Compared to Jordan and Egypt, the Persian Gulf region is less susceptible to a decline in Israeli relations, but they are still susceptible to extreme-right policies.
After being chosen to lead a new Israeli government, Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to expand peace agreements with Arab countries; however, he will have to deal with far-right and ultra-Zionist allies who could thwart those efforts.
The Israeli-Arab conflict would largely be resolved, according to Netanyahu, if he worked on “further peace deals, peace through strength, peace in exchange for peace, with additional Arab countries.”
The make-up of his new government, however, may have an impact on how well Israel’s longest-serving premier is able to keep his word.
Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, two far-right lawmakers who have supported extreme ideologies and risky policies like annexing large portions of the occupied West Bank, growing illegal settlements, and allowing Jewish prayer at al-Aqsa Mosque, helped Netanyahu win a majority in parliament this month.
Both men are vying for powerful ministerial positions that could give them the ability to influence future Israeli policy on those issues as Netanyahu works to form his government.
Smotrich is vying for the position of defense minister, which would put him in charge of delicate security relations with Arab nations and give him control over civil and military policies in the occupied West Bank. Ben Gvir has asked to become the minister of public security, in charge of the police forces in charge of maintaining security at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The nations that have signed the Abraham Accord are less susceptible to deteriorations in relations than nations like Jordan and Egypt, but they are not immune, according to Aaron David Miller, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a former adviser to both the Democratic and Republican secretaries of state.
Miller added, “A lot will depend on how aggressive and provocative this new government is.
Anxiety among Arabs
There have already been some indications of anxiety among Persian Gulf states. Netanyahu reportedly received a warning from UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed prior to the elections to avoid appointing Smotrich or Ben-Gvir to a future government.
Following the vote, Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, a prominent political commentator from the Emiratis and vocal opponent of the Abraham Accords, denounced the electoral success of “racist settler parties that hate Arabs and raise the slogan of death to the Arabs.”
The Abraham Accord should be temporarily put on hold, according to Abdulla. Additionally, he expressed his hope that Netanyahu and those who support him will refrain from entering Emirati territory.
As a result of the Abraham Accords, which were mediated by the US, the UAE, Bahrain, and Morocco established formal ties with Israel in 2020.
The Abraham Accords are distinctive in that the nations have openly embraced relations, unlike Israel’s ties with Jordan and Egypt. The United Arab Emirates and Morocco have seen a surge in Israeli tourists. A historic free trade agreement was signed between Israel and the UAE in May. Israel is selling a lot of weapons to its neighbors who are Arab.
Former member of Israel’s National Security Council and senior fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies Yoel Guzansky told reporters, “The normalization process won’t be stopped.” “It is in both parties’ best interests to continue. “.
How much the Abraham Accords countries are willing to take on in the Palestinian conflict may be revealed by Smotrich and Ben Gvir’s potential inclusion in an Israeli government.