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What more than surrender does the UAE want from the Palestinian Authority?

Isreali Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (R) is welcomed by Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (L) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on 29 June 2021. [Government Press Office of Israel - Anadolu Agency]
Isreali Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (R) is welcomed by Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (L) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on 29 June 2021. [Government Press Office of Israel - Anadolu Agency]

During his visit to the UAE, Israeli Foreign Minister and Alternate-Prime Minister Yair Lapid inaugurated the Israeli embassy in Abu Dhabi, met with his counterpart Mohammad Bin Zayed and signed an agreement on finance and trade cooperation. Lapid celebrated his visit and described the inauguration of the embassy as "historic."

"We are standing here today because we chose peace over war, cooperation over conflict, the good of our children over the bad memories of the past. Agreements are signed by leaders but peace is made by people. Israel wants peace with all its neighbours," he said.

The Israeli minister stressed: "We are not going anywhere. The Middle East is our home. We are here to stay. We call on all countries of the region to recognise that, and come talk to us."

Speaking to Israeli journalist Barak Ravid, the reporter of Israeli Wallah news website, Bin Zayed said the big challenge for the normalisation process is how to get the Palestinians to join in.

Bin Zayed suggested that Israel "should" work on improving the humanitarian situation in Gaza and avoid irresponsible steps in Jerusalem to prevent a new escalation in order to strengthen the PA as a partner for peace.

READ: The Palestinian resistance is still battling to end Israeli siege of Gaza 

Listening to this, it appears that Bin Zayed does not know what is going on in the occupied territories or the history of the Israeli settler-colonial project. He spoke as if the PA does not have ties with Israel, but the Palestinian Authority is an outcome of the infamous Oslo Accords in the 1990s and which saw Palestinians normalising ties with the occupation.

Written in the Guardian, Ian Black said: "The [Oslo] agreement means surrendering the dream embodied in the Palestine National Covenant by acknowledging the limits of power in redressing the injustice of war and dispersion, and recognising that Israel is there to stay."

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid at the opening ceremony of the Israeli embassy in UAE, 30 June 2021 [yairlapid/Twitter]

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid at the opening ceremony of the Israeli embassy in UAE, 30 June 2021 [yairlapid/Twitter]

Late Fatah, PLO and PA leader Yasser Arafat wrote an op-ed for the New York Times in 2002 in which he said: "We understand Israel's demographic concerns and understand that the right of return of Palestinian refugees, a right guaranteed under international law and United Nations Resolution 194, must be implemented in a way that takes into account such concerns." He clearly gave up Palestinian rights for the sake of Israel's supremacist concerns.

His US-picked successor Mahmoud Abbas, who has been in power since Arafat's death in 2003, declared on Israeli television in November 2012: "Palestine now for me is '67 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. This is now and forever… This is Palestine for me. I am a refugee, but I am living in Ramallah. I believe that the West Bank and Gaza is Palestine and the other parts are Israel."

What more does Bin Zayed want from the PA and its leader? He has been fighting the Palestinian resistance on behalf of Israel, he has been keeping silent during the Israeli aggression on Palestinians, their properties and their rights. He even fights them if they rise up to demand recognition of their rights.

READ: The ultranationalist Flag March was a recruiting sergeant for the Palestinian resistance 

The UAE is following in the footsteps of the PA by disrespecting Palestinian holy sites, the Palestinian people, their rights and their blood. The PA beats the Palestinians, detains them, restricts their freedoms and even murders them for the sake of Israel.

It has even agreed to allow Israel to benefit from trade ties, as the PA did years ago.

Bin Zayed said that he maintains good relations with the former Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Eshkenazi, while Abbas said that he walks beneath the boots of the Israelis soldiers.

Abbas cares little for the daily and continuous Israeli violations in Jerusalem, on Jerusalemites and Al-Aqsa Mosque, and Bin Zayed is no different.

The PA leader did what Bin Zayed has not and is not expected to; he conceded his land to the Israeli occupation as he did with his  birth city of Safad, where he and his family were forcefully expelled in 1948.

He has given up much more to the occupation than Bin Zayed has, so what more does the UAE official think is needed to get the Palestinians back on the normalisation track?

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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ArticleIsraelMiddle EastOpinionPalestineUAE
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