Since gaining independence in 1971, the United Arab Emirates, like other Arab nations, has not had formal relations with Israel. Yesterday, President Trump announced that Israel and this small, wealthy country will establish complete diplomatic ties, including bilateral economic treaties, tourism, and direct flights. In exchange, Jerusalem has dropped its plans to extend its sovereignty to parts of the West Bank. Shmuel Rosner comments:
Israel gained good relations with an Arab country. And by gaining it, it sends a message that cannot be lost on other countries: normalization is here, and those refusing to join in will be left behind. More specifically Israel, proves the point that time is on its side. It proves the point, made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu many years ago, that resolving the Palestinian issue is not the key to Middle East peace, or to normalizing relations with the Arab world.
Strategically speaking, it is a crucial message. Especially for those still stuck on the notion that the road to Baghdad goes through Ramallah, or some other version of this old, outdated notion. Netanyahu proved his critics wrong. He does not move forward with resolving the Palestinian conflict and yet, he advances Israel’s relations with the Arab world.
[But] the real addressees of this message are not Israelis. They’re the Palestinians. The message to them is: compromise or lose. It is a message to Arab states: what are you waiting for? It is a message to Iran: the coalition against your ambitions is being shaped. It is a message to the world: “If you want peace, here is one way to get it. It’s not the way you envisioned it and failed to implement it. It’s a way that may actually work.”