Israel-UAE Bonhomie: The Dangers Ahead

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Even when the flames of the blasts of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon 1 on August 4, 2020, had not doused, where death and destruction,  misfortune and misery has become the fate of Lebanese , that Arab states should have run to share the grief and started to investigate ‘who is responsible’ for the blasts,  as Michel Aoun, the Lebanon President was the first to express fears that a rocket or a bomb was used 2 and on August 13, 2020, Lebanon Ex. Interior minister (2014-16) Nohad Machnouk became the first senior politician to openly blame Israel for the blasts 3 .  “This operation in Beirut was carried out by Israel in a clear and explicit manner, it is clear we are looking at a crime against humanity, and therefore no one dares to claim responsibility for it” he said. Israel has denied any responsibility and US president Donald Trump, twice has announced that the blasts were done by ‘Bomb of some kind’ and ‘Beirut blast might not have been accident’ 4, but instead the Arab states seem to be enjoying their ‘neighbourly-devastation’ and dancing to the sense of Déjà vu with Tel Aviv as UAE and Israel have decided to normalise their diplomatic relations on August 14, 2020.  Perhaps, never in the history of humankind such a dehumanised act has happened where on one hand, Israeli politicians have called the blasts as a ‘Gift of God’ 5 and on the other-UAE has gifted an embassy to Israel and very soon, it is expected that Bahrain, Oman, Sudan, Kuwait, Qatar and finally the ringmaster-Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is to welcome Israel with the same zest.  But, UAE has been shown its ‘status’ as Israel has opposed the sale of F-35 fighter jets to UAE from US 6 within five-days of this new honeymoon on August 18, 2020.

What hinges between US and Israel is the ‘annexation plan’ of West Bank and Jordan valley by Israel, which has been rejected by China on June 1, 2020, 7 and which Trump is desperately trying to get through before his elections in coming November, and the strategy is working as Trump without the slightest remorse ( should it have ever been expected) danced on the dead (s) of Lebanon as he had already certified that Beirut blast was by way of a bomb, and not an accident, to intimidate and scare the Arabs, to fall in compliance to Washington tunes which by extension is actually Tel Aviv talking.  Israel has long considered Lebanon as its agenda for Greater-Israel which is now all set to be happening.

As ends justify the means, today all Arab states are raring to embrace Israel and very sooner or later it would be announced, but Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu had on August 3, 2020, a day before the Beirut blasts, had said that ‘annexation plan was not off the table’ 8 and on August 14, 2020, Trump while commemorating UAE-Israel embassy opening declared, ‘Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank was “more than just off the table” and that Israel had agreed not to carry it out -in a contradiction of Benjamin Netanyahu’s declaration hours earlier that it “remains on the table.” But Trump also said that while that was the situation “right now,” he couldn’t talk about “some time in the future,” and his ambassador to Israel said it was “off the table now, but it’s not off the table permanently.”’ 9  It can  therefore be anyone guess that after the hogwash of this embassy brouhaha the ‘annexation-plan’ is coming and may be even before November 2020, but later to it a certainty for sure. Be it Trump or Joseph Biden.  In a three-week time UAE Crown Prince MbZ and Netanyahu are to be the coveted guests in White House and the deal is to be sealed.

It is now an expected probability that the Israeli embassy in UAE in just the opening of the start of the new game-plan heading to shape the new Middle-East, the real objective of the entire project is to ‘keep-an-eye’ on Gwadar Port of Baluchistan in Pakistan, which is the end-note of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, towards which China has invested billions of USD, as once the straits of Malacca, in South China sea, are to be blocked by US and India, China will have no opening for its goods to reach to  the whole of Europe and US.  China most ambitious project ever is CPEC under Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in which 68 10 countries have joined, and China sensing danger, has started to invest in development of railways from its Kashgar province to Gwadar in Baluchistan by investing 7.2 billion USD 11.   The trigger of this ‘embassy-move’ apart from the utmost objective of ‘annexation-plan’ is the way Iran and China have joined hands into a 400 billion USD pact  on July 13, 2020 12 which US and Israel want to be annulled or fall into jeopardy as soon as possible. China has already announced that it would join the Chabahar port of Iran with Gwadar port of Pakistan and which is what has to be tapped.

If some recent developments are to be assuaged then it was India, which betrayed Iran by stopping all oil imports from Iran from May 2, 2019 which forced Iran foreign minister Javed Zarif to air-dash to meet his counterpart in India on May 14, 2019 13 , and seek not to succumb to US imposed sanctions, but India looked the other way, as KSA assured India of no shortage of oil supplies  14 . India very artfully charted Iran into its scheme as the Chabahar agenda was widely considered as a strategic-axis to counter China-Pakistan with Iranian help and from which now Iran has made India to bow out 15, as India could not see beyond the US directives which finally forced Iran to shake -hands with China. China came up with its pact owing to Iran’s permanent stance against US hegemony in Middle-East.

This Gwadar-Chabahar junction is a scourge to US and Israel and the obvious corollary of ‘embassy’ is going to be the establishment of Israeli army bases in UAE which will monitor Iran from UAE and who is going to facilitate more into it? Oman.  Oman has long been into Israel’s kitty and its two ports; Sultan Qaboos port and port of Duqum will be the favorite haunt of Israel &US in order to keep a watchful eye on China-Pakistan activities.  It may also be needed to be informed that Israel too is ready to rejuvenate its railway project  ( since 2018) to start to connect from Haifa, through Oman, into the entire Gulf, including UAE and KSA 16 .

India which is very-well supported by Israel (and vice-versa) in its conflict with China and Pakistan will get the much needed ‘shot in arm’ by Israel’s deployment of its most advanced radar-system in UAE and Oman, to play a long spoilsport for China-Pakistan, which ultimate will result to India’s advantage,  India is is also geared-up  to make an underwater train between Mumbai to UAE  to become a reality soon. 17 It is now obvious that when Israel would interfere with Iran and Pakistan, a reaction would be a  fallout on UAE or Oman lands, far from the Israeli boundaries! So now the sum-up game is full. It would be Arab states (with Israel) versus Pakistan and Iran. Everything is to the advantage of Israel.  Middle-East re-shaping has begun.

Ironically, this ‘embassy’ deal came on August 14, 2020 which is independence-day of Pakistan and on the eve of India’s independence day. Which of the two has been gifted is a simple answer. Interestingly, three days earlier on August 11, 2020, Israel newspaper Haaretz, had carried an Opinion piece,’ Pakistan rejection of Israel threatens Pakistani lives’ 18 , the message was a warning to Pakistan. Accept Israel the way UAE was suppose to be!

Pakistan, is a definitive player in Middle-East, owing to its millions of workers and its traditional ties with both UAE and KSA but had been wary to both as when India had witnessed a Pulwama Attack on February 14, 2019 19 , in which 42 Indian soldiers died, Organisation of Islamic Countries(OIC)invited India’s foreign minister (late) Sushma Swaraj as a ‘Guest of Honour’ 20  which was seen as a major diplomatic victory of India over Pakistan, a meeting which Pakistan boycotted.  It is therefore no wonder, that when Pakistan army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa was in KSA 21, after Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, had announced that Pakistan would be grooming another bloc, apart from OIC, with Turkey, Malaysia and Iran, after Pakistan had found that KSA and UAE were disinterested to raise the issue of Kashmir, on the very day Netanyahu announced 22  that Israel would be resuming direct flights to Dubai, meaning thereby; that KSA airspace would now be available to Israel.  The message was sent loud and clear : Israel is now in the driving-seat as far as policies making in Middle-East is concerned.

All expectations came true as what has been reported by a Pakistan news anchor Shahid Maitla 23 ,  on Bajwa’s  KSA visit, is that KSA had a whole list of Do’s and Don’ts for Pakistan, something absolutely unwarranted in diplomatic parlance. Pakistan was asked to lower down its relations and warmth with China , and that, Pakistan should not support China against India and instead leave China alone and Pakistan should from its side not support China-Iran deal, forget Kashmir and normalise relations with India, obviously it all took Pakistan by surprise, as never before KSA had been so authoritative and assertive in the past. May be these are signs of desperation as KSA crown prince MbS has been served with a summon by US court 24  over MbS intelligence department official Saad Al Jabri allegations that MbS had sent death squads to kill him too on the lines of which Jamal Khashogi was killed. But, would India had ever got such a profound overseas campaigner? It is advantage India in toto.

UAE thenceforth is now going to be on a very sticky wicket as Netanyahu has already announced that UAE is ought to be an ‘advanced-democracy’ 25  which would mean that very soon there is going to be a new-world-order in whole of Gulf states, where monarchy would be reduced to be a titular-states as has been done to British monarchy. Israelis are very soon to start to call the shots in UAE as buying and investing properties in UAE is Israel priority, with of course, the handling of security. Israel intelligence chief Yossi Cohen is already in Dubai 26.

The writer is a former UP State Information Commissioner. He is also a lawyer based in Lucknow.







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26-   Israel’s Mossad Chief Visits UAE For Security Talks: State Media




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