Limor Livnat
Limor Livnat
Photo: Yaron Brener
 L-R) Bahrain Foreign Minister Abdullatif al-Zayani, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump, and UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan participate in the signing of the Abraham Accords where the countries of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates recognize Israel, at the White House in Washington

Israel needs a worthy leader more than covert peace deals

Opinion: While the normalization agreements with UAE and Bahrain are indeed an achievement for Netanyahu, the people of Israel are more concerned with upcoming lockdown, the surging coronavirus caseload and the economic crisis

Limor Livnat |
Published: 09.16.20 , 14:27
On Tuesday, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a smirk on his face signed the normalization agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, realizing similar deals with other countries are on the horizon, it felt fitting to be joyous and even praise the Israeli leader for his achievement.
  • Follow Ynetnews on Facebook and Twitter


  • But, do these agreements actually cement the principle of "peace in return for peace" among the nations? Not necessarily.
    L-R: Bahrain FM Abdullatif Alzayani, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Donald Trump and Emirati FM Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan at the signing of the Abraham Accords at the White House L-R: Bahrain FM Abdullatif Alzayani, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Donald Trump and Emirati FM Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan at the signing of the Abraham Accords at the White House
    L-R) Bahrain Foreign Minister Abdullatif al-Zayani, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump, and UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan participate in the signing of the Abraham Accords where the countries of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates recognize Israel, at the White House in Washington
    (Photo: AFP)
    Through a multitude of camera angles, we watched the celebration attended by few hundred guests. We, of course, also saw Netanyahu, who pretended to be Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenzi - whom he left in Israel in a fit of pettiness.
    His two sons, however, Netanyahu decided to bring with him to the White House, like it was some sort of family trip.
    Our “alternate prime minister” and current Defense Minister Benny Gantz was also left back behind by Netanyahu. But the politicians were not the only ones left behind by the prime minister.
    ארגוני העצמאים בירושליםארגוני העצמאים בירושלים
    Independent business owners demanding compensation before the general closure is imposed, Jerusalem
    (Photo: Tal Kirshenbaum)
    Here in Israel, nine million Israeli citizens were left to deal with the surging coronavirus outbreak, the subsequent and escalating economic crisis, a three-week nationwide lockdown, and a list of confusing and contradicting rules and restrictions.
    We were left to run around, scrambling, trying to finish any last-minute arrangements before the closure is imposed upon us this coming Friday.
    Everyone was left behind, including the people of southern Israel, who once again came under rocket attacks from Gaza and had to take cover in bomb shelters during the signing ceremony in Washington.
    Fishbein schools cartoon lockdown coronavirus closure uae bahrain deal Fishbein schools cartoon lockdown coronavirus closure uae bahrain deal
    (Cartoon: Yotam Fishbein)
    Meanwhile, our very own prime minister, who initially wanted to take a private plane to Washington for fear he might contract coronavirus, shook hands and rubbed elbows with U.S. President Donald Trump without wearing a mask or adhering to any sort of health regulations.
    Now for the important question: What is in these agreements that Netanyahu flat out refused to bring them before any official national forum - such as the government, cabinet or Knesset - before the signing ceremony?
    רקטות עזה ירי הסלמה אשדוד נפילה צבע אדום אזעקהרקטות עזה ירי הסלמה אשדוד נפילה צבע אדום אזעקה
    The scene of the rocket attack in Ashdod
    (Photo: MCT)
    Currently, it is unknown if the hints sprinkled around by Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, regarding future borders with the Palestinians, have any merit - nor is it known if the agreement delays or abolishes Israel's intentions to apply its sovereignty to the West Bank.
    It is also unclear if the agreements include Israel’s consent to Washington to sell F-35 fighter jets, or any other advanced weapon systems, to the UAE - thus breaking America's commitment to keep Israel’s technological superiority in the region.
    All of the above remains unknown, and it seems it will take time until the truth comes out. Peace for peace? Not so much.
    רקטות עזה ירי הסלמה אשדוד נפילה צבע אדום אזעקהרקטות עזה ירי הסלמה אשדוד נפילה צבע אדום אזעקה
    Damage caused by the rocket in Ashdod
    (Photo: MCT)
    True, Israel is not giving away territory in exchange for the agreement, but what is it giving away?
    There is reason to be joyous, the many smiling faces during the ceremony can attest to that. But I failed to see one Israeli citizen rejoicing in the streets.
    Netanyahu should have been modest, arrive at the ceremony without his family, and then come back straight to Israel after, in order to lead this country who is so starved for a leader who will work for the benefit of the people.

    Talkbacks for this article 0