Friday, February 23

Israel and its Arab allies stage their anti-Iran alliance at a summit with the US

  • For the first time, representatives of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, Egypt, the United States and Israel meet on Israeli soil to consolidate the role of the Hebrew State as a regional and world power

  • The Palestinians denounce the “flagrant double standards” of the West and the abandonment of the Arab countries for not having received an invitation to the meeting

Six men hold hands as they smile at the camera. Smiles overflow their faces. To some more than others. With this simultaneous handshake, the representatives of United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Morocco, Egypt, United States and Israel end a historic summit. is the first time that so many Arab, American and Israeli officials are in Israeli soil. The Hebrew state is already a friendly power for many countries in the region. Two days of meetings and first contacts result in a regular regional forum that, in his unit, seeks deter Iran.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Green Line, the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, dared to denounce the “flagrant double standards” of the West. In a meeting with the US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, has reproached him for his actions against Russia opposed to his support for Israel. “Despite the israeli occupation crimes that amount to ethnic cleansing and racial discrimination, we did not find anyone who holds Israel responsible for behaving as a State above the law”, he pointed out. This Monday he also received the visit of the king of Jordan, Abdullah IIto the West Bank, the first since 2017, and conveyed his support for the Palestinian cause.

“What we’re doing here is make historybuild a new regional architecture based on progress, technology, religious tolerance, security and intelligence cooperation,” said the Israeli Foreign Minister, Yair Lapid. “This new architecture, the shared capabilities that we’re building, intimidates and deter our common enemiesfirst of all, Iran and its representatives,” he added. Then his Emirati, Bahraini, Moroccan, Egyptian and American counterparts joined this unanimous celebration of “peace”.

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Terrorist attack

In addition, the summit held in the Negev has been clouded by a terrorist attack claimed by the Islamic State to the north of the country. Two armed Israelis killed two policemen on Sunday before being reduced in Hadera, 50 kilometers from Tel Aviv. These meetings come in a context of tension with the Biden Administration, since many of the allies of the United States see a lack of commitment on the part of the president in the region. Although it was the US that in 2020 helped Israel to negotiate the Abraham Accords with these Arab States, now it is the Jewish country that assumes the role of mediator between Washington and them.

Blinken has also traveled to Israel with the aim of pressure its Arab allies to increase their support for Ukraine to prevent the invasion of Russia. Beyond Israel, so far, the other states have not convincingly condemned the Russian actions or given much support to the invaded population. The energy and food dependence with regard to Vladimir Putin’s country, he is prevented from doing so. Meanwhile, Israel has been acting as a mediator between both parties since the beginning of the conflict, still without condemning its Russian ally.

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“Prize” for Israel

For the Jewish State, this summit supposes the consolidation of its importance as regional and world power. Furthermore, the war in Ukraine has helped accelerate the realignment of alliances in the Middle East. The Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, has not been able to enjoy the fruit of his labor since after the meeting with Blinken, he tested positive for covid-19. On Sunday, the US representative wanted to lighten the concerns of his allies about the possible restoration of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

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“There are different perspectives being discussed, there is some agreement on some issues and less on others, but there is no doubt around this table that Iran should not be a nuclear power.”said in Jerusalem. Precisely the possibility of a new nuclear agreement with the country of the ayatollahs is one of the main worries of the participants in the summit. The resolution of negotiations between Iran and other powers seems increasingly closer and they are all concerned that its outcome will allow the Iranians develop more nuclear power. “He would become even more aggressive and believe that he could act with a false sense of impunityBlinken pointed out.

Representatives have also shown some concern about a possible increase in violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories in a few weeks, when three important Jewish, Muslim and Christian holidays will coincide. For their part, the Palestinians have denounced the absence of an invitation to join the summit. While the Abraham Accords boost trade and diplomatic cooperation between Israel and its new Arab allies, they also lower the priorities for Arab governments in resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Palestinian Prime Minister, Mohamed Shtayeh, has called the summit a “great illusion” for excluding his people and has described it as a “prize” without warrant for Israel.

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