Follow along as I live-tweet my reading of the new UAE-Israel agreement!
1) It's a treaty. In Israel, I believe the cabinet can bind the country without a Knesset vote, but there's a tradition that Knesset gets to look at it for a couple of weeks first
2) agreement calls for exchange of resident ambassadors "as soon as is practicable" -- so full diplomatic relations, no timeline or conditions attached. That's a win for Israel, while UAE initially said it had agreed to a roadmap for full relations, giving it more leverage. 2/
Operative paragraph 4 emphasizes counter-terror commitments --they won't allow anyone to use their territory for hostile acts against the other, they won't allow support for such activities from their territory. So, eg, UAE will ensure no private funding of Hamas/PIJ/Hizbollah 3/
Note it's about terror attacks against THE OTHER STATE -- recall Israel reportedly conducted an assassination of a Hamas operative in Dubai in 2010. 4/
A "High Level Joint Forum For Peace and Co-Existence" is a typically top-down Gulf diplomacy way of fostering people-to-people ties...
The Annex adds detail on areas of cooperation. I see a missed opportunity to reference existing mechanisms for Arab-Israeli cooperation, for example the section on Science & Technology doesn't mention the ME Desalination Research Center, an outgrowth of Madrid Process, in Oman.
By contrast, the agreement does specifically mention IRENA, the international renewable energy org hosted by UAE and to which Israel already has a delegation.
Maritime Access: this is where the reality of what's changing hits you: Israeli ships now have access to a port in the Persian Gulf. Think about that.
NO mention of the status of Al Aqsa or the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif, the status of which was thrown into question by the original tripartite statement issues by USG in August.
What else is missing:
Any mention of Palestinians.
Any mention of UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, which have been formal reference points for every previous US peace effort & the two prior Israeli-Arab peace agreements, and which Trump has sought to repudiate.

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More from @tcwittes

28 Feb
As Idlib faces relentless assault by Assad & Russia, I’m revisiting my words fr March 2016: “The Obama presidency’s relentless focus on avoiding entanglements came alongside a failure to reckon with risks—especially those risks that grow from inaction.”1/…
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2 Jan
The march against antisemitism in NYC on Sunday is being organized by the local Jewish community federation & Jewish community relations council. These are umbrella orgs for NYC Jews in all their diversity, & their funding & services go beyond the Jewish community as well. 1/
Historically in the US, any Jewish community of decent size set up a local federation & CRC. The fed as a means to pool funding for essential services like elder care, relig educ, etc. The CRC as civil society voice for Jews in the wider community (eg church-state, interfaith).2/
Feds & CRCs have as a central principle that they serve all Jews in their community. The social services often serve the wider community too. There is no more basic institution in local Jewish communal life in the US, except perhaps a hevra kadisha (burial society). 3/
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17 Sep 19
Four big issues at stake in tomorrow’s Israeli elections.
*First & most remarked-on is the political future of Bibi Netanyahu. Now Israel’s longest-serving PM, he seemed invincible until this summer, when Lieberman used his party’s keystone role to deny Bibi a govt coalition. 1/
If Bibi wins a right-wing majority, he won’t just have earned a ninth political life; he’ll have earned an electoral mandate that could grant him immunity from prosecution on four major corruption cases; a decisive win may deter the AG from bringing the indictments at all. 2/
2nd issue at stake: annexation & the last faint hopes for a negotiated two-state solution. Some pooh-pooh Bibi’s pledge to annex territory as election posturing. But: he wants immunity from prosecution, & this is almost certainly a part of the price his coalition would demand. 3/
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21 Mar 19
Trump's latest gift to Bibi Netanyahu's re-election campaign is a careless, needless undermining of US national interests, in Arab-Israeli peacemaking and also well beyond the Middle East. It also signs the death warrant for Jared's long-awaited peace plan. A thread. 1/
First: there's some contention over whether UNSCR 242 applies to the Golan, but there's no question that key Arab governments will read today's move as undermining the US commitment to 242, which is a foundation for the Egyptian-Israeli & Jordanian-Israeli peace agreements. 2/
UNSCR 242 has also been a key term of reference for every major US effort on Arab-Israeli peace, eg summits/conferences including other regional govts. Trump's move raises the Q of whether the US stands by those terms of reference, the foundations of Arab-Israeli rapprochement.3/
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19 Jan 19
I appreciate @JacksonDiehl’s engagement with the article I wrote w Mara Karlin in @ForeignAffairs (…) I feel compelled to note that Jackson, in making a worthy argument of his own, overreads ours. 1/
I am not among those who have called Trump’s withdrawal from Syria correct. I‘ve been quite clear & public that I thought our troops there could not achieve the goals set for them by the Trump policy that held until December, but that they were still needed to combat ISIS and..2/
...that the abrupt & unconsidered US withdrawal decision was harmful to US interests and credibility.
Mara and I explicitly do not argue in our FA piece for an American withdrawal from the Middle East. 3/
Read 12 tweets
29 Oct 18
I have never seen so many people in my shul. Not in 25 years. So grateful to so many people across DC coming here to show solidarity, unity and love. #NoHate
My rabbis, @RabbiDoubleA and Lauren @lholtzblatt, open the service. “Tonight’s love leaves fear, & those who promote it, lost in its powerful shadow.” #PittsburghShooting #NoHate.
Mayor Bowser: “In the face of hate, we stand united in love.” #PittsburghShooting #NoHate
Read 21 tweets

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