “some time.” At the same time, they are gloating over the fact that for the first time in history Israel has generously agreed to the establishment of a Palestinian state, a statement which is not true and will never happen.
Israel, 100% of it, belongs to the people of Israel, per a promise that God made to Abraham. No peace agreement can change that fact; not now, and not ever.
P.S. We didn’t plan this, but our brand new, “I Stand For 100% Sovereignty in Israel” t-shirts are now available for sale on our online store! We only have a limited supply, so make sure to grab your size today, and publicly declare your support for God’s promise to Abraham.