Should Israel be a US state

Rapprochement with Israel"The Arab States have capitulated to the USA"

Good neighborly relations with Israel - the vast majority of Arab states have so far made this categorically dependent on a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Only Egypt and Jordan have so far had diplomatic relations with the government in Jerusalem. Now there are two more Arab states: After the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Bahrain has also announced that it will send ambassadors to Jerusalem. Corresponding agreements are to be signed in Washington DC on September 15, 2020 - in the presence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, promoted and mediated by the USA. Donald Trump claims this development is a historic breakthrough.

(dpa / picture alliance) Israel's relations with the Arab world
Multiple wars, a long history of non-recognition by its neighbors - the relationship between Israel and its Arab neighbors is complex for historical reasons. An overview.

Political and Islamic scholar Michael Lüders also sees the developments as a foreign policy success for the Trump administration. "The Arab states have, if you will, capitulated to the very great political and economic power of the USA and of course promise good relations with Israel too," he said in the Dlf.

The price was paid by the Palestinians, who saw their chances of having a state of their own dwindle. She expects - to put it bluntly - a fate similar to that of the natives of North America: "At some point they will be sent to reservations and no longer have the opportunity to determine their own future. The American or Israeli administration is not willing to give the Palestinians their own Lüders said: "It will come down to a South African solution in the apartheid era, that is, Bantustan, which have their limited local autonomy but are not territorially linked to one another."



The interview in full:

Jasper Barenberg: Let's maybe go back to the beginning and what we heard from Donald Trump. Perhaps this is not necessarily a historic breakthrough, but is it certainly a foreign policy success for the American president?

Michael Lüders: That is definitely the case. It is a foreign policy success for the Trump administration, largely orchestrated by his son-in-law Jared Kushner. This is a phenomenon insofar as he does not hold any political office and has practiced Middle East politics in the past few years - from his point of view, from the point of view of the Trump administration, with success. Of course, the price is paid by the Palestinians, who see their chances of having their own state dwindling, and if you take a closer look at what these peace agreements are about, then you have to say that above all there will be enormous gains for the American arms industry which can now open up new markets that were previously closed due to the veto of Israel, which had no interest in delivering state-of-the-art weapons to the United Arab Emirates, for example.

"Israel Big Winner in Two Ways"

Barenberg: My question is that Israel could or will also be the winner, because in Israel, above all, one sees economic opportunities for economic cooperation with these two states?

Lüders: Indeed it is. Israel, too, is of course a big winner in two ways. On the one hand, as mentioned, hardly anyone speaks of a Palestinian state anymore and on the other hand, arms cooperation in particular will be intensified. There has already been very close cooperation between the United Arab Emirates and Israel in the military field in particular. This went so far that, for example, the Emirates had set up a liaison office in Cyprus that allowed Israeli mercenaries to work for the Emirates. The island of Socotra, which belongs to Yemen, was occupied by the emiratis months ago and there is a reflection on the idea that the emiratis and the Israelis should, as it were, align this island there as a military outpost against Iran.

(imago stock & people) Palestinian Ambassador to Germany: "Behavior contrary to international law will be rewarded"
Khouloud Daibes, has criticized the agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. It should not be decided over the Palestinians, she said in the Dlf.

More US arms exports to Gulf states

Barenberg: I mentioned it at the very beginning: So far, most Arab states have had the principle of no normal relations, no diplomatic relations with Israel, as long as the conflict with the Palestinians is not resolved to the satisfaction of all sides. Why are Arab states now deviating more and more from this line?

Lüders: It is above all the Arab Gulf States that are doing this. There are economic reasons for this, massive pressure from the USA, and it is the hope of being able to promote the preservation of the system. In 2011, for example, there was a massive protest movement against the regime there in Bahrain. Bahrain is a state barely the size of Hamburg, but a Shiite majority of the population lives there under the aegis of a Sunni royal family that has basically docked largely with the interests of Saudi Arabia, and the democracy movement there is in 2011 thanks to Saudi tanks, the marched across the bridge towards Bahrain, were crushed.

The regimes in both Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates know, of course, that peace with Israel and close ties to the United States will ensure the long-term survival of their own regimes. No democracy movement in these countries will have a chance to make the existing conditions dance. And as already mentioned, there are immense opportunities here for the American arms industry. US arms exports grew by 42 percent worldwide last year. That corresponds to an increase of 70 billion US dollars. And a not inconsiderable part is accounted for by the Arab Gulf States, above all Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Palestinians "will at some point be sent to reservations"

Barenberg: Many observers are now counting on the fact that these two, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, could soon be followed by other candidates for normalizing relations with Israel. Oman is being discussed, Kuwait, Sudan, Qatar is sometimes mentioned, even Morocco. How much does this phalanx break within the Arab states and how much must the Palestinians fear that they will fall over behind?

Lüders: To put it bluntly, the Palestinians can expect a fate similar to that of the Indians of North America. At some point they will be sent to reservations and no longer have the opportunity to determine their own future. We cannot say with certainty today how exactly their path will be, but the American or Israeli administration is not willing to allow the Palestinians their own state project. It will boil down to a South African solution in the apartheid era, that is, Bantustans, which have their limited local autonomy but are not territorially linked.

Settling on Palestinian land is still possible

Barenberg: Mr. Lüders, if I may hook this up? The fact that Israel pays a price for the normalization of relations with the two states, that it is suspending any plan to annex territories in the occupied West Bank, does not change that.

Lüders: Yes, the key word is suspension. This means that the de facto creeping annexation of the Palestinian territories in the West Bank will of course continue. But the formal annexation will be postponed until after the US elections. That may take place in the next year after next. Maybe one waits with it too. None of this is crucial, because de facto the Israeli settlers can continue to make Palestinian land their own, and that is the path that will continue to exist. The Arab states have, if you will, capitulated to the very great political and economic power of the USA and of course they also promise themselves good relations with Israel. In essence, it is also good that these formerly warring states are coming together.

(picture alliance / Alex Brandon) Avi Primor: Not a historic day
Israel has had important relations with the Gulf States for years, Avi Primor told the Dlf. The former ambassador of Israel stated that the agreement only allowed contacts at diplomatic level.

Regulations for the Al-Aqsa Mosque "Dynamite"

It is interesting that Saudi Arabia does not yet intend to join this peace agreement. This is remarkable in that Saudi Arabia and its Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman have worked very, very closely with Jared Kushner in the past to advance peace. Israeli planes are allowed to fly over Saudi Arabia and a high-ranking Saudi delegation was in Israel. But there will probably be no peace treaty between Saudi Arabia and Israel for the time being.

The reason is that this contract with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, which is being signed today, contains a passage that basically opens the Al-Aqsa Mosque to those who pray also from other religions, i.e. also to Jews and Christians - nothing to be said against it in and of itself. Only the problem is: there are radical Jewish groups in Israel who dream of pushing the Al-Aqsa mosque more and more to the edge in the hope of being able to rebuild the third Jewish temple. The destroyed second Jewish temple was exactly where the Al-Aqsa mosque now stands, destroyed by the Romans at the time. And the rest that remains is the Jewish Wailing Wall.

There is a real dynamite here that has been detonated, because if radicalized settlers, for example, get the idea of ​​praying on the Al-Aqsa site, which they can now do under this new treaty, then the whole thing will very quickly become too big There are tensions between Jews and Muslims, and thus de facto the Jordanian sovereignty over the Al-Aqsa mosque, which previously existed over the territory, which covers 14 hectares, is abolished, and that is really an explosive device.

Statements by our interlocutors reflect their own views. Deutschlandfunk does not adopt the statements of its interlocutors in interviews and discussions as its own.