Despite the indifference, or the approval, with which the Arab regimes have responded to the news of an agreement between the United Arab Emirates and the Israeli occupation state to establish formal diplomatic relations between them, many people have developed a fear that the agreement may lead to the increase of Emirati aggression against other peoples and countries, as is the case in Yemen and Libya at the time being. What increases this fear is the Emirati’s record in supporting counter-revolutions against the Arab Spring revolutions, and fueling wars in their countries, in order to prevent the revolution from reaching theirs. Add to this their security cooperation with Israel and their acquisition of Israeli spyware through which they could target the opposition of their regime or any Arab regime, which has been proven through a series of investigations and documented information about the involvement of the United Arab Emirates in such activities.
The declared alliance, not just normalization, stems from this approach, to serve this policy that coincides with the Israelis’ policy to increase their influence in the Arab region, where states are witnessing unprecedented struggles and deterioration.
Since the United Arab Emirates started considering to extend its influence to several ports in the Arab region and other parts of the world, then its military intervention in Yemen within the framework of the Arab Coalition and its war against the Houthis, and its efforts to takeover the Yemeni island of Socotra, it has become obvious that the Emirati leadership entertains ambitions to play an economic, military and political role that is too big for them, and to prove themselves as a regional power, making use of the decline of power and influence of other pivotal Arab countries; Egypt, Syria and Iraq, and depending on having enough financial resources to cover the expenses of military action, foreign managerial experience, and mercenaries that will serve these roles.If we take into consideration the Emirati interference in some countries to support coups and wars over popular revolutions against dictatorships, we will find that the resulting exploitation of their military tendencies in the service of their expansionist projects will turn into a black hole that will recruit other sectors as fuel to strengthen that tendency and implement policies, so that many countries no longer pursue militarization as their way of implementing.
The United Arab Emirates may have wanted, by establishing these relations on the level of alliance, to surpass the Arab countries that have already established relations with the Israeli occupation, and those with whom it maintains diplomatic relations, like Egypt and Jordan.
To reach this moment, the moment of militarization of all sectors in the service of the Emirati interests and influence, the United Arab Emirates found none other than Israel as an ally, adopting the same expansion policies that have been adopted in the United Arab Emirates in recent years. It is therefore possible to notice that the issue went beyond the normalization of relations, reaching the level of “an alliance”. This can be deduced from statements issued by more than one Emirati source, whether the State Ambassador in Washington, Yousef Al-Otaiba, or the State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, that spoke about the security, military and intelligence cooperation the United Arab Emirates aspires to establish with the Israelis, which will ensure the implementation of their policy of expansion and influence over the fates and decisions of other countries.
Moreover, it is said that this military and security cooperation will be accompanied by training for the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, cooperation between the two armies and holding maneuvers between them. The proof that the security, military, and intelligence coordination between the two sides has become fundamental, at the expense of other fields, is the symbolism of the head of Israel’s National Security Agency leading the process of the development of relations between the two sides, as well as the participation of Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, in finalizing the documents of the “peace agreement.”The United Arab Emirates may have wanted, by establishing these relations that reach the level of alliance, surpass the Arab countries that have already established relations with the Israeli occupation, and those with whom it maintains diplomatic relations, Egypt and Jordan, or with those who maintain contacts and visits, but have not reached the stage of full normalization yet, such as Sudan, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman. They want to beat those and surpass them, even in the issue of the alliance which does not appeal to most Arab peoples, who have a strict stance against a state of occupation and settlement, one that could not be changed by diplomatic relations.
Gulf Countries and Israel
Qatar was the first Gulf country to open an Israeli commercial representation office on its territory in 1996, but closed it in the wake of the second Palestinian uprising in 2000, and later declared that it cut off contacts and security cooperation after the war on Gaza Strip (Operation Cast Lead), late 2008. But in late 2019, an Israeli medical delegation visited the Qatari capital to participate in the World Medical Congress for Child Surgery. Although there is no official information about the Israeli-Qatari communication, media reports say that this communication did not stop.
The rest of the Arab Gulf countries have maintained a form of relations with Israel that has not reached the stage of full normalization; Bahrain has been witnessing for many years visits by Israeli delegations, official or semi-official, to participate in seminars or conferences. Oman received Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in late 2018, despite the absence of diplomatic relations between the two sides.
As for Saudi Arabia, it has been showing increased signs of normalization with the Israelis after Prince Mohammed bin Salman was appointed Crown Prince in 2017, and the disposal of his cousin. He alluded to his desire to normalize with them after he found himself marginalized after being involved in killing journalist Jamal Khashogji in his country’s consulate in Istanbul, and the tarnishing of his image with the US administration. So, in April 2018, he told an American magazine during an interview that the Israelis had “the right to live in peace on (their land),” believing that he would use the Israelis to polish his image. His openness to Israelis was reflected in reciprocal visits between Saudis and Israelis, as well as polishing the image of Israelis through the Saudi drama last Ramadan.
News spread that a large number of Arab countries, including Gulf countries, buy Israeli spying programs to use them to spy on their citizens inside their countries and abroad. Among these countries, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia were the two major buyers. News spread that these programs were used to spy on opponents abroad. This little detail must indicate that there is military or intelligence cooperation between these two countries and Tel Aviv, and the victim, as usual, is the ordinary citizen whom these regimes regard only as an enemy until they prove otherwise, and will not be convinced, whatever the factors that prove otherwise.
Qatar was the first Gulf country to open an Israeli commercial representation office on its territory in 1996.
The citizens of Arab countries should fear this normalization, this alliance, and perceive its danger to their lives and their countries, especially if other Arab countries seek normalization after that. This danger will increase if the agreement includes establishing Israeli military bases on the Emirati territory that may be used to target Iran, and the grave danger that may arise from an Iranian response that targets the fragile cities of the United Arab Emirates. Everyone should be afraid, because this alliance will increase the strength and aggression of the Israelis, will have a negative impact on the Palestinian cause, and will increase the suffering of the Palestinian people, and the consequences for the rest of the Arab peoples. Those inside the hot zone’s epicenter should be afraid, and those who are outside it should, also, be afraid, because the collateral damage may hit those far away as much as those who are nearby.