US PRESIDENT Trump announced on Thursday that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel will ‘normalise’ relations. UAE is the first Arab nation to do so in 25 years. Only three other countries out of the 22 member states of the Arab League recognise the state of Israel: Egypt in 1977, Jordan in 1994 and Mauritania in 1999.
Addressing reporters later on Thursday in Tel Aviv, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said he agreed to ‘delay’ the annexation of part of the West Bank and Jordan Valley as part of the deal with the UAE, but the plans remain ‘on the table’.
In ‘normalising’ relations with Israel, UAE is recognising Israel as a legitimate state. In 1948, Israel declared itself a state after massacring Palestinians and occupying their land.
Since 1948, the Israeli regime has murdered Palestinian men, women and children in their tens of thousands, demolished their homes, imprisoned their children, attacked them from air, sea and land, used F16 fighter planes to rain bombs on Gaza, armoured tanks, bulldozers, snipers and soldiers to intimidate, oppress and kill. Roadblocks, checkpoints, separation walls, all of these are both ‘normal’ and ‘acceptable’ as far as the UAE is concerned.
The Israeli plan was to seize a third of the West Bank and the Jordan Valley and claim it as their own, as part of Israel. However, this is something that they were not strong enough to do for now as they were met with mass movements on the streets of Palestine, the US, UK, Germany and even Tel Aviv, to name but a few.
As soon as this new deal with the UAE was announced, most of the world erupted in anger.
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a senior adviser to Palestinian President Abbas, said: ‘The Palestinian leadership rejects and denounces the UAE, Israeli and US trilateral, surprising announcement.’
Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said in a statement: ‘This agreement does absolutely not serve the Palestinian cause, it rather serves the Zionist narrative.’
Turkey said history will not forget and never forgive the ‘hypocritical behaviour’ of the UAE in agreeing a deal with Israel to normalise relations.
Ras Mubarak, a parliamentarian in Ghana, called the UAE’s move ‘a betrayal’. He said: ‘All Arab states must treat the apartheid state of Israel in the same way that African states treated apartheid South Africa. There can be no normalisation of ties with Israel while the Palestinian people are still occupied; there can be no normalisation of ties while Israel still practises apartheid, colonialism and siege against the Palestinians.’
However, Bahrain, Jordan, Egypt, the UK, France and the UN welcomed it. Saudi Arabia has not yet commented on the agreement.
This is not simply a re-election move by Trump, whose popularity has plummeted in the last months. This is preparation for war against Iran.
The United States, having failed to get the Palestinians to hand over their land, has now strengthened its relations with the UAE and Israel with a view to stepping up preparations to tackle Iran. They are trying to build an anti-Iran alliance.
Iran’s foreign ministry condemned the deal, calling it a dangerous and ‘strategic act of idiocy’ that will further ‘invigorate the axis of resistance in the region’.
When Tory PM Johnson heard the announcement, he responded: ‘The UAE and Israel’s decision to normalise relations is hugely good news. It was my profound hope that annexation did not go ahead in the West Bank and today’s agreement to suspend those plans is a welcome step on the road to a more peaceful Middle East.’
In fact, the UK working class has a very powerful role to play. The TUC and all trade unions must take action to defend Palestine and take action to defend Iran.
The trade unions must demand that the UK recognises the state of Palestine, and that the UK redeems itself, as the state from which the notorious Balfour declaration was made, by granting Palestine hundreds of millions in aid, and immediately appointing a UK ambassador to the State of Palestine.
The solution to the Middle East crisis lies in the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, in which Jews, Christians and Muslims can live side by side in peace.