The Israel deal may give the UAE a boost – but it doesn’t bring us any closer to peace in the Middle East

The new agreement is good for all the political leaders involved, including Donald Trump, but answers few of the bigger questions

If you want a prime example of having your cake and eating it on the international stage, look no further than Israel’s deal to normalise relations with the UAE.

It is historic, but also shows Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu’s ability to recycle the fading policy of annexation of parts of the West Bank into a victory that will forever change power dynamics in the Middle East. However, is one crucial word in the new deal.

The normalisation of relations comes in exchange for the “suspension” of Netanyahu’s plans to annexe lands in the occupied West Bank. The UAE have suggested that is “suspension” will last a while, however Netanyahu has said he is still committed to the idea. There’s the cake, and we can expect Netanyahu to try and eat it.

For a long time, the region didn’t have a change in a positive direction. President Donald Trump, whose administration brokered the deal, deserves kudos for a rare foreign policy win.

Both Netanyahu and Trump should be very grateful for the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed (MBZ) for extending a hand to both leaders that helps elevate them out of domestic political wreckage. Both are in trouble at home and were desperate for such a political boost.

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 27, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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