Many are calling this new deal between UAE and Israel as historic but before reaching to any conclusion about its implications for the region and global geo politics, let us analyze this move in the context of changing regional and Geo-political dynamics. The announcement about officially establishing the relations is a significant event but this is not something new; Many Arab countries over the years established good working relations both officially and unofficially with Israel including UAE. Many more Arab countries including Bahrain are expected to follow the suit. Talking about the geo-political realities the fact of the matter is that it is not a relationship but is a first step towards creation of alliance between the Arab world and Israel. Soon after this announcement Israel made it clear that the annexation has been postponed have not been canceled. This policy shift is more about the changing regional dynamics in the Middle East and North Africa than it is about the Arab-Israel conflict over Palestine. This policy shift is based on converging interests of both parties. This can clearly be understood by analyzing the reaction of different actors. Turkey and Iran condemned this move, but interestingly both Iran & Turkey are considered as potential competitors (to say the least) in the region both by Israel and Arab world lead by KSA.
Israel and Arab world came close to each other after Arab Spring and particularly after Dictator SISI toppled the government of Muhammad Morsi in Egypt. As it is said “Enemy of your Enemy is your friend”. This is the case here when it comes to Muslim Brotherhood. Similarly, both Israel and UAE are on the same side against Turkey in the building Mediterranean crisis, which is directly connected with Libya, where these players are already engaged in a cold war, with Turkey, Qatar backing the GNA while UAE, Egypt, Israel backing the LNA. According to a report by Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, Last month UAE supplied LNA (Haftar) Israeli made weapons including 3 Israeli Heron TP2 drones, known as Eitan. Even though this Strategic alignment will cover cooperation in telecom, Trade and energy but the most significant is military and intelligence cooperation in terms of counterterrorism. “Counter-Terrorism” is going to be the building block in this new alliance, especially with Qatar, Turkey and Iran backing Hamas, Muslim brotherhood. Moreover, Israel addition to the Arab coalition in Yemen is just the matter of time. Not just in Yemen Israeli drones, Missile systems can be a vital addition to defense of UAE against the threat of Houthis missiles. But on the other hand, recent statement by Foreign minister of Saudi Arabia gives insight of how the Arab street view this policy shift. Last Month a poll by “Washington Institute” revealed that 80% of Emiratis oppose the establishment of relations with Israel. So, this is not a very popular decision by the UAE regime that is why this is going to have implication not only on the regional politics but also on internal politics of UAE.
Author: Talha Ahmad (Editor in Chief PSF)
About Author: Talha Ahmad is a Journalist. He is an independent Geo-Political Analyst, commentator, and keen observer of International relations. Talha Ahmad opinions have been featured in different News-websites like Daily times, Pakistan Today, Global Village Space, Morning Mail. He can be reached on twitter @talhahamad967.
Note: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Pakistan Strategic Forum.