Are the UAE and Saudi Arabia also criticizing the «deal of the century»?

Contrary to the predictions of their opponents that the authorities of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia would support the Trump-Netanyahu plan, known as the «deal of the century,» and lobby for it in the Arab world, their public reaction shows otherwise. The official position of the UAE and Saudi Arabia was essentially similar to that of Qatar — neither unequivocal support nor condemnation, but a call for negotiations and finding solutions, as well as gratitude to the US for its involvement in the process.

However, it is well known that both the UAE and Saudi Arabia are countries where the public and especially the state-controlled media are completely controlled by the authorities and only say what they are allowed or instructed to say. Therefore, the reaction of the international government mouthpieces of these two states to the «deal of the century» is quite telling.

For example, the UAE’s equivalent of Russia Today, The National, published an article with the self-explanatory title «Trump’s Middle East peace plan is a gift to Iran.» The article states the obvious — that the so-called «deal of the century» is unacceptable to both Palestinians and Arabs, and therefore relying on such a one-sided pro-Israeli and anti-Arab solution undermines the efforts of potential U.S. allies among Arabs and Palestinians, and strengthens the positions of Iran, which will continue to capitalize on its role as the defender of the Palestinian cause.

The Saudi outlet «Al Arabiya» expressed a similar sentiment, stating in reference to the announcement of this deal that «Israel’s best ally now is Iran. This is justified by the fact that both Israel, represented by its current leadership, and Iran are interested in torpedoing any real Arab-Israeli dialogue.

Both, in accordance with their official positions, instead call on Israelis and Palestinians to return to dialogue, but the arguments they present show that Arab-Jewish dialogue, as perceived by Arab supporters of reconciliation with Israel, is not the same as what Trump and Netanyahu present it as.

The compromise model of reconciliation with Israel acceptable to the proponents of dialogue in the Palestinian and Arab camps implies the creation of two independent states — Jewish and Arab, the division of Jerusalem between them, and the dismantling of illegal Jewish settlements with the return of Palestinian refugees to Palestine. However, Trump and Netanyahu’s plan contradicts these positions in all parameters.

Of course, this does not prevent the UAE and Saudi Arabia from unofficially cooperating with Israel, as does Qatar, and even Turkey, which has official relations with Israel and growing trade. But today, neither the official nor the media positions of these countries express a «capitulation of Palestine».

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