Nothing good’ll come out of UAE-Israel friendship —MURIC Kayode Oyero

Islamic human rights organisation, Muslim Rights Concern, has said nothing good will come out of the “hobnobbing” of Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

MURIC Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, in a chat with The PUNCH on Wednesday, said the United States and other countries in the West are “coercing” the countries in the Middle East to befriend Israel.

Akintola was reacting to UAE’s opening of an embassy in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv as part of a deal that was agreed upon last year to normalise diplomatic relations.

Israel had also in June opened an embassy in Abu Dhabi and a consulate in Dubai.

Israeli President, Isaac Herzog, who was sworn into office last week, called Wednesday’s event “an important milestone for the entire Middle East” as he stood alongside Emirati ambassador, Mohamed al-Khaja, for the inaugural ceremony. The ceremony included the raising of the UAE flag in Israel, one which has triggered reactions and oppositions from Arab states in the Middle East including Israel’s century-old enemy, Palestine.

But both Israel and the Gulf state said they hoped to reap more economic benefits and wanted to work together in the areas of tourism and science.

Israel had last year signed agreements known as the Abraham Accords, establishing diplomatic ties with the UAE and Bahrain in September following mediation by the United States, then under Donald Trump.

The UAE and Bahrain became the first Gulf countries to establish official ties with Israel, crossing a decades-old line drawn by most Arab states that had refused relations with Israel until the conflict with the Palestinians had been resolved.

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But there seems to be no end in sight to the complex Israeli-Palestine conflict. Just in May 2021, the two foes, who share territories as neighbours, fought for 11 days, killing over 250 people from both sides before a ceasefire was agreed upon on May 21.

According to MURIC director, Israel must apologise for the war crimes its troops committed in May on Palestinian soil before engaging in any peace move with Arab states.

Akintola said, “The hobnobbing of UAE with Israel including the recent opening of an embassy in Israel is under influence, UAE is being intimidated. The Arab countries befriending Israel are acting under Western influence, America’s influence in particular.

“One of the gains of capitalism is strangulation, forceful coercion, intimidating people and nations to do things against their will. You can compare it to the way the Western countries tried to bastardised African culture and Nigerian traditional values by asking Nigeria to accept same-sex marriages, homosexualism, lesbianism and all that kind of trash.

“UAE is not acting of its own volition. It is being intimidated and this friendship cannot last for long.”

He said the Middle East was being coerced by all the countries supporting “Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people and their Allah-given rights”, adding that the UAE-Israel deal was not geared towards peace in the Middle East as it was painted.

“There is no confidence or mutual love, and they don’t have anything in common and Israel has not shown any remorse for its arrogance, for its killing of children and pregnant women in Palestine, for its destruction of innocent homes and for its seizure and occupation of Palestinian lands and for the violation of United Nations resolutions,” he said.

Akintola also said nothing good can come from the leadership of the new Israeli leader, Herzog, whom he described as an “Extreme Zionist”, adding that “a leopard does not change its skin”.

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