How to understand the big Israel-Bahrain/UAE deals?

Today Trump will preside over normalization accords between Israel and Bahrain and UAE.

Let’s unpack this:

One: Is this a good thing?

In terms of reducing tensions between Israel and these Arab governments—certainly yes.
1/
Two: But does this represent a shift in Arab-Israeli relations?

Absolutely. A number of Arab governments are now willing to bypass the PLO and build relations directly with Israel that suits their interests.
2/
Three: But is this likely to be the warm peace that Israelis have long desired?

Probably not. Neither Bahrain nor the UAE are democracies.

In fact their Freedom House rankings are among the lowest in the world
Bahrain 11/100 (same as Gaza). UAE 17/100 (same as Iran).

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Four: Neither of the two most democratic Arab countries Tunisia-70 or Lebanon-44 are ready to make peace with Israel.

freedomhouse.org/explore-the-ma…
4/
Five: So what’s the big deal?

-PR win for Israeli PM Netanyahu does bring normalization deals—potentially lucrative.

-PR wins for Bahrain & UAE which no longer wanted to be tied to Saudi’s sinking fortunes in DC.

-And of course a big pre-election boost for Trump!

5/
Six: But what about the Palestinians?

-Their leadership feels angry; betrayed by Arab states.

- But maybe it's better that the Palestinian quest for freedom Not be based on the illusion of Arab Goverment support.

-So maybe this is good for them
6/
Seven: Anything else? Yep, always a catch.

In 2015 @JohnKerry got Israel to recommit the age-old status quo on key Jerusalem holy site know as the Haram Al Sharif/Temple Mount: "Muslims pray on the Temple Mount; non-Muslims visit the Temple Mount."

mfa.gov.il/MFA/PressRoom/…
7/
Eight: But there is speculation that accords will alter the US/Israeli agreement on this.

Some say it will reduce the area exclusively designated for Muslim prayer from whole Temple Mount/Haram to the smaller Al Aqsa mosque.

See:



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9/NB“Jewish law(is)understood to bar entry to the site. Jewish tradition regards entry tothe Holy of Holies(the innermost sanctum of the temple where G-d’s presence dwells)as strictly forbidden&(thus)Jews traditionally did not enter the Temple Mount at all myjewishlearning.com/article/what-i…

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More from @HadyAmr

22 Jul
Today the Democratic Party released its much-heralded Party platform.

There’s been much debate about Israel/Palestine components of the platform.

As a lifelong progressive, and someone known for his views on Israel/Palestine, some thoughts. /1

demconvention.com/wp-content/upl…
At outset let me say this. My core belief is well summed up in the following MLK quote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere…Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” And it is that spirit in which I work (photo w/1st child at MLK memorial) /2
In a nutshell, the language on Israel/Palestine is far from what progressives like me had hoped for. But it also represents significant progress from 2016.

Compare as follows: 2016
democrats.org/wp-content/upl…
Read 18 tweets
30 May 19
The Implications of Israeli PM Netanyahu's inability to form a government are bad for Bibi and bad for Trump.

Let me explain:

First, there will be a new vote in late September. /1
Second. Re-vote strengthens Bibi’s opponents on both the Left and Right who will have learned their lessons. Israeli Arab parties may unite to gain more support. Right wing parties will also work smarter. Bibi looks weak; he might lose next round. /2
Third, new vote likely prolongs standoff over public funds that the Palestinian leadership says Israel is illegally confiscating.

This has already caused a financial crisis in West Bank and could lead to collapse of Pal Government without continued Gulf funding. /3
Read 7 tweets
20 May 19
I agree with the Trump team that the Palestinian economy is in dire need of help. BUT the help Palestinians need is Freedom, Land and Security, not Investment.
Gaza’s unemployment at 53% is higher than any country on earth. Israel is at 4%. Population density in Gaza is 13x that in Israel. See our recent report: brookings.edu/wp-content/upl…
GDP/capita in Gaza is under $2000. It is over $40,000 in Israel 20x higher! Unconscionable and dangerous.
Read 8 tweets

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