APN's daily news review from Israel - Wednesday September 16, 2020
Quote of the day:
“Netanyahu continues the chain of generations, he continues the tradition of agreements, he gives up
on the messianic dreams and he extends his hand in peace. That, no one will take from him.”
—Maariv’s senior political commentator and one of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's biggest critics, Ben Caspit, concedes that the signing of the normalization agreements with the UAE and Bahrain has given Netanyahu a legacy.*
- Peace at the White House: Netanyahu signed agreements with the Emirates and Bahrain
- giving up on the big messianic dreams for realistic arrangements // Aluf Benn
- In the background of our reverberating failure against corona, Netanyahu’s legacy started on its way // Yossi Verter
- In Washington, a peace agreement was signed with pathos - which didn’t end the war // Noa Landau
- Unlike his concerned citizens, it appears that Netanyahu really and truly was moved // Chemi Shalev
- The chances of peace with the Palestinians was not harmed, it wasn’t high to begin with // Zvi Bar’el
- In their special way, the Palestinians found a way to take part in the ceremony in Washington // Amos Harel
- Two injured from explosions of rockets in Ashdod during White House ceremony
- Number of ‘red’ areas doubled in a week; 4 million Israelis live in them
- Former editor-in-chief of Walla news website, Ilan Yeshua, will be the first witness in the Netanyahu trial
- The diplomacy failure // Sami Peretz
- Open wound // Lior Zeevi-Shilon on how lockdown is reminiscent of ‘difficult things from the past’
- The Israeli ‘Celebrate’ company provided the Saudi government with telephone hacking services - without supervision
- Salaam Aleikum (Peace be on you in Arabic) - Celebration: Peace with the Emirates and Bahrain
- Sour and sweet // Sima Kadmon
- A different reality // Ben-Dror Yemini
- A deep change // Shimrit Meir
- Everyone is pleased // Orly Azoulay
- For the sake of history // Hamed Al-Kaabi, Editor-in-Chief of ‘Al-Itihad’ newspaper in Op-Ed to Yedioth readers
- Peace on you and on us // Neta Livneh, Editor-in-Chief of Yedioth newspaper in special Op-Ed that is being published in Arabic in “Al-Itihad” newspaper
- Likely: No school tomorrow
- During the ceremony: Shooting on the south (from Gaza)
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
- “Salaam Aleikum” (‘Peace be on you’ in Arabic) - Historic day in Washington
- Prime Minister was nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
- He too has a legacy // Ben Caspit
- The Palestinians’ response: Two rockets shot from Gaza towards communities in the south
- About the lockdown
- A new Middle East
- Senior Israeli official: High chance that Saudi Arabia will join in soon
- Shalom, Salaam, Peace: Israel, the UAE and Bahrain signed agreements in three languages; Climactic excitement at the White House; Dawn of a new day: Arab foreign ministers - “Thank you for choosing peace”; Not just an “Abraham agreement”: Trump promised “at least 5-6 more countries will join in soon”;
- The changing conflict against our interests // Boaz Bismuth
- Prayers next to Muslims at the White House // Ariel Kahana
- This peace is something else // Caroline Glick
- An achievement that will be taught in diplomacy books // Michael Oren
- Tsunami of peace will reach also Ramallah // Jalal Bana
- Trump’s healthy instincts // Dan Schueftan
- At the time of the ceremony, sirens and rockets intercepted: Injured close to shopping mall in Ashdod, sirens also in Ashkelon
- On the way to a closure: The responsibility in the war against the virus is all of ours
Top News Summary:
On the White House lawn, historic agreements were signed normalizing relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates - and the Hebrew newspapers celebrated it on their front pages: ‘Israel Hayom’ called it the era of a “New Middle East” and Maariv and Yedioth both wrote the Arabic words ’Salaam Aleikum’ in Hebrew. Only Haaretz announced the signing of the agreement in a matter-of-fact headline that used only half of the front page. The shooting of rockets from Gaza to southern Israel while the ceremony was taking place also got front page headlines - as certainly the Palestinians intended.
*The difference in the mood of the papers was also displayed in the commentaries and analyses, which in all the papers, except Haaretz, were celebrating the ‘new Middle East’ and the ‘end of the concept’ that Israel must make peace with the Palestinians to get peace with the Arab states. Even one of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s biggest critics, Maariv’s Ben Caspit, who wrote a book about Netanyahu, gave Netanyahu credit for creating his legacy. But, what Netanyahu wouldn’t appreciate was that Caspit portrayed him as a leftie. “Netanyahu continues the chain of generations, he continues the tradition of agreements, he gives up on the messianic dreams and he extends his hand in peace. That, no one will take from him.” Caspit writes that “Netanyahu recognized - again - the two-state solution, he withdrew from his intention to annex land in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and he froze (expansion of) settlements. In exchange, he didn’t stop a war because there was never any war with the Gulf, but he poked his finger in the eyes of those who wouldn’t miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity, the annoying children in the neighborhood who always come to ruin the party: the Palestinians.” In Haaretz, however, the Op-Eds expressed disappointment that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was sidelined, they accused US President Donald Trump and Netanyahu of cynically using the agreements for their own personal benefits and they emphasized that without resolving the conflict with the Palestinians the war was not over. (See Commentary/Analysis below.)
The Gulf states became the third and fourth Arab states to make peace with Israel and most of the Hebrew newspapers expected this peace to be different, warmer, than the ones with Israel’s next-door neighbors, Egypt and Jordan. (See Commentary/Analysis below.) Haaretz’s online article shares video and a slideshow, in case you missed it on the news yesterday. During the ceremony some 13 rockets were launched towards southern Israel from Gaza and two people were treated for injuries from glass debris. Israel Hayom wrote that “Gaza terrorist groups marred peace signing,” which was what statements by Palestinian groups in Gaza suggested was the intention. Interestingly, the Palestinian news website, IMEMC, explained that the rockets were intended to be a symbolic message against the agreements. It described the rockets as “primitively made” and derided the use by Israeli press of the word ‘missiles’ to describe the rockets. It also explained how Israel counts people who suffer from panic as ‘injured.’
And in the midst of this day, Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz told Israeli reporters that Israel must restart talks with Palestinians. “They aren’t going anywhere and we aren’t going anywhere. It’s about time we sit down and talk.” (Also Maariv.)
Haaretz+ has the full text of what has been named the Israel-UAE-Bahrain Abraham Accords Peace Agreement. While the agreement says nothing about the sale of F-35 stealth fighters to the UAE, US President Donald Trump said he has 'no problem' selling the stealth jets, despite Netanyahu’s denial that he ever agreed to that.
Haaretz+ reported that US Jewish groups are divided about the agreements, some thought it would distract from the need to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Israel Hayom reported that 'Pakistan could be next to normalize ties with Israel,’ according to a British-Pakistani analyst.
Outside the White House, Israeli expats protested against Netanyauhu to convey that protests against his corruption will follow him wherever he goes. But Italian MP Paolo Grimoldi, who is considered a friend of Israel, nominated Netanyahu for the Nobel Prize. The Young Likud group asked the right-wing American-Israeli 2005 Nobel economics laureate, Yisrael Aumann, to nominate Netanyahu. And Likud MK Ayub Kara nominated both Trump and Netanyahu for the Nobel Peace Prize. (Maariv) The Tel-Aviv municipality lit up its building with the word 'peace' in Hebrew, Arabic and English. And Jerusalem’s municipality lit up the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City with the flags of the UAE and Bahrain, along with Israel and the US. (Also Maariv)
- Israel again breaks record for daily virus cases with 5,523 diagnoses - Health Ministry reports 1,153 COVID-19 patients are being treated in hospitals, with almost half hospitalized in a serious condition; In the meantime, ministers vote to shut down the education system as early as Thursday. (Israel Hayom and Ynet)
- Six deaths, 1118 new cases and 455 recoveries from coronavirus in Palestine – Health Minister - Six people have died of the novel coronavirus pandemic in Palestine, 1118 others were infected by the disease – 888 in the West Bank in the last 24 hours and 230 in Jerusalem in the last 48 hours - and 455 have recovered, today said Minister of Health Mai Alkaila. (WAFA)
- Life beyond 500 meters: No schools, no malls but synagogues to remain open - Health Ministry publishes the final list of restrictions ahead of the nationwide lockdown, set to take effect on Friday; the public will only be allowed to leave home to buy groceries, medicine or receive medical or essential services. (Ynet)
- Israel speeds closure of education system as virus surges - Education minister says available data does not warrant shutting down the system on Thursday, a day before nationwide lockdown; adds reversing previous decision will undermine public's trust in government. (Ynet)
- Half of Israelis Now Live in 'Red' Areas With Highest Coronavirus Infection Rates - Number of 'red' communities doubled to 83 in one week, and additional 51 communities, with 2.5 million inhabitants, were coded orange, just one step down from red in the Health Ministry’s traffic-light-themed plan. (Haaretz+)
- High-tech Giant Nvidia Tells Israeli Managers to Relocate to U.S. Due to Coronavirus Fears - California company plans to move the top managers of Israel’s Mellanox to United States, fearing impact of coronavirus lockdown due to begin on Friday. (Haaretz+)
- The police are preparing for an "invasion" of tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Gur followers in Jerusalem - In the largest ultra-Orthodox sect is angry at the intention to impose a lockdown and a curfew on Jerusalem. The sect decided to stick to the outline of the capsules on Rosh Hashanah, as they agreed to do with the reserve general Roni Noma before it was decided to have a closure. The sect is confident that the decisions will be changed and that they will not be put to the test. Following intel gathered in recent days, the assessment is strengthened that if the police and law enforcement agencies do not succeed in overcoming the flood of ultra-Orthodox who will visit the courtyards of the leading rabbis, after the holidays we will enter a large wave of morbidity in the ultra-Orthodox sector in particular and in Israel in general. (Maariv)
- Ultra-Orthodox Jewish pilgrims block Ukraine border when barred entry over coronavirus fears - Both the Ukranian and Israeli governments have attempted to limit the religious pilgrimage to Uman, Ukraine. (Agencies, Haaretz)
Israeli pop star sings at illegal wedding attended by hundreds - Footage from the event shows
Lior Narkis telling the crowd of 600 guests, who don't appear to either wear masks or social distance, to
'dance before the lockdown'; this is the third illegal wedding where the singer has been caught performing.
- Court orders dozens of Palestinians out of Jerusalem homes to make way for settlers - Judges base evacuation orders in two cases on claims to Jewish ownership of property from before 1948, which the law permits for Jews only. (Haaretz+)
- Prosecution in Netanyahu Trial Summons 90 Witnesses, Starting With News Site ex-CEO - Defendants’ attorneys are given the order of witnesses in the telecom-giant case, starting with Walla’s Ilan Yeshua, and the documents they intend to present. (Haaretz+)
- Israeli whistleblower awarded $56,000 judgment over false arrest - Rafi Rotem, who had previously exposed major corruption at the Israel Tax Authority, was called in for police questioning after sending faxes alleging additional corruption. (Haaretz+)
- Police Officers Are Resorting to Lawsuits to Counter Wave of Social Media Attacks - The civil suits for monetary compensation for hostile or derogatory content have raised concern over the chilling effect they could have on freedom of expression. (Haaretz+)
- The trial of the suspect in the murder of Mahmoud Abu Khdeir will open today - Naor Bitton, 23, was charged with the murder of the youth in Shuafat about a month ago, during a drug deal. (Maariv)
- Israeli Firm and Dubai Logistics Giant in Talks Over Joint Haifa Port Bid - DP World would bid with Israel Shipyards to take over operations of the previously government-owned port, the gateway to northern Israel. (Haaretz+)
- Israel's Bank Leumi signs deals with two Emirati banks ahead of normalization deal - Country's second-biggest bank says it has been approached in recent weeks by dozens of clients seeking to transfer funds to and from UAE. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Jerusalem soccer club that never signed an Arab player confirms it’s now in talks with Emirati investors - Extremist La Familia fan organization is opposed to hiring Arab players, but Beitar Jerusalem hails 'new winds of peace that are blowing in the Middle East' with Israel-UAE normalization. (Agencies, Haaretz and Ynet)
- Trump campaign holds event for voters in Israel: 'We need a bull in the china shop' - Trump advisers promise a peace accord with the Palestinians and attack Biden over the Iran deal, presenting the 45th president's case to U.S. citizens living in Israel. (Haaretz+)
The mud whisperers Israeli archaeologists invent disgusting but effective new way to date ancient
The method has a substantial ick factor, but human and animal waste incorporated in mud bricks over centuries can reliably indicate the age of structures, archaeologists say. (Ariel David, Haaretz+)
American Jews Know Israel’s Only Real Peace Deal Must Be With the Palestinians (Debra Shushan, Haaretz+) U.S. Jews see through the Trump-Netanyahu ‘peace deal’ spin: Israel’s only existential conflict is with the Palestinians, and it is with them that Israel must make peace.
Fake peace on the lawns of the White House (Einat Ovedi, Ynet Hebrew) Three countries that have been in a relationship for decades, and between whom there has been no conflict, are now doing business under the auspices of Trump. Netanyahu's fraud - what it looks like…Last week, a Norwegian MP named Christian Tybring-Gjedde nominated Donald Trump as a Nobel Laureate for the establishment of the“peace” between Israel and Bahrain and the UAE> This culminates in a large-scale marketing scam, in which the parties - and especially Prime Minister Binaymin Netanyahu - make the use of the word "peace" deceptively, even though it is a formalization of relations that have existed for three decades between countries that do not share a border and are not in conflict. Netanyahu's attempt to deceive the public about normalizing relations includes presenting the "historic" political move as one that does not involve prices. And in his words - "peace for peace." In reality, the agreement was conditioned on a withdrawal from the annexation program celebrated here with dancing after another "historic" event - the signing of the "Deal of the Century". This is, by the way, a plan on which Netanyahu based his election campaign, which won him 36 seats and which was at the center of the agenda he promoted in the past year. Another price is the deal (for the US) to sell the F35 to the UAE - a deal that Netanyahu continued to deny even after it was revealed - and which was made possible thanks to the normalization of relations. The agreement with the Emirates allowed Netanyahu to come down from the annexation tree, which stopped bearing fruit, but made sure that it was not perceived as a loss. He did this by replacing one "political achievement" with another "political achievement." As someone who is under a combined threat of an indictment with three counts, a health-economic crisis and the intensifying protests against him, he has been given a golden opportunity here to lower the flames of criticism directed at him, while continuing to pump his and his mouthpieces' regular message: That Netanyahu is in "another league” and he has no substitute. And he also knows how difficult it will be for the public to oppose a move that may contribute to Israel's economy, tourism and foreign relations, and is framed as a "peace" agreement, and how much easier it will be for him to paint any criticism of this move as sour. But what’s happening on the ground is difficult to distort. The first to pay the price for this fraud are the Palestinians, whose normalization of relations with Arab countries perpetuates the violent and dispossessed reality in which they have lived for 53 years. Netanyahu and Trump's marketing move excludes Palestinians from the debate and deprives them of the right to national equality and self-determination. And yet, the one who behaves like a fool here is Israeli society, which falls into the pit time and time again, partly because after 53 years of military control of the territories, it has undergone a process of being tired of and used to the situation. But we in Israel are also going to pay the price of fraud, and not just because it helps Netanyahu maintain his status and evade prosecution. The contribution of normalizing relations with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain does not outweigh the damage done to us by moving away from a viable and sustainable political solution that will end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and cut off the bloodshed in which we are stuck. This normalization comes at the expense of a two-state solution, which until recently was agreed upon by both sides and the international community, and also torpedoes various proposals derived from it, such as the Arab Peace Initiative. After years of rebellion and deception, the huge demonstrations that have taken place outside Netanyahu's residence in recent months are evidence that the public refuses to continue swallowing lies. Now it only remains to copy this sober view into the diplomatic field and to acknowledge that the lies are not only reserved for corona issues and indictments, but appear in every move he makes. Including normalization with the UAE and Bahrain. Even a hundred official ceremonies at the White House will fail to turn a deal between three leaders of countries with vested interests into "peace." (Einat Ovadia is the director of the Zulat Institute for Equality and Human Rights)
Despite UAE, Bahrain Agreements, Israel's Annexation Plan Is Being Realized (Haaretz Editorial)…The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee held two meetings, in July and in August, dealing with what was termed a “Palestinian takeover of Area C.” The participants in the discussion complained that Palestinian construction in 61 percent of the West Bank was choking off the Israeli settlements and sabotaging the chance for them to expand further. This is the complete opposite of reality. In negotiations toward the Oslo Accords, the West Bank was divided into three categories – A, B and C. Although the lands of Area C were defined as under Israeli civil and security control, this was a temporary definition intended to plan for a gradual new redeployment of the Israel Defense Forces in the area. A varied and veteran Palestinian population lives in this area, and the lands there are their land reserves. To Western countries – including the United States – and Arab countries that supported the agreement, as well as to the Palestinians and the Israelis, it was clear that Area C would be within the Palestinian state to be established alongside Israel. But Israel not only perpetuated its civil and security control there – it sought constantly, through cynical bureaucratic and military methods, to reduce the number of Palestinians living there, while preventing all necessary development and construction stemming from the needs of the protected population, and shirking its obligations as an occupying power….
Incriminating Minutes of an Israeli Knesset Panel on the West Bank (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) There are five ways to read the minutes of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, convening as the subcommittee for the spread of the settlements…A third way to read the minutes is as a lesson in sadism. They’re sitting in the nation’s legislature and consulting each other on how to torture: Confiscate their tractor and their water pump for a year, former MK Moti Yogev from the settlement of Dolev advises the head of the enforcement unit in the Civil Administration, Marco Ben-Shabbat. “The financial loss will root out the phenomenon,” he explained. Ben-Shabbat assured him that he knows how to do this, and in the framework of the law. The head of the Civil Administration, Brig. Gen. Ghassan Alian, is proud of the 42,000 trees the civil administration has uprooted over the past 20 years (7,500 just last year). This was done on the Palestinian land that Israel, with its arsenal of legislative robbery tools, turned into lands for Jews only (by the whitewashed name “state lands”). The MKs are not happy. Amit Halevi (Likud) is astonished: Are 2,100 trees a lot in your opinion “in all those 3.5 million dunams?” Yamina MK Matan Kahana says sarcastically that that’s a glass one eighth full. Likud MK Shlomo Karhi figures that this is about one third of the trees, that is, there are more than 80,000 trees to uproot. The committee’s chairman, MK Zvi Hauser (Derech Eretz) remains courteous, noting that the intention is not to uproot trees on private land. The committee’s members would certainly be overjoyed over this news: In honor of the opening of the school year, in the community of Ras a-Tin east of Ramallah, one target among many, Civil Administration inspectors confiscated 40 chairs and 24 desks, four surfaces built of blocks and about a dozen tin slabs intended for the school. A fourth way is to read the minutes historiographically. MK Nir Barkat (Likud) and Meir Deutsch of the right-wing NGO Regavim said that the Palestinians have enough land to build in the enclaves of areas A and B (after all, they don’t need open space for hiking, green lungs or agricultural lands to develop). In fact, this is exactly what Israel has been doing for the past 30 years – while singing of peace, its officials and soldiers are working to turn about 61 percent of the Palestinian West Bank (minus East Jerusalem) into Israeli territory for all intents and purposes. And in it, the Indian reservations will be swallowed up. The fifth way is to prepare the minutes as incriminating evidence in an international court for crimes of colonialism and apartheid.
The Peace Summit once again proves the failure of the left's concept (Zalman Shoval, Maariv) The signing ceremony of the peace agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain may not be a "true peace", but it is the result of a prudent policy and the grave burial of the false peace concept of "Peace Now" and the Israeli left.
Good News for the Gulf and Israel Mean Bad Tidings for the Palestinians (Aaron David Miller, Haaretz+) Israel's normalization of relations with the UAE and Bahrain is transactional, not transformative. The breakdown of the Arab consensus on Palestine is the really historic change - and it doesn't bode well for the Palestinians.
In a dream-like state in Washington (Ariel Kahana, Israel Hayom) The Israeli prime minister standing beside the foreign ministers of the UAE and Bahrain at the White House, and the shattering of the "land for peace" concept. The new dream for the Middle East has come true.
Israeli Leftists, Join the Palestinians in Feeling Betrayed (Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz+) It’s hard to swallow this peace with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Tuesday’s signing ceremony at the White House seemed like nothing less than the left’s Yom Kippur. What happened here? We signed an agreement with horrible dictatorships, corrupt rulers, countries that aren’t enemy states, and even after all that, we weren’t able to get rid of the Palestinian gum stuck to the soles of our shoes…But all is not lost. The Palestinian issue, the occupation and the settlements aren’t going anywhere. They’ll continue to shape Israel’s character, feed its racism, nurture its violence and warp its culture. Thus instead of criticizing the agreements with Arab states, the left and center should reformulate their positions on the conflict, present a courageous diplomatic plan, convince the public and prepare thoroughly for the next election...
Hell hath no fury like peaceniks who get upstaged (Ruthie Blum, Israel Hayom) Though it's hard to keep track of their disparate gripes, their response to the Abraham Accords makes it easy to spot their hypocrisy.
Finally, peace between people (Smadar Perry, Yedioth Hebrew) In contrast to the agreements with Egypt and Jordan, which prevented war but remained cold, with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain we are talking about trade and tourism, which will lead to contact between the peoples.
How brutal UAE and Bahrain autocrats outplayed a tired, deluded Palestinian leadership (Muhammad Shehada, Haaretz+) Today, at the White House, the Middle East crosses a point of no return on normalization with Israel. Why didn’t Palestinian leaders put up a better fight?
The Palestinian leadership is providing raw fuel for hatred (Jalal Bana, Israel Hayom) By encouraging vitriol against Bahrain and the UAE, Ramallah and Gaza are making it much less likely they will see any support or aid.
Trump Is Hoping for a Mideast 'Peace Bounce.' He Won't Get It (Daniel B. Shapiro, Haaretz+) When they go to the polls, most Americans won’t be thinking about a diminished Arab-Israeli conflict. They’ll be thinking about 200,000 dead, economic crisis and racial injustice.
Mideast peace, Trump style (Nahum Barnea, Yedioth/Ynet) The agreements signed Tuesday are testament to U.S. weakness and Gulf nations' understanding that the American president cannot be trusted to defend them; Israel will be expected to fill the vacuum but is actually led by a PM who failed his nation.
27 years after the Oslo bluff, Israel finally receives a New Middle East (Boaz Bismuth, Israel Hayom) Without conceding swathes of our homeland and without exploding buses; and this is just the beginning as Saudi Arabia and other countries wait in the wings.
Netanyahu Can't Count on the Gulf Peace Deals for Political Salvation (Dahlia Scheindlin, Haaretz+) In Israel, peace is popular – but it barely moves the polls. Not least when a pandemic is raging.
An achievement that will be taught in the diplomacy books (Michael Oren, Israel Hayom) Credit is due to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his team, who took a historic opportunity created by the Trump administration and the willingness of the Gulf regimes to move from covert to overt relations.
Israel, UAE and Bahrain: Celebrate a momentous diplomatic breakthrough for the Middle East (Tony Blair, Haaretz+) The friendship on display at the ceremony was extraordinary. Normalizing relations between Israel and the Arab states, a warm peace, should be a stimulus, not an impediment, to progress on the Palestinian front.
A tale of 2 White House signing ceremonies (Caroline B. Glick, Israel Hayom) The Abraham Accords underscore the failure at the core of the Oslo Accords: You cannot make peace with people who justify your murder and seek your destruction. You can only make peace with those who accept you.
The Arabs in Israel are between the Palestinian hammer and the anvil from the Gulf (Adv. Shakib Ali, Yedioth Hebrew) On the one hand, they are with their brothers in the Palestinian Authoirty who have been sidelined, and on the other hand, they understand that they have been given a historic opportunity to break through Israel's borders and reach the rich Gulf states where they may realize a sort of American dream. Since the announcement of the forthcoming agreement between Israel and the Emirates, there has been almost no criticism of it in Arab (Israeli) society. On the contrary: the discourse focuses mainly on business, academic and tourism opportunities. A well-known businessman has already announced the establishment of a restaurant in Dubai, and there is more to go. Thanks to a common language, education and religion, Arab citizens of Israel may be among the main beneficiaries of the agreement. Not only can they do business in the gulf, but also study and travel there and also feel at home. Beyond that, they believe that in time they will be able to form a bridge between the Palestinians, who are now angry that they have been abandoned, and the Emirates. The Arabs from the Gulf are about to meet Arab citizens of Israel, who speak Hebrew, who know Jews well and the know Israeli mentality. In time, they will serve as effective mediators for the establishment of economic and tourism relations between the countries. It should not be ruled out that the more Israel tightens its ties with the Gulf states, and the greater the economic benefit that will be derived from them, the lower the threshold of hostility and the desire to resolve the conflict with the Palestinians will increase. Thanks to this benefit and the fear of losing it, the Emirates’ rulers may influence the Israeli leadership more than any of the pressures exerted on it to date by all the Arab countries. Israel, which knew the Arabs mainly in the shadow of a bloody and long-running conflict, is now about to meet the Emirati and Baharini Arab, with whom it had no conflict, and perhaps the hostile negative image burned into Israeli consciousness will take a sharp and positive turn yesterday. Fulfilling the prophecy of the prophet Isaiah: "And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."
Trump and Netanyahu's Big Fat Fake Peace Deal (Diana Buttu, Haaretz+) As a reward for destroying the lives of generations of Palestinians, Israel made 'peace' with two Arab states, UAE and Bahrain, whose combined populations are smaller than the Gaza Strip.
How a pro-Bibi paper tilted Israeli voters to the right (Oren Persico and The Seventh Eye, 972mag) The billionaire-funded (Sheldon Adelson) daily Israel Hayom helped boost the right-wing bloc by two Knesset seats over three elections, a new study finds.
The Abraham Accords and a changing Middle East (Fiamma Nirenstein, Israel Hayom) It's the end. The Middle East has lived with myths and legends. But pan-Arabism, tribal and sectarian tensions, corruption, violence and Islamism are now over in a large part of the world.
Israel Signs Important Peace Deal That Ended No War (Noa Landau, Haaretz+) Netanyahu's references to the 'wounds of war' at the ceremony sound out of place since blood was not spilled with Gulf States.
The historic agreement opens up an opportunity at the Temple Mount (Tom Nissani, Ynet Hebrew) The Emiratis, the Bahrainis and other peace-seekers recognize the right of the Jews on the Temple Mount. With their help, without the Waqf and the Palestinians, it could be a house of prayer for everyone. (Tom Nissani is the chairman of the “Students for the Temple Mount)” movement.
At the White House, Netanyahu Is Building His Legacy and Ignoring the Coronavirus (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) When Israelis gather around their holiday tables on Friday during the lockdown, without their loved ones, a selfie in front of the UAE’s royal palace won’t be the first thing on their minds.
Stabilizing forces in the region are growing stronger (Dr. Eran Lerman, Israel Hayom) The peace deals between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain mark the completion of an existing process by which the region's stabilizing forces are banding together against the Iranian threat.
What We Learned From Trump's Israel‐UAE‐Bahrain Signing Ceremony (Amir Tibon, Haaretz+) After the signing ceremony, it’s possible to offer a clear assessment of the new agreements’ benefits – and weaknesses.
Trump's healthy instincts (Dan Schueftan, Israel Hayom) The US and its allies have suffered greatly from presidents who didn't understand the region.
Arab States Are Tired of Palestinian Fantasies, Israel Is Tired of Their Violence (Jonathan S. Tobin, Haaretz+) The UAE and Bahrain accords have exploded the myth that the Palestinians are the core problem of the Middle East. Gulf states will no longer accept a veto from Ramallah or Gaza for their relations with Israel and defense against Iran.
Did Israel Just Sign a Peace Agreement With the Right People? (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) Normalizing relations with the UAE and Bahrain is probably Netanyahu's greatest achievement, but it is no peace, as Gaza factions reminded the prime minister.
Normalization With Saudi Arabia Will Be a Lot More Complicated, and Risky (Hussein Ibish, Haaretz+) Saudi Arabia would be taking far greater risks than the UAE and Bahrain in establishing relations with Israel. It's up to Israel and the United States to reassure and incentivize Riyadh.
The United Nations Was Right – Gaza Is Unlivable (Mohammed Azaiza, Haaretz+) On Monday, August 24, the authorities in Gaza announced the first cases of the coronavirus caused by community spread. Since then, Gazans have also been living under internal lockdown. Most businesses and institutions are shut, there is no travel between districts and some neighborhoods are quarantined – all in an effort to monitor the spread. What was warned about has come to pass. The spread of the virus is forcing us to confront the dire reality in Gaza. We are all highly aware of the condition of the health system here. We all keep track of the number of available ventilators, the testing numbers and their results. We are also acutely aware of the dire economic situation that we’ve reached in this crisis and of the tenuous state of Gaza’s infrastructure. In mid-August, when Israel again closed access to the sea for two weeks, it forced thousands back to shore who depend on fishing for their livelihoods. Without fishing, there is nothing to eat. One fisherman, a father of four, dared to defy the decision. “I went out to sea, up to a mile and a half from shore, even though I have a broken arm from a run-in with the Israel Navy,” he told me, “so I could feed my family. I felt like a thief.”
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.