Cooperation between the UAE and Israeli authorities extends beyond sports, political and security issues in the direction of joint regional intervention, as in the recent announcement that UAE is coordinating relations between Israel and the Libyan general Khalifa Haftar
by Al Quds al Arabi
(translation by Mideast Mirror Ltd)
U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman announced that his country is prepared to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and Israeli settlements in the West Bank in the coming weeks. This resonates with Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu’s announcement as part of his government formation agreement with Kahol Lavan party leader Benny Gantz that the annexation process will commence on July 1st and include the Jordan Valley and all Israeli settlements on the West Bank.
This coincided with the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s Israel Speaks Arabic Facebook page publishing UAE UN Ambassador to Lana Nusseibeh’s responses to Israeli journalist David Barak’s question about whether there is Israeli/UAE cooperation in ‘fighting the coronavirus’, saying that she is certain ‘there is room for such cooperation’ and that she ‘does not believe the UAE would object to it.’
The AJC (American Jewish Committee) organized the meeting with the ambassador, who volunteered that she had read a report about Israeli scientists potentially finding a solution to the coronavirus and considers it ‘very stimulating for our region’. In a comment on these statements, one Israeli journalist noted, ‘Israel and the UAE have no official diplomatic relations, but have shared a covert alliance for over 25 years.’
The ‘cooperation’ in question has naturally become common knowledge, and it has nothing to do with coronavirus-related diplomacy, as it is not the Ministry of Health that is in charge of it, but Israel’s foreign intelligence service (Mossad). Nor does the matter boil down to combatting the epidemic on the Mossad’s part and praising Israeli scientific efforts and ‘cooperation’ on the UAE’s part; as the Israeli journalist said, there is ‘a covert alliance’ that manifests itself in many ways, some of them complicated and others simple, clear, and blatant.
Sports is one of the ‘lighter’ manifestations. For instance, Israeli Minister of Culture and Sport Miri Regev supported the Israeli judo team’s participation in the Grand Slam championship in Abu Dhabi in October 2018, as well as the Israeli cycling team’s participation in the UAE Tour last February. The cooperation also extends to economic forums, as Israel was expected to attend Expo 2020 Dubai. However, ‘soft power’ manifestations do not prevent other forms of cooperation, such as Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz’s visit to meet a senior UAE official to discuss ‘intelligence and security normalization’ and present an initiative for Israeli-Gulf economic cooperation in the summer and fall of 2019.
The details of this cooperation involve Israel leaking information, such as the video Netanyahu leaked of UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed acknowledging ‘Israel’s right to defend itself’ in 2019, or the revelation of an Emirati jet carrying a major political figure repeatedly landing in Ben Gurion Airport, or DP World CEO Sultan bin Sulayem visiting Israel ‘to develop business relations’.
‘Cooperation’ between the UAE and Israeli authorities extends beyond sports, economic, medical, political and security issues in the direction of joint regional intervention, as in the recent announcement that UAE is coordinating relations between Israel and the Libyan rebel General Khalifa Haftar to train militia leaders and secure air defense systems and weapons. Worst of all is the fact that this ‘alliance’ is occurring at the Palestinians’ expense.
The sensitivity and sanctity of this issue to the Arab peoples may account for the UAE (and its Gulf allies) using drama, online buzz, and journalists and jesters to insult the Palestinians with campaigns praising Israel and ‘our Jewish cousins’ alongside campaigns mobilizing and rallying against the Palestinian people.