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Peace Agreement Temporary

Given the increasing likelihood of new Israeli elections and the drop in Netanyahu`s polls, a peace deal with a neighboring Arab state is a major achievement for the longtime incumbent. Mohammed bin Zayed, for his part, was less exuberant and decided to carry out the price that Israel had paid, and tweeted: “An agreement has been reached to put an end to the continuation of the Israeli annexation of the Palestinian territories. The United Arab Emirates and Israel also agreed to cooperate and set a roadmap for the establishment of bilateral relations.¬†Israeli and UAE teams will meet shortly to negotiate the details of the agreement on a wide range of topics, including security, economic investment, reciprocal messages, direct flights between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv, and joint work on a coronavirus vaccine. Israeli media reported that a full signing ceremony would likely take place in Washington before the US parliamentary elections in November. Egypt was the first Arab country to make peace with Israel by signing a treaty in 1979 in exchange for a total Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula. Jordan followed 15 years later, but only after the Israelis and Palestinians reached their own interim agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The surprising deal was first announced by Trump in the Oval Office, with a trilateral phone call between him, Netanyahu and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates. Despite the increase in hidden ties in recent years, the two countries were officially enemies. But the fact that the agreement did not require anything from Israel on the Palestinian front has highlighted a change that is taking place, at least in some parts of the Arab world. In a paradigm shift from the old “Land for Peace” formula, which dictated decades of peace efforts in the Middle East, Netanyahu described the new agreement as “peace for peace and peace by force.” Here, too, we have made a breakthrough.¬†This is only the third such agreement between Israel and a regional Arab state, and the first in a Gulf empire.

In exchange, Israel agreed to “suspend” plans to annex its settlements in the West Bank, as originally planned this summer – although Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was determined to annex the West Bank in the future. To divert attention, Netanyahu said at his press conference that there had been no change in his plans, but that it was Trump who had called for a “temporary halt” to the annexation. Mr Netanyahu added that he would always fully commit to annexation, but that this should be done “in full coordination with the US government.” The official statement of the three parties simply called on Israel to “suspend” the annexation, which will increase the possibility of a clash as soon as israeli and Emirati negotiators have entered a room together. In a statement by the Palestinian leaders, the agreement was described as a “betrayal of Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa and the Palestinian cause” and criticized the “shameful decision of the United Arab Emirates”… To exchange an illegal annexation for the normalization of the UAE and to use the Palestinian cause as cover for this purpose.” But the prospect of Netanyahu making real progress in annexation had already diminished in recent weeks, in direct proportion to the increase in COVID 19 cases and unemployment during a second severe wave. According to a recent poll, only 4% of Israeli public opinion considered the annexation of settlements in the West Bank a priority, compared to 69% who considered the economy to be the most important.