A remarkable development in the Middle East

Fredi Winkler

The normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates is part of a remarkable development in the Middle East. The fact that this has happened is mainly due to the threat from Iran. The old adage has once again come true: the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

The Emirates feel increasingly threatened by Iran, and Israel is the Middle East state that has for a long time warned of the danger from Iran and taken action to counteract it on an international level.

Opposition to Iran and extreme Islam within the Arab and Islamic world is increasingly leading to the formation of a coalition, a coalition in which Israel is practically welcome. The traditional rejection of Israel has lost its importance. The United States, of course, has an important role to play in forming this front against Iran.

In order to be prepared against the threat from Iran, the Emirates want modern weapons from the United States, especially the F-35 fighter jets. The U.S. is willing to upgrade the Emirates’ armaments, but wants to maintain Israel’s superiority.

From all of this, we can see that the establishment of relations between Israel and the Emirates is about more than just normalizing ties. The matter is so important that old prejudices against Israel are set aside and dropped.

Jared Kushner and other key officials of the American administration also took part in the first official flight with the Israeli delegation to Abu Dhabi. Jared Kushner is undoubtedly one of the architects of this development. In addition, there is a propaganda aspect to the whole thing. The US elections are imminent, and this development, which is positive for Israel, is intended to score points with American voters who care about relations with Israel.

The Palestinians are not at all pleased with this rapprochement, because they feel ignored. For them, solving the Palestinian problem is a priority. They regard any Arab country that introduces normalization of relations with Israel, without first solving the Palestinian problem, as traitorous.    

The only country that actively promotes this political attitude, and works against normalizing relations with Israel, is Turkey under President Erdogan. The Israeli intelligence chief recently declared: “Turkey is now more dangerous for Israel than Iran.” This is not yet very apparent at present, but in the Eastern Mediterranean, there are massive interests and claims to the ownership of gas discoveries in the sea. Turkey is making ever increasing demands on the gas, thus opposing Israel, Cyprus, and Greece. These circumstances have brought Israel, Cyprus, Greece and Egypt closer together in an alliance against Turkey. This burgeoning conflict also affects the European Union, as Greece and Cyprus are EU countries. The conflict even extends into NATO because, ironically, Turkey is still a NATO member despite the increasingly diverse interests it represents.

Perhaps because of these developments, in which Israel is increasingly accepted, there will eventually be a settlement with the Palestinians in the Middle East, since the Bible also talks about it (Ezekiel 38:8, 11, 14; cf. 1 Thess 5:3).

Fascinated again and again by the ways in which God fulfills His plans and intentions.

News from Israel - 10/2020

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