Naftali Bennett seals Israel’s rapprochement with the Emirates in Abu Dhabi

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is welcomed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan in Abu Dhabi December 12, 2021 during the first visit by an Israeli leader to the United Arab Emirates.

Benjamin Netanyahu had dreamed of this trip. His successor does it for him. On Sunday, December 12, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who has been in power since June, flew to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He was due to meet with the federation’s strongman, Mohammed Ben Zayed Al-Nahyane, known as ‘MBZ’, on Monday.

This is the result of the so-called “Abraham” Accords, which since 2020 have enabled the normalization of relations between the Jewish state and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and, even more confusingly, Sudan. The rapprochement with the Emirates completed by the Trump administration had given rise to three of Mr Netanyahu’s travel plans being postponed ultimately from Abu Dhabi. They did not want to allow the former prime minister to turn this event into an election campaign ahead of the March 2021 general election.

also read Article reserved for our subscribers Historical rapprochement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates

Vow of firmness towards Iran

In Abu Dhabi, Mr. Bennett should continue efforts led by various Israeli officials with their allies in the Middle East, in Washington and in Europe to urge them to show determination on Iran. Negotiations wanted by the US resumed in Vienna in December to salvage what can still be salvaged from the 2015 international Iran nuclear deal. Israel sees these efforts as a waste of time. He is committed to maintaining the narrowest possible vice, economically and militarily, in the Islamic Republic.

The Jewish state is suspicious of the recent trip by Mohammed Ben Zayed’s own brother Tahnoun to Tehran, where he met with President Raisi. An embryo of dialogue aimed at defusing tensions with the great Iranian neighbor. At the same time, the Gulf Cooperation Council is ready to accept a return to the 2015 nuclear deal – a position that goes against the strong criticism of the Arab monarchies and Israel six years ago.

also read Article reserved for our subscribers “MBZ”, the true strongman of golf

On Friday, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz spoke publicly in Washington for the first time about a “Plan B” of a military nature, in case this sluggish dialogue fails. So far, the United States has been content to cling to and repeat a mantra not very reassuring to its Gulf and Israeli allies “Will not allow Tehran to get a nuclear weapon”while refusing to state their red lines.

Joint military exercises

Aside from the nuclear threat, Israel and the Emirates take care of Tehran’s missile arsenal, its attacks on merchant ships in the Persian Gulf, its fleet of drones, and its technology transfers to its allied militiamen in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen. In the autumn, the Emirati, Israeli and Bahraini armies conducted joint military air and naval exercises under the leadership of the American regional command Centcom (United States Central Command), to which Israel has been officially affiliated since September.

You still have 33.98% of this article to read. The following is for subscribers only.

Leave a Comment