(The article was published in Makor Rishon on December 27th, 2020)
The Arab countries have recently been signing a string of peace treaties with the State of Israel. Ostensibly, this is another step in the vision of the End of Days: “Wolf will reside with sheep and leopard with kid will lie” (Isaiah 11:6), “They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks” (Isaiah 2:4). However, unfortunately, this is a mixed blessing; a hug, but, perhaps a bear hug that is liable to strangle us.
It is worth noting: To date, no legislation has been enacted in the State of Israel restricting the business activity of the citizens of the Arab countries. Even were it to be legislated, the High Court of Justice is liable to nullify it based on their well-known activist-progressive reasons. So, we are liable to reveal that many private properties in the Jezreel Valley and in Jerusalem have been “redeemed” by Arabs from the Gulf.
We already received our first poke in the eye with the purchase of half-ownership of the Beitar Jerusalem football club. It is clear that this was not merely an economic transaction, but rather a symbolic and calculated one.
The finger will be followed by the fist, and who will prevent it? Just as Sadat understood that by means of a peace treaty he could receive three quarters of Israeli territory, which he had lost in four wars, so, we are liable to find ourselves now conquered by means of money from the Gulf, without a single shot fired.
Second, in their great benevolence, our government grants every new Arab friend access to the Temple Mount. For some reason, this is the ultimate gift for every new Arab friend. I have only to quote Jared Kushner: “The treaty with the Emirates resolved, to a great extent, the Temple Mount issue.” He meant that Moslems from the entire world will be able to make a pilgrimage to the Temple Mount, while a Jew who mumbles a passage of prayer will find himself under arrest. This is a religious-national-moral failure.
Third, in signing the peace treaties with these countries, we are whitewashing evil. Sudan is being removed from the list of countries supporting terrorism, the western Sahara is annexed to Morocco, and in our great enthusiasm, we refuse even to designate Dubai as a red Corona state, so that they will not, God forbid, be angry at us.
Because I do not want to be self-righteous or sanctimonious, I prefer not to detail the moral status of these countries, in which individual rights are virtually non-existent, and trafficking in women and prostitution, and other troubling phenomena exist in them.
Fourth, the armies of the countries entering into peace treaties with us are benefitting from an upgrade of Western military equipment, and the United States is opening before them the arsenal of the most sophisticated weapons in its possession. The ink on the treaty with the Emirates is not yet dry, and it is already equipped with F-35 fighter jets that would never have reached it without its signature on the treaty; just as the rusted Egyptian army was upgraded after it signed the peace treaty with modern American Abrams tanks, Apache helicopters, and F-16 fighter jets.
Fifth, it must be remembered that these are dictatorships, tyrannical regimes; therefore, the treaties were signed to limited effect. Persia was our greatest friend in the Middle East until the Islamic Revolution that transpired there in 1979, and Turkey replaced it as a loyal ally until Erduan assumed power.
Sixth, when one day we stop being nice and assert our interests, these countries will nullify the treaties. Morocco had good relations with us until the year 2000, when we were forced to defend ourselves against the Oslo Intifada.
Even now, during our honeymoon period, when Dr. Fakhrizadeh was assassinated in Iran, the Emirates leapt to condemn the assassination (even though in their heart of hearts they rejoiced, and in private, they were rubbing their hands in delight). The Egyptian and Jordanian ambassadors spend most of their time in their countries, in heated protest, instead of in the embassy in Israel.
This is true all the more so when it turns out that the treaties with Bahrain and the Emirates are, for all intents and purposes, land for peace, as Netanyahu promised them and the United States that he will not annex the territories of Judea and Samaria, even partially. Why give any return to the Gulf States when it is clear to any intelligent person that their interest in creating a broad, united front against the Iranian enemy, is no less than ours?
And if, as mentioned above, we are already signing peace treaties, why do we not, at the same time, resolve the matter of the infiltrators from Sudan? Why do we not include an agreement that prioritizes finding employment for Palestinians in the Emirates (88 per cent of the residents there are not citizens, but rather foreign workers), and thereby encourage emigration of Palestinian youth from Judea and Samaria to the Gulf. Netanyahu has the solutions.
In conclusion, it would have been possible to engage in extensive business transactions and tourism even in a state of non-belligerence, without encountering the complications arising from the shortcomings enumerated above that stem from signing peace treaties. Netanyahu proves that he is not the great strategist that he claims to be.