1. A few initial thoughts, in no specific order, on the UAE-Israel announcement. Thread//
2. This is not a “historic peace agreement” but a repackaging of an ongoing reality of normalisation between the UAE and Israel against the backdrop of de facto annexation and occupation of Palestinian territories.
3. Repackaging reality and selling it as a diplomatic breakthrough is a show we’ve seen from the Trump administration before. Deal of the century to sell apartheid anyone? It’s not diplomacy, its marketing spin.
4. But, this is also not inconsequential business as usual. The UAE’s decision to proceed in this way is a dangerous precedent in the post-Arab Peace Initiative era, where official normalization has become possible despite continued Palestinian subjugation. Bahrain next?
5. This is the latest in a long history of Arab leaders selling the Palestinian issue or manipulating the Palestinian struggle to further their own interests, from the very inception of the PLO on. Sadat?
6. Two ways to read Bibi. 1. Annexation may have always been a house of mirrors. Now he can be rewarded for not annexing: peace for occupation. 2. This is an admission of defeat; he was unable to annex, and needs a shiny new object to detract attention.
7. Trump can claim to be a “historic peace maker,” seeking another notch in the polls on the back of Pals to deflect from the catastrophic performance of his admin. And the UAE? More security cooperation with Israel, trade and investment, regional leadership role and power.
8. Two things are certain. First, this agreement is one more step in the effort to formalise a new vision for the Middle East that is even further away from the calls of the Arab street that resonated in 2011.
9. Second, this is another indication that the Palestinian leadership remains a spectator to events that determine their fate, unable to influence the unfolding trends.
10. And finally, after a whole lot of fanfare around annexation, where are we now? Everyone breathing a sigh of relief that Israel continues to control the same territory.