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This is warm peace

Yaakov Katz is Editor-in-Chief, The Jerusalem Post
Yaakov Katz is Editor-in-Chief, The Jerusalem Post

The Abraham Accords will usher in an era of congenial relationship

By Yaakov Katz

Published: Thu 28 Jan 2021, 4:30 PM

In 1979, after years of war and bloodshed, Israel struck a peace deal with Egypt. In 1994, it signed a historic deal with Jordan.

Both were Arab countries that Israel fought wars with - Jordan in 1948 and 1967; Egypt in both of those and two more, including the Yom Kippur War in 1973. Peace with Egypt and Jordan meant peace with two former enemies, countries that Israel had lost thousands of young men to in fierce battles.

Those accords heralded in an era of peace in the Middle East. Weapons were put down, border crossings were opened, and embassies were established.

Thankfully, that was never the case between Israel and the UAE. Yes, Israel and the UAE did not have public diplomatic ties, but the two countries never fought a war against one another.

Which is why the Abraham Accords are so exciting for Israelis. With Egypt and Jordan, weapons were laid down and governments began working together, but peace between the people was never truly achieved. Decades later, the peace sadly remains 'cold'. There is very little joint industry, tourism or grassroots initiatives and cooperation.

With the UAE though that is a whole different story and why the deal with the UAE has the potential - for the average Israeli - to mean a lot more than the previous peace deals.

With the UAE, there is no bad blood. There is no bad history. Instead, it is a country with which Israel can start a clean slate and build a new alliance.

While Israelis have gotten used to the 'cold' peace with Jordan and Egypt, the relations that are being built in the UAE are already warm and people are already visiting and investing in one another.

This peace is what has made this magazine possible as well as my newspaper's partnership with Khaleej Times, under which we have already held a successful online webinar watched by tens of thousands of people from across the globe and are working on an in-person conference to be held in Dubai at the end of February.

Before the peace deal, the prospect of Israeli and UAE newspapers collaborating with one another seemed unrealistic. But now it is happening. This is what peace looks like.

Yaakov Katz is Editor-in-Chief, The Jerusalem Post


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