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Peace Plans That Have Nothing to Do With Peace

4 9 235

On September 11, 2020, Bahrain announced that it had agreed to normalize relations with Israel, following a similar agreement by the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Both agreements are being packaged and sold as historic peace plans.

They’re Not Peace Plans

When President Carter brokered the peace plan between Israel and Egypt, that was a historic and significant achievement because every Arab-Israeli war up to that point was initially or primarily an Egyptian-Israeli war. For two countries to sign a peace plan, they have to have not already been in a state of peace. For two countries to sign a peace plan, they have to have been at war. But neither the UAE nor Bahrain have ever been at war with Israel. They have never been involved in a war with Israel. And, so, unlike Carter’s achievement, Trump’s achievement is not significant because it does not bring about a significant change in the Middle East. The relations that the agreements supposedly normalize have, covertly, been in the process of being normalized for a long time: a very long time.

"For two countries to sign a peace plan, they have to have been at war. But neither the UAE nor Bahrain have ever been at war with Israel."

Israel and the UAE have for a long time been engaged in commercial and security ties. In July, two Israeli defense companies signed agreements with an UAE tech firm that works in artificial intelligence. And, even before the new normalization of relations, senior Israeli officials had visited the UAE for a number of years. More importantly, according to Rashid Khalidi, professor of modern Arab studies at Columbia University, the UAE’s air defense system and missile defense system are manufactured in Israel. They are made by Raytheon, which is an American company, though they are largely made in Israel. And the ties between Israel and the UAE are not new. Reporting by UPI in January of 2012 had already revealed that the UAE had “discreet ties with private security companies in Israel to protect its oil fields and borders.” They report that ties between the UAE’s Critical National Infrastructure Authority and several Israeli companies may go back to as early as 2007. Shockingly, and little discussed, clandestine ties go back even further than that. According to intelligence columnist for Haaretz, Yossi Melman, Israel and the UAE established intelligence community ties at least as early as the 1970s. And, he says, “Every head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency since then has had a relationship with his counterpart in the UAE.”

The same is true of Bahrain: Israel and Bahrain began forging ties decades ago. Stephen Zunes, professor of politics and international studies at the University of San Francisco, told me in a personal correspondence that there have been informal economic relations between Israel and Bahrain going back at least a couple of decades. Israel has reportedly sold spy software to Bahrain. According to reporting by the New York Times, Bahrain had already hosted an Israeli cabinet official as early as 1994. Three years ago, in 2017, Bahrain even sent a delegation to Israel. In the same year, at a security conference in Munich, Bahrain’s foreign minister approached Israel’s foreign minister to pass on a message from the king that he had already decided to “move towards normalization with Israel.” Bahrain is ruled by a US backed dictator whose family has ruled the kingdom for over two hundred........

© Common Dreams

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