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A Decent Person Would Oppose the Israel-UAE Deal

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Left: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right: Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed.
Left: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right: Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed.Credit: AFP

A decent person has to ask himself with everything he does, even while preparing dinner, whether his activity serves the struggle to end the occupation. If the dinner menu serves the purpose, well and good; if not, he has to find a different menu. Without this obsession he is not to be considered an ethical person who pursues justice, while his country is abusing another nation in his name.

And moreover, decent parents ask their son where he obtained the loot that he brought home, and later they try to find out whether their son is hanging out with criminals. Parents who are not decent will be gleeful at the find, despite serious suspicions that the loot was acquired by deception. Whether by cheating an elderly person or by robbing someone defenseless.

The disgraceful agreement with the United Arab Emirates is “a Palestinian bypass agreement,” as described by Middle East scholar Yossi Amitai. It’s an agreement that grants legitimacy to the continued oppression of the Palestinians: Continue with the occupation, and the UAE will grant you normalization. Meanwhile the muses have not fallen silent, they are actually rejoicing.

The decent people aren’t asking impertinent questions. The main thing is that the child, or in our case the father, delivered the loot. It doesn’t matter if on the way he robbed elderly people or trampled nations. As soon as the word “normalization” was heard, the adrenalin started to flow in the newspaper editorial rooms, the TV studios, the radio and the social networks.

Decent journalists are delivering tons of compliments: “This peace is entirely his,” says Nahum Barnea in the daily Yedioth Ahronoth. “He deserves a sincere and double blessing,” says Channel 12 pundit Amnon Abramovich. Rran Zinger, the commentator on Kan Channel 11, tweets that the ruler of the emirates has promoted “the establishment of a Palestinian state.”

Is it too much to ask these esteemed people, and others, to check the merchandise first? After all, Netanyahu’s shiny new acquisition is a regime that, in addition to all the usual injustices in the Arab world, “disappears” citizens and foreign residents, and disgracefully exploits migrant workers, especially women. In addition, the second side of the agreement, Donald Trump, symbolizes the craziness in relations among countries and people. And there is no need to say much about the third side, Benjamin Netanyahu, to whose name five glamorous words have been added: bribery, fraud, breach of trust.

On this occasion let us mention that the honeymoon between Israel and the shah of Iran ended in a revolution whose two main enemies, after the shah, were the United States and Israel. The support of the shah by those two countries contributed its part to the rise of fanatical reactionary forces in Iran, who are both against their people and against anything that smells of democracy or human rights. Why? Because those who symbolized these values – only verbally, of course (Israel and the United States), supported the monstrous shah to the end.

Still, I’m sorry that I am forced here to cool the enthusiasm of decent people and to say that even this “peace” agreement, like the others, will be placed deep into the freezer in the pantheon of deceit. Decent people know it’s not peace, but by adopting it they soothe their conscience, which tends to fall silent whenever a corrupt Arab leader wants closer relations with Israel the occupier.

Furthermore: Only a little water flowed under the bridge between the enthusiastic reception for President Yitzhak Navon, who spoke at the People’s Assembly in Cairo in fluent Arabic, and the Egyptian public’s total boycott of Israel and its occupation. And very soon it also turned out that this peace was actually a preface to war: Several years after it was signed, half of Lebanon was occupied.

And in general, what contribution have the peace agreements made to the welfare of the Palestinians to date? Can Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi release a single Palestinian prisoner? Can King Abdullah of Jordan postpone the demolition of a single shack in the Jordan Valley?

And finally, a word to our brothers in the emirates: If you want to normalize relations, please do so. But why present it as being done for the Palestinians’ sake? You both cause the wound and pour salt on it.