Interpreting the UAE/Israel Agreement on Suspending Annexation

16 Aug

[Prefatory Note: Responses to Interview Questions from Javad Heiran-Nia, an Iranian journalist, on the UAE/Israel Normalization/Annexation Agreement of Aug. 13, 2020.]

Interpreting the UAE/Israel Agreement on Suspending Annexation


  1. The UAE and Israel normalized their relations. What are the reasons for this and what effect will it have on regional equations?

Any comment on regional implications of the Agreement is, of course, highly speculative as the real reasons for such an initiative are rarely disclosed by those with the power of decision. In this case the uncertainties are magnified by some central ambiguities in the language of the text, especially the word ‘suspend’ in relation to Israeli plans to annex portions of the West Bank. This territory is considered internationally to be part of Occupied Palestine, and by Israel as ‘disputed territory.’


I would offer the following tentative reactions to the Agreement: Israel was motivated by Netanyahu’s effort to justify a delay in fulfilling his election promise to annex large portions of the occupied West Bank territory belonging to Palestine, and the Agreement provided a basis to claim compensatory benefits. Netanyahu was also under pressure to convince Israelis that he could be an effective leader, and achieve peace and security in the region while under indictment for corruption and without making concessions to the Palestinians. The Agreement can be viewed as a victory for hard line reactionary Israeli politics, and also pleased Trump by allowing him to claim credit for brokering a deal that is being touted as a ‘breakthrough’ for ‘peace.’ In this usage, peace refers to Israel/Arab relations, and ignores the unresolved conflict with the Palestinian people and their leadership.


It is less clear what motivated the UAE to act at this time. There is speculation that once ‘peace’ with Israel is achieved, the UAE will be eligible to buy advanced weapons systems from the U.S., including the latest military drones. The UAE may have also wanted to strengthen the anti-Iran coalition while Trump remains the American president, fearing that if Biden wins the November election, he might restore the agreement on Iran’s Nuclear Program negotiated during the Obama presidency but repudiated by Trump. It is also plausible that the UAE is making a move to establish its leadership among Gulf countries, and getting out from beneath Saudi Arabia’s shadow.


It is possible in order to reach a common understanding the parties agreed not to specify what was meant by the word ‘suspend’ in relation to formal annexation by Israel of West Bank territory. It is also possible that a confidential understanding among the three parties was reached that the annexation freeze would be maintained for at least six months, and that during the next six months could be ended by Israel with U.S. approval, after one year, could be ignored by Israel in moving forward with annexation.

  1. This is the normalization of relations mediated by Trump and this agreement is to be signed in the White House. What propaganda will Trump use for this issue in the presidential election?

As Trump has already claimed, this will be presented to the American people as a demonstration of the effectiveness of Trump’s deal-making diplomacy, as well as securing a victory for Israel in its efforts to achieving normalization with Arab countries without allowing the formation of an independent sovereign Palestine. The location of the signing ceremony at the White House will be a high-profile photo op for Trump, and will be conveyed to the world as a sign of continued American leadership in the search for stability in the region in ways that preserve the strategic interests of the U.S. and Israel. Whether many Americans will be very impressed by such PR showmanship remains to be seen. Some liberal American anti-Trump voices have joined in celebrating the Agreement, including a feverish puff piece by the influential NY Times opinion writer Thomas Friedman that misleadingly treats the Agreement as a ‘geopolitical earthquake’ with a positive and unifying impact on the entire Middle East. Little attention has so far been devoted in the West to how the agreement harms the Palestinian struggle for basic rights or bears on the efforts to exert pressure on Iran to conform to Western priorities.

  1. This agreement, on the other hand, shows the concern of the UAE and Saudi Arabia about a US without Trump. In fact, by bringing Israel into clear security and political relations, the two countries will have more support from the US government. What is your assessment?

It seems that this is an accurate, but not central consideration. These leading Gulf countries had long been cooperating with Israel in a variety of ways, including establishing economic and diplomatic links, cyber-security, and joining forces to exert pressure on Iran and to lend support to anti-government forces in Syria. It is doubtful that the Biden presidency would have challenged these political orientations if he is elected, although a changed leadership would likely review whatever promises or commitments Trump made to induce the UAE to sign the Agreement, and openly break ranks on whether to normalize Arab relations with Israel without the prior commitment by Israel to accept a Palestinian state on the territories occupied in 1967. It remains unclear whether Saudi Arabia was a silent partner to this initiative or feared that it might spark anti-regime activism within its own country, and encouraged UAE to take the lead.

  1. The UAE has announced that the annexation plan has been canceled under this agreement. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the plan to annex the West Bank was still on the table and had only been postponed. What is your assessment?

There seems little doubt that the two parties to the August 13th Agreement want to put forward divergent interpretations of what was agreed upon as it bears on the Netanyahu/Trump endorsement of annexing those portions of occupied Palestine on which unlawful Israeli settlements are currently situated. The UAE to hide its abandonment of the Palestinians in their struggle for basic rights seeks to claim that obtaining the Israeli pledge to suspend its annexation plan preserves the hope for a Palestinian state that encompasses the entire West Bank. In contrast, Israel wants to convince especially its settler movement that the suspension is temporary, and when an opportune moment arises, annexation will go forward on the basis of the assertion of Israeli sovereignty. It should be understood that the territory in question has already been annexed by facts on the ground, and what is pledged by Israel is the ambiguous pledge to ‘suspend’ formal annexation for an unspecified time. The shift from de facto to de jure annexation seems to be connected with the readjustment downwards of Palestinian expectations in the event that some kind of negotiations between Israel and Palestine are resumed in the future. It may be relevant to recall that the UN partition resolution (GA Res. 181) looked to confer about 56% of Palestine to Israel after the end of the British Mandate. At the end of the 1948 War Israel increased its territorial scope to 78% of Paleestine, and it was presupposed in diplomacy that Israel would be expected to retain the territory gained by military operation and Palestinians lowered their goals to achieving statehood on the remaining 22%, which was again further eroded by the outcome of the 1967 War, and subsequent developments (including settlements, separation barrier, and other encroachments, all unlawful).

  1. Doesn’t this agreement mean the failure of the deal of the century? Because the lands that are to be occupied by Israel according to the deal of the century apparently cannot join according to this agreement (According to the announcement of the United Arab Emirates, of course).

In my judgment this UAE/Israel Agreement should not be regarded as the failure of the deal of the century, but its indirect and partial implementation, which looked to vest Israeli sovereignty in 30% of the West Bank. Although Israel has agreed to suspend annexation, I think the best interpretation is that this is a temporary commitment that will be altered within a year, and then a gradual renewal of annexation will go forward, possibly without needing or seeking U.S. approval. The UAE may object, especially if Netanyahu moves too soon to revive annexation plaans, but is unlikely to undo the Agreement so long as it serves its regional strategic interests. The UAE, together with other major Arab governments, had long ago abandoned meaningful support for the Palestinian struggle and adopted policies that moved by stages toward the sort of cooperation that is now normalized and endorsed openly in the Agreement, which has the blessings of Washington and allows Israel to reassure Israelis that it is enhancing security and lessening its sense of being a regional pariah.


An alternative view of the Israel/UAE Agreement is to view it as a Plan B that is designed to hide the provisional failure of the parties and the world to accept the Trump plan (From Peace to Prosperity). The new approach pretends that the Agreement is a ‘HUGE’ contribution to peace, as Trump claimed in a tweet. The Palestinians, Turks, and Iranians know better! Also, noteworthy, the parties ignored the relevance of international law. Annexation, whether de facto or de jure was in violation of international humanitarian law, and so Israel & Trump are rewarded for agreeing to suspend what amounts to a ‘money laundering’ operation even if no money was involved.


21 Responses to “Interpreting the UAE/Israel Agreement on Suspending Annexation”

  1. roberthstiver August 16, 2020 at 11:13 am #

    An admirable expository by Dr. Falk! My uneducated and perhaps inelegant takes: (1) this agreement was initiated, goosed and actualized by two bullies — Netanyahu and Trump — gleefully projecting their arrogance, power and dominance across a broad range of actors (Palestinians, Iranis, Syrians, indeed the Sunni Arab elements…), some more hapless than others. (2) I can’t imagine the depth and fever of a move to fashion the agreement into the stuff of a Nobel Peace Prize for Trump, but such a move is inevitable.

    Please allow me to weep tears of bitterness and resignation for the Palestinians, the people I “adopted” in 1964.

    • Mike 71 August 22, 2020 at 5:05 pm #

      If President Trump is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for mediating this agreement between the U.A.E. and Israel, it will be because, unlike his predecessor, he did something to merit it!

    • Mike 71 August 22, 2020 at 8:31 pm #

      Due to the enmity of the T.D.S.(Trump Derangement Syndrome) afflicted, it is doubtful that President Trump will ever be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, despite the fact that, unlike his predecessor, he did something to merit it.

      In 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize or mediating the end of the Russo-Japanese War. While the United Arab Emirates and Israel have never been at war, or had territorial disputes, President Trump’s efforts in mediating this agreement was a small, but significant step toward Middle-East regional peace.

      • roberthstiver August 23, 2020 at 3:10 am #

        I don’t — frankly, my dear — have time for the likes of you other than to note that you manifestly have no compassion or care for the long-suffering Christians and Muslims of Palestine, caught as they are between the vile, arrogant schemes of militant/political Zionism/the rest of the colonial West and a hard place. Shame, shame, shame on you….

      • Mike 71 August 23, 2020 at 4:07 pm #

        Frankly Scarlett, I don’t give a damn, particularly for those who driven by a greedy, arrogant, self-centered sense of entitlement to “all the land between the river (Jordan) and the sea (Mediterranean),” with no regard for the rights of the indigenous Jewish people to their ancestral homeland. While Israelis are willing to compromise, allowing a Palestinian state within the context of the two state solution, the arrogant Palestinians and their vile toadies are not. If the conflict must only be resolved only as a “one to the exclusion of the other” proposition, then Israel is just as entitled to remain the “one state solution,” as Palestinians have consistently rejected Israeli offers for independent statehood since 1948. The Israelis are just as as entitled to self-determination as any other people and may invoke their “inherent right to individual, or collective self-defense,” as recognized under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter!

      • Richard Falk August 23, 2020 at 9:44 pm #

        You must be aware of what a mess the world would be in if equivalent
        or many better grounded ‘ancestral rights’ were granted to all peoples, starting
        with North America and other white settler societies. The Zionist Project succeeded with
        their claims in Palestine by violence and geopolitics, and now Zionist militants have the
        audacity to justify subjugating and excluding Palestinians in their own homeland
        by establishing an apartheid regime of control, and as in South Africa, offering
        bantustans in exchange for acquiescence, and the further audacity to complain when the Palestinians refuse.

      • Mike 71 August 24, 2020 at 4:42 pm #

        Scarlett honey, you must learn that you cannot have everything that your avaricious little heart desires. Like that other “Lost Cause,” a “White Supremacist” Confederacy, in which slaves dutifully picked the master’s cotton, the “House N****rs” washed his laundry, cooked his meals and and satisfied his sexual desires, Palestinian intransigence and “rejectionism” has not won them independence. Again, if a negotiated resolution of the conflict is not an option for them, and Palestinians define the conflict as a strictly “one to the exclusion of the other” proposition, then Israel is as much entitled to take the entirety of the former British. Mandate by military force. The contemporary I.D.F. is a more formidable force than that which prevailed in the 1967 “Six Day War.”

        In an “Orwellian Inversion (war is peace, poverty is plenty and ignorance is strength),” Palestinians seek to impose a 20% minority, supplemented with illegal immigration “Arab Supremacist Apartheid Regime” over a 75% majority Israeli Jewish population. How that would differ from the former “Apartheid South Africa,” once ruled by a 10% “White Supremacist Apartheid Regime” over a 90% Black and Mixed Race majority population, the anti-Semitic slanderers have yet to explain. Minority “Apartheid Regimes,” whether “White Supremacist,” or “Arab Supremacist,” deny the rights to democratic and majority rule. Just as South Africans are entitled to majority rule in their nation, Israelis are entitled to that same right in theirs.

        Scarlett honey, your attitude is decidedly un-Christian; to learn how real Christians support Israel’s right to self-determination, visit “Christians United For Israel,” While the Christian population is declining in Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories, it is actually increasing in Israel. The rest of the Arab world’s losing patience and is tiring of Palestinian intransigence; they want to obtain trade, technology and defense relationships with Israelis against the common enemy, Iran. In the words of Emirati businessman Khalif Ahmad Hatoor, “The Emirates are the land of opportunity for Israelis; there are benefits too for Palestinians, if they stop playing “loser theater.”

  2. ray032 August 16, 2020 at 2:52 pm #

    Interesting insights from a British Journalist living in Arab Nazareth, not the Jewish only settlement of Upper Nazareth.

    He exposes the cynical Trump serving duplicity in the announced Israel-UAE Diplomatic Recognition, designed to boost Trump’s chances in the Election, not to do anything for the long oppressed Palestinian People.

    ‘How the Israel-UAE deal puts the bogus peace industry back in business’

    Washington, Israel and the Gulf states want to sharpen the Middle East’s battle lines. The Palestinian issue was in the way

  3. Paul Wapner August 16, 2020 at 9:38 pm #

    Thanks for this perceptive analysis of the ‘deal.’ Each day it is harder to recognize the world we’re living in. The unabashed triumph of (narrowly defined) self-interest and full display of politicking at the expense of other’s lives are so hard to stomach. Netanyahu has learned that his threat of annexation has become his universal bargaining chip—domestically and internationally. Sad state of affairs.

  4. Rabbi Ira Youdovin August 17, 2020 at 4:22 pm #


    This post confuses me. On the one hand, you acknowledge that most Arab states have “long ago abandoned meaningful support for the Palestinian struggle and adopted policies that moved by stages towarding the sort of cooperation that is now normalized and endorsed openly in the [Israel/UAE] agreement; and that close to zero attention has been paid in the west to how the Agreement harms the Palestinians. But you fail to suggest what the Palestinians might do to arrest their fall from the world’s radar screen.

    In previous posts, you recommend that the Palestinians do nothing—other than voicing protests in cyberspace, on college campuses and in formal venues such as the UN and ICC—while awaiting a groundswell of support from around the world that forces Israel to reconstruct itself into a bi-national state. One can cite what happened in South Africa as evidence that this scenario might evolve…but only if the enormous differences between the two contexts are disregarded. But realistically, the support isn’t there, at least not in places where it might influence policy. Nor is there any indication that things might change to their advantage. To the contrary, the needle is moving in the opposite direction. By pursuing their current strategy, the Palestinians continue their march on a treadmill to oblivion.

    One example. The PA’s response to the Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, its “Peace and Prosperity” plan, and the Israel/UAE Agreement was to sever relations with both Israel and Washington. But what might have happened had the Palestinians expressed interest? Trump, eager to enhance his electoral prospects by making the “Deal of the Century,” might have been receptive to at least listening to Palestinians’ agenda, and perhaps granting some of it if in order to bring the Palestinians on board. But they couldn’t. The Palestinian political landscape is so littered with internal discord that it’s impossible for them to adopt a consensus policy that has credibility.

    One can blame Israel. One can blame Trump. One can blame the Arab nations for betrayal. But the words Shakespeare puts into the mouth of the Roman nobleman Cassius come to mind: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in the stars/But in ourselves.”

    Rabbi Ira Youdovin

    • Richard Falk August 17, 2020 at 11:27 pm #


      Your thoughtful and coherent comment deserves a response, but it will sound familiar
      to you. After four years of consistently anti-Palestinian moves, why should the PA dignify
      Trumpist diplomacy involving the ‘Peace to Prosperity’ plan, which is ridiculously one-sided,
      and Israel certainly will not relinquish the legalization of annexation, the centerpiece of the
      Netanyahu legacy scenario.

      I grant two things:
      –the Trump/Netanyahu approach seems ‘the only game in town’;
      –the PA does not provide the Palestinian people with unified or legitimate leadership,
      and could do better.

      But the bedrock disagreement between our positions remains: you expect the peace initiatives
      to come from the weak side, I believe it needs to come primarily from the strong side. Instead
      the weak side is quiet while the strong side pushes its advantage as far as the White House allows.
      Israel is the beneficiary of the UAE Agreement as compensation for delaying ‘unlawful’ annexation.

      In the end, I accept the assessments of Frederick Douglass, MLK, Mandela, Fanon, etc.; in Douglass’
      words: “If there is not struggle, there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It
      never has and it never will.”

      In essence, the way ONLY way forward for the Palestinian people is RESISTANCE + GLOBAL SOLIDARITY.

      Accommodating structures of injustice never works whether it is a matter of police brutality in America
      or apartheid in Israel. It is a formula for surrender as every native American or Hawaiian will tell you,
      and most Palestinians will agree despite the ordeal of occupation and dispersion. Even a few prominent Zionists
      (e.g. Beinert, Jeff Halper) have come belatedly to accept

      Hope you are managing to stay satisfied while staying safe, the challenge we are facing in Turkey.


      • Mike 71 August 22, 2020 at 5:47 pm #

        Most often, in post war diplomacy, it is the vanquished parties which sue for peace. Such was the case when both Germany and Japan surrendered post World War II. Before Japan surrendered, President Truman threatened a “reign of destruction from the sky which the world has never seen,” which is what the Palestinians in Gaza are currently experiencing as a consequence of arson balloons, which target Israeli farmland, and missiles fired from Gaza residential neighborhoods.

        On. March 10, 1945, B-29 bombers launched an incendiary raid which killed over 100,000 Japanese and burned out 16 square miles of central Tokyo. That raid was later overshadowed by the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which brought an end to the war. On August 15th, Emperor Hirohito asked the Japanese people to “accept the unacceptable and endure the unendurable.” The Emperor was forced into making that decision by the cost of utter destruction of his country.

        Are the Palestinians willing to endure and accept the terrible costs of their war against Israel, rather than negotiate a two state solution, in which both Palestinians and Israel could co-exist in peace and prosperity? That appears not to be the case!

        Article 51 of the United Nations Charter recognizes an
        “inherent right to individual or collective self-defense.” In the wake of Palestinian. aggression, Israel, as a nation-state member of the U.N., is entitled to invoke that right. The Palestinians, being stateless by choice since 1948, holding mere “observer status” in the U.N., are not. Inevitably, there will be another Middle-East war, perhaps not on the scale of the 1967 “Six Day War,” but the Palestinians will have to face a scale of devastation analogous to the fire-bombing of central Tokyo on March 10, 1945. Are they ready to “accept the unacceptable and endure the unendurable?”

    • Richard Falk August 18, 2020 at 2:01 am #

      A further point: part of the Palestinian ordeal has resulted from the
      failure of the UN to make meaningful accountability responses to Israel’s major violations
      of international humanitarian law, starting with Israel’s annexation of an enlarged entire Jerusalem
      after the 1967 War. My successor in Geneva, Michael Lynk, has made this point forcefully.

      • Rabbi Ira Youdovin August 21, 2020 at 9:49 am #


        I appreciate your prompt response, which you present in a format that facilitates a constructive exchange.

        You write: But the bedrock disagreement between our positions remains: you expect the peace initiatives to come from the weak side, I believe it needs to come primarily from the strong side.

        In fact, Israel on several occasions has proposed, or endorsed, peace plans that entail enormous concessions (i.e. return of 90+ percent of the West Bank) which the Palestinians have rejected out-of-hand. But in any event, this issue is not the bedrock disagreement between us. The fundamental, and thus far irreconcilable, issue is that you seek to eliminate Israel as a Jewish ethnocracy and depict it as an obstacle that must be torn down, while I assert that with Palestinian cooperation Israel is fully capable of participating in a bi- or multilateral process leading to an equitable resolution of conflict. Your unwavering insistence on eliminating Israel, which reflects the views of no more than a part of the Palestinian community, precludes consideration of alternatives, and is thus a lethal stumbling block.

        You ask: why should the PA dignify Trumpist diplomacy involving the ‘Peace to Prosperity’ plan, which is ridiculously one-sided, and Israel certainly will not relinquish the legalization of annexation, the centerpiece of the Netanyahu legacy scenario?

        The answer should be a no-brainer. With all due respect, I must suggest that boycotting negotiations and then complaining that your interests are excluded from the outcome is monumentally self-defeating, even when the tactic is “justified” by citing decontextualized quotes from authentic human rights heroes.

        Moreover, your accusation of Israeli intransigence on annexation is discredited by facts on the ground. The Netanyahu government has aborted plans for immediate annexation largely in response to opposition from Israelis. The operative word in the agreement is “suspend”. Whether that means temporary or permanent will be determined in negotiations. As these negotiations could have a profound impact on the Palestinians’ future, and Israel repeatedly urges the Palestinians to come to the table, not wanting to dignify Trumpist diplomacy seems a lame excuse for boycott.

        But one must ask whether the stated rationale is really the motivating factor. I think not. Abbas knows that anything he agrees to will be rejected by adversaries within the Palestinian community, primarily Hamas which has become a vassal of Iran in its campaign to establish regional hegemony.

        You portray the Palestinians as helpless victims. But the reality of the situation is far more nuanced. I must respectfully conclude that urging the Palestinians to do nothing while waiting for outside actors to bail them out is perhaps not helpful.

        Stay safe,


      • Richard Falk August 22, 2020 at 12:15 am #


        In depicting the deeper cleavage you are essentially right. I believe
        that until Palestinians become equal citizens in their own state and
        throughout their homeland, the pursuit of peace through one-sided negotiations
        is worse than a waste of time. It enables the fulfillment of the maximalist
        Zionist vision, which the Palestinians unwittingly facilitated by accepting
        the diplomatic framework provided by the Oslo Principles. I also agree that
        what is at stake is the political, moral, and legal viability of a Jewish ethnocracy,
        which in my view has made reliance on an apartheid governing regime inevitable
        in a historical period of decolonization. To deny Palestinians the right of return
        to their places of residence is to render them unwelcome ‘strangers’ in their
        homeland, which even colonial powers never did, although in the white settler states
        they did worse things to the native populations. Until Zionism gives up their exclusivist
        claims to ‘the promised land’ and its ethnocratic implications what some may call ‘peace’
        I would continue to view as ‘apartheid.’

        Hoping SB offers you safety from the fires as well as the virus,


  5. Beau Oolayforos August 18, 2020 at 12:06 pm #

    Dear Professor Falk,

    The diplomatic prowess of our reality-TV star is on full display, as we see rubber-stamped some long-standing arrangements. It’s more about Iran than anything else, as was the other diplomatic triumph, in the Security Council, where Pompeo & Co. managed to secure the support of, uh, the Dominican Republic.

    Our hopefully lame-duck president touts his “alliance of democracies”, to counter the latest Yellow Threat. Are we surprised at the Iran-China rapprochement? Or that the UN Sect’y General warns of the World divided into 2 blocs? Old, dusty, history-book stuff. Do the signatories to this perfunctory Agreement, with their atrocious human rights records, belong to the Alliance of Democracies?

  6. Beau Oolayforos August 21, 2020 at 11:07 am #

    Nice cover story, too, as it is hardly a footnote in the MSM that Gaza has been bombed for 10 days and counting.

    • Richard Falk August 22, 2020 at 12:21 am #

      We have long been conditioned by the MSM to accept this kind
      of lethal ideological filtering of the news.

      I worry also about the anti-China drift toward geopolitical confrontation.

      My greetings..

  7. Rabbi Ira Youdovin August 22, 2020 at 12:04 pm #

    “Until Zionism gives up their exclusivist claims to ‘the promised land’ and its ethnocratic implications what some may call ‘peace’…negotiations are a waste of time.”


    There are two pathways for pursuing this objective. One is violence, which the. Palestinians have employed no more than a few occasions. always to their own detriment. If negotiations are rejected as a “waste of tiime”. Where does that leave them?

    Stay safe,


  8. Mike 71 August 22, 2020 at 8:16 pm #

    Some details of the U.A.E. peace agreement are speculative. Israel “suspended” the application of sovereignty (not “annexation,” as there is no sovereign Palestinian entity, only two feuding terrorist enclaves) to parts of Judea and Samaria. Prime Minister Netanyahu was influenced by both domestic and international opposition to the application of sovereignty, and there were “compensatory benefits,” in terms of trade, technology and a mutual defense alliance against Iranian hegemony to both Israel and the U.A.E. The U.A.E. benefited in market diversification, the possibility of obtaining advanced defensive weapons, due to their proximity to Iran and adding Israel to the alliance against Iranian hegemony.

    Suspension of the application of sovereignty was part of the Israeli concession to obtain formal peace with the U.A.E., although there had never been war, or territorial disputes between them. It was also an inducement for other Arab states to negotiate peace treaties, trade and defense relationships with Israel. The suspension has no particular time limits and may extend for years, and speculation that it will only last for a few months, or only a single year are baseless.

    If Palestinians continue to refuse to negotiate a two state solution, they will continue to remain stateless, as they have since 1948, leaving Israel, by default, the “single state solution.” As the “single state,” Israel is free to negotiate “normalization” with other Arab states without Palestinian participation, or interference. “Normalization” will occur, irrespective of whether Iran, its proxies and toadies approve or not. It may be too soon for Thomas Friedman’s characterization of the agreement as a “geopolitical earthquake,” but it is certainly a continuation of the trend which began with the Egyptians in 1979.

    The U.A.E. peace agreement does not directly, or adversely affect the Palestinians, only their refusal to engage in direct negotiations with the Israelis does that. They prefer to remain isolated and oblivious to significant events which pass them by. Given Gulf Arab cooperation with Israel, under the table, in economic, diplomatic, cyber-security and defense spheres against Iranian hegemony, continue to have U.S. support. A Biden victory in November will not change that despite the presence on Antisemites Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib as a minor force in the Democrat party, Palestinians cannot have a state on the indefensible 1949 “cease-fire Green line,” which is not recognized as an international boundary. Having rejected the generous 2008 Olmert government peace offer, for over 94% of Judea and Samaria, without counter-offer, or offer to negotiate, “Palestinian Authority President for Life Abbas,” now in the 16th year of the four year term to which he was elected in 2005, need only look in the mirror to see who blew-off the two-state solution. In diplomacy, as in golf, there are no “Mulligans (Do Overs)” and lost opportunities are almost never

    Suspension of application of sovereignty provides Palestinians yet another opportunity to negotiate a better solution, should they choose to accept it. But, if once again they refuse to negotiate, as they have since 2014, Israel could apply sovereignty to part, or all of Judea and Samaria, if Palestinians choose to remain stateless. Under the Doctrine of Uti Possidetis, Israel, as the victorious belligerent of the 1967 “Six Day War,” may retain possession of captured territory, until possession is modified by treaty. See:
    (Latin: As you possess, you may possess henceforth)
    The infamous “Three Noes (No negotiation, recognition, or peace with Israel) of the 1967 Arab League Khartoum Conference ensures that Israel retains acquired territory, by making trading land for peace impossible. Note that Egypt, in abandoning the “Three Noes” was able to reach a peace agreement with Israel, and after a withdrawal period, resume sovereignty over the Sinai Peninsula. Nothing short of a negotiated two state peace agreement between Palestinians and Israelis will change the status-quo.

    After 53 years (and counting), it can reasonably be argued that Palestinians have abandoned their claims, forfeited the captured territory and ceded it to Israel, where it is now available for development. The “Deal of the Century” was rejected by Palestinians, despite its potential financial benefits. The U.A.E. agreement is totally separate, as it does not involve the Palestinians, but only diplomatic, trade and defense relations between Israel and the U.A.E. However, nothing in the U.A.E. Israeli agreement precludes Palestinians from negotiating agreements with both parties. If they were to do that, the benefits in terms of stability, economics and independent statehood would be significant.

    The suspension of application of Israeli sovereignty to Judea and Samaria is not a short term temporary decision, but intended to induce other Arab states (Bahrain, Oman and others), as well as Palestinians, to reach a comprehensive regional peace, prosperity through trade and common defense against Iranian
    hegemony. The suspension will only be terminated after years if the Palestinians refuse to engage in direct negotiations for peace a two state solution and a separate independent statehood.


  1. News and Analysis (8/23/20) « Minaret of Freedom Weblog - August 23, 2020

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