A Year after Normalization, Israel and the UAE Are Enjoying the Dividends of Peace

Aug. 10 2021

A year ago this Friday, Israel, the U.S., and the United Emirates announced the peace agreement known as the Abraham Accords. Zev Stub takes stock of the economic benefits the agreement has brought.

During 2020 and the first six months of 2021, Israel exported $197 million of goods and services to the UAE, and imported about $372 million. Trade could reach $1 billion for the whole of 2021, and could exceed $3 billion within three years, according to the UAE-Israel Business Council.

[These figures don’t] include tourism or investments between the countries. The largest commercial agreement so far between the two countries was Delek Drilling’s sale of its 22-percent share in the offshore Tamar natural-gas field to Abu Dhabi’s Mubdala Petroleum Company for $1.1 billion in April.

Israeli companies are starting to recognize the potential offered by the UAE’s economic ecosystem, said Dorian Barak, an investor and the co-founder of the UAE-Israel Business Council. “Israelis are always looking for ways to do business in South Asia, East Africa, India, and Bangladesh,” Barak said. “These are markets with two billion people, and you can’t work with them from Tel Aviv. The UAE is the place where everyone congregates to do business, and Israel has finally been admitted to that club.”

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Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Abraham Accords, Israeli economy, United Arab Emirates

How European Fecklessness Encourages the Islamic Republic’s Assassination Campaign

In September, Cypriot police narrowly foiled a plot by an Iranian agent to murder five Jewish businessman. This was but one of roughly a dozen similar operations that Tehran has conducted in Europe since 2015—on both Israeli or Jewish and American targets—which have left three dead. Matthew Karnitschnig traces the use of assassination as a strategic tool to the very beginning of the Islamic Republic, and explains its appeal:

In the West, assassination remains a last resort (think Osama bin Laden); in authoritarian states, it’s the first (who can forget the 2017 assassination by nerve agent of Kim Jong-nam, the playboy half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, upon his arrival in Kuala Lumpur?). For rogue states, even if the murder plots are thwarted, the regimes still win by instilling fear in their enemies’ hearts and minds. That helps explain the recent frequency. Over the course of a few months last year, Iran undertook a flurry of attacks from Latin America to Africa.

Whether such operations succeed or not, the countries behind them can be sure of one thing: they won’t be made to pay for trying. Over the years, the Russian and Iranian regimes have eliminated countless dissidents, traitors, and assorted other enemies (real and perceived) on the streets of Paris, Berlin, and even Washington, often in broad daylight. Others have been quietly abducted and sent home, where they faced sham trials and were then hanged for treason.

While there’s no shortage of criticism in the West in the wake of these crimes, there are rarely real consequences. That’s especially true in Europe, where leaders have looked the other way in the face of a variety of abuses in the hopes of reviving a deal to rein in Tehran’s nuclear-weapons program and renewing business ties.

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Read more at Politico

More about: Europe, Iran, Israeli Security, Terrorism