Despite supporting Palestine in words since the start f the Gaza war on October 7, a number of Arab and Muslim states have been in fact helping Israel by increasing trade with Tel Aviv.
Since the war between Hamas and Israel started on October7, Israel has killed more than 27,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children. This unprecedented bloodshed by the Israeli military against Palestinians has provoked the international community in a way that except for a few Israel allies, most countries in the world have strongly condemned the violence against Gazans.
But when it comes to Arab and Muslim states, the expected policy is that they stand with all their hearts and might against Israel in support for their Arab Muslim brothers and sisters in Palestine.
And most of these countries have been quite active in condemning Israel for its brutality in Gaza. But the irony is that they have, at the same time, been helping Israel by increasing their trade with Tel Aviv, a move that shows how hypocrite these Arab and Muslim countries are.
To read between the lines, Israeli import data reveals that a number of Arab and Muslim countries are playing a significant role in boosting Israel’s economy by increasing their trade volume with it.
Israel export/import volumes in 2023
In a report this Friday, Bloomberg revealed that some Arab states are helping Israel bypass Yemen’s Red Sea blockade. “An Israeli software startup company named Trucknet Enterprise Ltd is among the first ever to establish commercial land routes through West Asian countries – including Gulf Arab states – in order to “bypass the Houthi-menaced Red Sea,” the report said.
Trucknet Enterprise Ltd transports food, plastics, chemicals, and electrical appliances from Emirati and Bahraini ports into Israel and Europe via Saudi Arabia and Jordan, according to firm’s Chief Executive Officer Hanan Fridman.
In 2023, Israel’s exports of goods (excluding diamonds) totaled NIS 18.4 billion. 36% of total exports were to European Countries, 32% were to American Countries, 20% were to Asian Countries and 12% were to the “Other Countries”.
Imports of goods (excluding diamonds) for Israel totaled NIS 17.5 billion. 49% of the imports were from European Countries, 25% were from Asian Countries, 11% were from American Countries and 15% were from the “Other Countries”.
Among the Arab and Muslim countries that have boosted tehri trade with Israel despite the war in Gaza, Turkey stands on top of the list. Turkey is not an Arab country, but it was the first Muslim state to establish diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv, and today leads the pack of West Asian states boosting Israeli imports.
Turkey’s exports to Israel increased from 319.5 million dollars in November to 430.6 million dollars in December, higher than the export amounts of 408.3 million dollars in July, before Operation Al-Aqsa Flood. In 2023 alone, the value of Turkish exports spiked to $7.3 billion, constituting 8.5 percent of total Israeli imports that year.
Turkey is preceded by the UAE, the oil-rich Arab country which normalized relations with Israel as part of the US-brokered Abraham Accords in 2020, and was the first Arab state to sign a free-trade agreement with Te Aviv two years later in 2022.
Thanks to this Israeli-friendly approach taken by the UAE leaders, the Persian Gulf state’s exports were valued at $2.75 billion in 2023, accounting for 3.7 percent of all Israeli imports.
Jordan stands in the third place in the list of countries boosting their trade with Israel in 2023. In 2023, Jordan’s exports to Israel reached $658.34 million, a massive 579 percent increase from 2018.
Key export categories from Jordan to Israel include plastics, electrical and electronic equipment, and iron and steel.