Aug 24, 2020
Translated from Lutte Ouvrière (Workers’ Struggle), the newspaper of the revolutionary workers’ group active in France.
The United Arab Emirates and Israel announced in mid August that they agreed in Washington to start normal diplomatic relations with each other.
The U.S. government pushed this deal to strengthen the anti-Iranian axis in the Middle East. It’s the first time any country in the Persian Gulf has officially recognized Israel. Possibly other oil fiefdoms will follow, such as Saudia Arabia—another ally of the U.S. and adversary of Iran. As for trade relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, that started even before the deal was signed.
The United Arab Emirates claimed the deal ends any further annexation by Israel of Palestinian land in the West Bank. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu walked that back right away, saying annexation is simply postponed. The very day after the meeting, the Israeli air force dropped more bombs over Gaza.
But even if Netanyahu pushes back grabbing land for a few months, that doesn’t change anything. Netanyahu has repeatedly threatened to take over the entire West Bank. In part he is catering to his far-right electorate. But there is a distance between speechmaking and boots on the ground. Some Israeli leaders consider that the cheapest option is to let the Palestinian Authority maintain order in its part of the West Bank.
The deal between the United Arab Emirates and Israel confirms what many Palestinians already knew. To defend their rights, now as in the past, they can only rely on their own struggle, without expecting anything from the Arab governments and ruling classes.