Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday celebrated another step towards Israel-Arab peace: the retweet of an article calling for an alliance of Israelis and Arabs by the Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Abdullah bin Zayed, the UAE’s top diplomat, reposted without commentary an article in The Spectator entitled “Islam’s reformation: an Arab-Israeli alliance is taking shape in the Middle East.”
In the opinion piece, Ed Husain describes the warming of relations between Israel and Arab states, as well as Islam and Judaism, in the face of the threat from Iran and other concerns. Husain concludes by saying Arabs and Jews “have a shared interest in building a lasting alliance.”
Netanyahu was clearly encouraged by the public retweet of the article by such an important Arab official. In comments to the Israeli cabinet, Netanyahu called it “an additional public expression of the warming in relations between Israel and Arab countries.”
The Israeli leader took the view that the retweet meant that the UAE Foreign Minister, Abdullah bin Zayed, was effectively himself discussing a “new alliance in the Middle East: An Israeli-Arab alliance.”
“This is the direct result of our policy, which has turned Israel into a rising power in the region and the world,” said Netanyahu. “I cannot go into detail about all of the moves that I have led together with my colleagues over the years. I can only say that this remark is the result of the ripening of many contacts and efforts, which at the moment, and I emphasize at the moment, would be best served by silence.”
A gradual thaw of Israeli-Arab relations has been occurring for a while now and is no longer relegated to reports of covert diplomacy or secret security coordination. The Specator’s article noted that Netanyahu himself publicly visited Oman in 2018.
The movement towards peace follows decades of sometimes cold war and sometimes open conflict between Israel and a number of Arab states. More than once in 20th Century, multiple Arab nations launched war against Israel and to this day the only Arab nations with official peace accords with Israel are Jordan and Egypt.
Netanyahu clearly feels optimistic, saying in his comments on Sunday that “we are moving forward in new areas of hope and peace with our Arab neighbors.”
One retweet also merited another: Netanyahu’s official Prime Minister Twitter feed reposted the UAE’s Foreign Minister’s tweet and offered it’s own commentary.
“I welcome the closer relations between Israel and many Arab states,” tweeted Netanyahu. “The time has come for normalization and peace.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, December 22, 2019)