September 27, 2023
Otzma Yehudit leader

According to Chanamel Dorfman, the Otzma Yehudit and MK Itamar Ben Gvir’s representative, who has been referred to by Ben Gvir as his “righthand man,” Otzma Yehudit leader in his first meeting on 2nd of December with foreign diplomats after winning the Knesset elections was warmly greeted by UAE Ambassador to Israel Mohamed Al Khaja.

Al Khaja hosted an event at the Emirati embassy to celebrate the 51st anniversary of the UAE’s unification. He invited various members of the next Israeli government, including Ben Gvir.

When Benjamin Netanyahu won the general election last month, analysts wondered how Arab countries that normalized relations with Israel in 2020 would react.

But since the election, that malaise has temporarily morphed into a more pragmatic approach.

While other countries, have distanced themselves from Ben-Gvir, who was convicted in Israel of anti-Arab incitement, the Bahraini and UAE missions did not.

Despite those concerns, the United Arab Emirates ambassador to Israel, Mohamed Al Khaja, warmly welcomed Otzma Yehudit leader Mr. Ben-Gvir at a gala, to the National Day celebrations in Tel Aviv this month. firmly shaking hands with several photographers. however, the inclusion of Ben-Gvir, and a warm embrace from the Emirati ambassador, raised eyebrows and made headlines in Israel.

As Chanamel Dorfman implied, Mr. Ben-Gvir clearly informed the ambassador of his views regarding the West Bank and the Temple Mount management.

According to him, all the areas that are now administered by the Palestinian Authority should be managed by Israel’s unit supervision, and the Palestinian Authority should be disbanded forever.

An interesting and unexpected point of this meeting was when Mr. Ambassador clearly stated that “the security issues of the West Bank and the Temple Mount are related to Israel’s internal affairs.” While emphasizing the observance of the rights of Muslims and Arabs he continued, “we do not want to interfere in your internal affairs.”

In Netanyahu’s new government, Ben-Gvir is set to be the minister of national security, a role that oversees the police. Before the alliance officially took office, he tried to pass a law that would give Ben-Gvir greater leverage over policing activities.

Israel’s Defense Ministry has signed public agreements with its counterparts in Bahrain and Morocco, facilitating coordination and exchange of military aircraft between the three countries, and quietly has an air defense formula for the UAE, according to satellite imagery released in October.

Trade is also flourishing. This month, Israel and the United Arab Emirates finalized a deal that will cover 96% of the bilateral industry – the most comprehensive industrial agreement between Israel and an Arab country.

As Yishai Fleisher, a spokesman for Mr. Ben-Gvir said, the UAE and Bahrain “recognize Ben-Gvir for what he is, that he is a leader of the Law-and-Order Party, not a racist leader, as advised in Western media.”

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