מרב בטיטו
Merav Batito
Photo: Ynet
 Emirati Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa, right, with BeitarJerusalem's Israeli owner Moshe Hogeg

This peace is the peace of the rich

Opinion: The agreements between Israel and the UAE proves that Jerusalem only likes to make deals with Arabs who are wealthy and generous, while ignoring their brethren who live in devastating poverty within its borders and in Gaza

Merav Batito |
Published: 12.12.20, 09:19
The normalization agreement between Israel and the UAE has already birthed a number of collaborations and no few business deals.
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  • Recently, Emirati businessman Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa purchased 50% of Beitar Jerusalem F.C., in which he has promised to invest more than NIS 300 million over the next decade.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    חמד בן ח'ליפה ומשה חוגג
    חמד בן ח'ליפה ומשה חוגג
    Emirati Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa, right, with BeitarJerusalem's Israeli owner Moshe Hogeg
    (Photo: Courtesy)
    The signing ceremony was infused with a serene glow that said: This is what sustainable peace looks like.
    This is also a defeat of racism in the form of Beitar's far-right supporters group known as La Familia, whose members pride themselves on a hatred of Arabs and Muslims.
    The violent behavior of some of the team's supporters has been allowed to continue unabated for too many years, and apparently the most effective way to silence their venomous chanting and quell their vile behavior is with a large pile of money.
    It seems that we the people of Israel are willing to make peace, but not for less than a few million dollars.
    We applaud our new Arab friends, pose for photos together at soccer clubs, do business with them, sign agreements with them - but only if they have an open wallet to compensate us for our trouble.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    Children in the Gaza Strip
    Children in the Gaza Strip
    Children in the Gaza Strip
    (Photo: AFP)
    The poor Arabs - those that live just beyond the Gaza security fence in one of the most crowded places in the world or work among us for less than the minimum wage - are less sought after for handshakes and selfies.
    Israel's ideal peace partners seem to be the obscenely wealthy who drive luxury cars and stay at prestigious hotels.
    The poverty of one and a half million of our own citizens, the shootings on their streets, the poor infrastructure and government underspending are far less photogenic than Dubai’s gleaming Burj Khalifa tower.
    The average Israeli gains nothing from pressuring the government to finally budget for its grandiose five-year plan to develop the Arab sector compared to while a trip to Bahrain’s splendid malls.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    A man reads a copy of UAE-based The National newspaper near the Burj Khalifa
    A man reads a copy of UAE-based The National newspaper near the Burj Khalifa
    A man sits near the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai as he reads about Israel-UAE deal
    (Photo: AFP)
    We have long since lost interest in the economic devastation of the two million people in Gaza, many of whom live without proper water or electricity supplies.
    We can only hope for more agreements and deals that will bring us closer to peace in our region, but we simply must not let the lure of diamonds and gold blind us to what is right.
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