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Middle East Monitor: ‘Abraham Agreement’ Takes Off

The first ever flight between Israel and an Arab capital happened on Monday Aug 31, 2020 establishing and deepening Israel’s relationships with other US allies in the Middle East region.

Flight LY 971 of EI AI Israel Airlines landed at Abu Dhabi airport after overflying Saudi Airspace. The aircraft used for the flight is named after Israeli city of Kiryat Gat.

Kiryat Gat is an Israeli settlement town founded on the ruins of two Palestinian villages: Iraq al Manshiyya and Al Faluga. The two Palestinian villages were depopulated from Palestinian population in 1949 after the Arab Israel War of 1948.

Was the selection of this particular aircraft intentional meant to convey or symbolize a message to the Muslim world (Ummah) that the annexation of Palestinian lands now has Arab endorsement?

Israeli flight to Abu Dhabi


The lack of a statement (on signing of the Accord) from Arab League, in contrast to its rapid February 2020 rejection of the Trump plan, is a likely reflection of the challenge it now faces, given the breaking of the regional consensus by such a prominent and powerful member as the UAE”, said Dr. Kristian Ulrichsen of Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy an Associate Fellow at Chatham House. He’s author of The Gulf States in International Political Economy.

The historic agreement between Israel and UAE is not a peace deal, because the two countries were never at war.

“It represents a departure from the ‘land for peace’ principle at the heart of the Arab Peace Initiative as well as a break in the consensus that a comprehensive peace agreement would precede any formal normalization with Israel,” added Mr. Ulrichsen.

Observers say economic and security dynamics have been front-ended. Regional-specific political solutions have taken a back seat.

One of the observers calls it one of the low hanging fruits of emerging unhinged geopolitical rivalries in the region.

“(It) is a piece of theater intended to portray arms deals, intelligence exchange, capital flows and technology transfers as a peace agreement,” said a tweet.

“The diplomatic recognition of Israel (by UAE) may help the Emirates purchase advanced American weapons, such as the F-35 fighter jet,” wrote Arab News.

DesPardes asked an analyst who specializes in US-China and South Asia affairs to comment on the deal and Palestine’s fate as a State. According to him, “I’m pessimistic about Palestinians’ fate. Nobody will question Israel. That is the reality”.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday ended his Mideast trip with visit to Oman’s new sultan. It was his last stop that sought to build on the Trump Administration-brokered deal to have Israel and the United Arab Emirates normalize relations.

Earlier, Pompeo traveled to Israel, Sudan, Bahrain and the UAE on this trip through the Mideast. In Israel, he met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem “to discuss regional security issues related to Iran’s malicious influence, establishing and deepening Israel’s relationships in the region, as well as cooperation in protecting the U.S. and Israeli economies from malign investors”.

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