Discourse

Israeli Independence Day a cause for celebration with new friends in the UAE

Yes, you read that right. The UAE offered congratulations to Israel on Israeli Independence Day—in Hebrew.
Ari Hoffman
Ari Hoffman Seattle, WA

To celebrate Israeli Independence Day, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) tweeted their congratulations to the Jewish state, even transliterating the traditional congratulations from Hebrew in the tweet. Yes, you read that right. The UAE offered congratulations to Israel on Israeli Independence Day—in Hebrew.

The Emirates News Agency has added Hebrew as one of the languages it publishes in, according to Al-Monitor. The head of the Israeli mission in Abu Dhabi Eitan Na’eh frequently posts messages in Arabic.

Social media posts are, of late, common in highlighting firsts between the UAE and Israel: The first Jewish wedding in Dubai or the first bar mitzvah in Dubai, to name a few.

Just a few short years ago many would have thought this impossible, and it certainly was not happening back then, either. Last year, Israel and the UAE normalized ties, one of four deals the US brokered between Israel and Arab countries as part of the Abraham Accords.

Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan are also signatories of the deal and more may be yet to come. The UAE and Bahrain are the first Arab countries to establish relations with Israel since Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.

During the signing of the accords, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said "This peace will eventually expand to include other Arab states—and ultimately, it can end the Arab-Israeli conflict once and for all," during a televised address from the White House, with US President Donald Trump overseeing the historic signing ceremony.

In 1948, 73 years ago, the Arab League sought to destroy the fledgling Jewish state, yet the new nation of farmers and Holocaust survivors prevailed. The Arab League tried again in 1967 and in 1973, yet Israel survived. A peace with members of the Arab League seemed as foreign as bacon in a kosher deli.

Yet after the historic diplomatic negotiations in 2020, the foreign ministers of Israel, the UAE, Greece, and Cyprus will meet on Friday in Paphos, Cyprus in an effort to advance regional strategic interests, according to the Israeli ministry.

During the celebrations in Israel for Independence Day, President Reuven Rivlin hosted the foreign diplomatic corps at his Jerusalem residence, including the new envoys to Israel from the UAE and Morocco.

Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Morocco are among the countries that will recognize Israel's COVID passports for citizens that have received the vaccination.

Many attributed the peace deals to Former President Trump and his son-in-law/advisor Jared Kushner. By recognizing that peace in the Middle East did not have to start with Israel and the Palestinians, they instead appealed to shared heritage, common interests, economic prosperity and recognizing that Iran is the greatest threat in the region to all of them.

Emboldened by the Obama administration, Iran continued to wage proxy wars in the region. The Trump administration reimposed sanctions on the terrorist state and left the Iran nuclear deal which the Iranians had violated countless times and forces the regime to its knees.

Now the Biden administration seeks to return to the old way of thinking which brought about decades of war and terrorism. The US will resume funding of the Palestinian Authority even though they continue to reward the families of terrorists with thousands of dollars in what many call "pay for slay."

The Biden administration is also attempting to reenter the Iran Deal. Realizing how close Iran was to developing nuclear weapon and that path may be about to be made easier by the US, Israel allegedly sabotaged Natanz, an Iranian nuclear site.

Under President Joe Biden, the US is seen as weak and no longer a power broker in the region, when just a year ago the US was brokering peace deals. Since Biden's inauguration, Iran has launched multiple attacks on Israeli ships and has even been accused of intentionally spilling oil in Israeli waters.

If there are to be more peace deals between Israel and it's Arab neighbors, they will likely have to create those ties without the US which has returned to repeating the same mistakes of decades of failed Middle East policy.

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