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Schlaglicht Number 11/22, Latest News from the Israeli Press, June 1-16, 2022

“Schlaglicht Israel” offers an insight into internal Israeli debates and reflects selected, political events that affect daily life in Israel. It appears every two weeks and summarizes articles that appeared in the Israeli daily press.

Download the latest Publication of “Schlaglicht Israel”!

Main topics covered in this Publication:

  1. Coalition in Crisis
  2. Hardened Positions in the Negotiation Process for a Nuclear Agreement
  3. On the Death of the Writer A.B. Yehoshua
  4. Selection of Articles

1. Coalition in Crisis

Israel’s elected officials put party politics over public interest

(…) the ruling authority is bound by the contract to act in the interest of the country and its public. But we, as citizens, have inadvertently accepted the situation whereby our elected leaders are openly acting in opposition to the social contract with us. There can certainly be opposing views about proposed legislation and on the actions of the government, but if a member of Knesset says publicly that his or her vote on a given issue is meant solely to embarrass the opposing political camp, he or she are undermining the foundations of the state’s functioning. (…) we have become accustomed to the perversions of politics, with legislators choosing to oppose necessary and important bill proposals due to interests of their political party. (…)

Giora Eiland, YED, 01.06.22

Gideon Sa’ar not necessarily wrong to question coalition’s legitimacy

(…) A government that cannot do something as basic as ensure the continued laws that regulate the rights and duties of Israeli civilians over the Green Line, is a government that needs to question its existence. While Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid openly claim that it is to “save the country” from former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu returning to power – this time with Itamar Ben-Gvir in tow – this might not be enough. A government needs to provide for its citizens. That is, in fact, what the Bennett-Lapid government did in November when it passed a state budget for the first time in three-and-a-half years after Netanyahu had held it as a way to cling to power. A state budget is something that every country needs. (…) state programs and more; millions of lives are dependent on it. Not allowing it to pass was gross negligence. The bill that is needed for the Jewish residents of the West Bank is not that much different. Without this law – it needs to pass by the end of the month, which is why proceedings need to begin this week – the residents will not be able to do basic things that citizens of the rest of the country (…) take for granted. (…) If the bill fails in a big loss to the coalition, a shake-up will be possible. (…) We hope the government succeeds in passing the (…) legislation (…) and caution those MKs who appear preoccupied with their political future over the fate of nearly half a million Israelis who live over the Green Line. Remember why you were elected to office and what you swore when you took up your seat in the Knesset. You came to serve the people.

Editorial, JPO, 05.06.22

Political monotony out; chaos in

(…) Over the past year, not a week has been crisis-free. Two senior coalition members described the government’s dealings as “chaotic” and the next few weeks bode more of the same. (…) Recent legislative proposals would have caused a ruckus had they failed, but it would not have been as dramatic. The citizenship bill would have made things difficult for security forces, but they would have managed; the soldiers’ tuition bill would have deprived troops of university scholarships – which is unjust, but not critical; but the Judea and Samaria bill will have an actual impact on the lives of each and every Israeli living there. If these provisions are allowed to elapse, every Israeli living in Judea and Samaria would effectively be subject to Jordanian law and with it to a court-martial, regardless of the offense. The Israel Police would have no jurisdiction there, meaning Judea and Samaria localities would become a safe haven for criminals. Not to mention what it would do to tax laws, dealing with security prisoners – the list goes on and on. The current bill ensuring Israeli law applies in Judea and Samaria is set to expire on June 30. Until then, the government can vote on it again and again, giving way to endless political drama. (…) No one knows what tomorrow will bring to Israeli politics, but one thing is sure: it won’t be boring.

Yehuda Shlezinger, IHY, 06.06.22

Netanyahu, opposition are petulant and foolish in Knesset battle

(…) in the world according to Regev (…) bringing down the government – justify the means. This rationale justifies a willingness to vote against bills to provide scholarships to soldiers, or measures to help battered wives or rape victims, if it hurts the government. It is this rationale that led the opposition last year to vote against automatically extending the Family Reunification Law, preventing Palestinians who marry Arab Israelis from acquiring Israeli citizenship, something that took months to rectify. And it meant voting (…) against passing a directive, renewed every five years automatically since 1967, to give Israel legal jurisdiction over nearly 500,000 Israeli citizens living in Judea and Samaria. How could settlement supporters such as Likud and the Religious Zionist party vote against this measure, which was defeated, thereby joining up with the Arab Joint List and two Arab coalition MKs, for whom all settlement is anathema? How could they not extend a directive that if not passed by the end of June will create havoc for all Jews living beyond the Green Line? Simple, because voting against the extension gives the coalition a black eye and demonstrates that it cannot even pass basic measures that until now most people have never even heard of, and were considered automatic. (…) For too long, it has been accepted as axiomatic that the aim of the opposition is to bring down the government. Bringing down the government may be one of the jobs of the opposition, but it is not its only task. The job of the opposition MKs, like that of coalition MKs, is to do what is good for the country, to serve the public. They are showing a dereliction of that duty when they vote against something they believe in simply to score political points and perhaps hasten the government’s demise. (…)

Editorial, JPO, 07.06.22

MKs should remember their mission

(…) The Knesset debacle in passing the regulation has led Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar to express outrage toward some in the coalition but mainly against the opposition for doing everything it can to topple the government even if that comes at the expense of the settlers. If the regulations don’t get passed by July, Israelis living in Judea and Samaria would be denied basic services such as social security payments and access to the DMV and won’t be able to vote for the Knesset. This will be a bureaucratic nightmare. These regulations have been renewed every five years for the past five decades, without this ever causing tempers to flare at the Knesset. But this time the opposition believes that anything is kosher when it comes to toppling the government. While one can somehow understand why there are Arab MKs rebelling within the coalition over this, for fear this would imply they support annexation, when it comes to the opposition, it appears they should be reminded of the Jewish concept of giving thanks and support the measure.

Nechama Duek, IHY, 08.06.22

Israel’s political maturity is in regression

(…) Monday’s vote in the Knesset on the bill extending the Israeli sovereignty over the Jewish settlements in the West Bank (…) made two things clear: firstly, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s government is a minority one; secondly, the attempt to incorporate an Arab party into the governing coalition has failed. (…) political interest joins forces with hatred of Arabs as a sector, and with racism. This doesn’t mean necessarily that Bennett’s government is over. It means there has been a regression in the process of Israel’s political maturity. I see it as a sad omen. The government lost its ability to pass legislations, approve a budget, and initiate reforms. It can launch a military operation, but nothing more. In the Knesset, it is destined to be paralyzed. Its members’ feet may still be planted in the government, but their eyes will wander to the ballot box. (…) If elections are on the horizon, the only party that may benefit from it is Lapid’s Yesh Atid. Lapid showed maturity, leadership and control over members of his party in the Knesset. (…)

Nahum Barnea, YED, 11.06.22

The soon-to-end coalition that nurtured two visions of Israel

Before the eulogies begin for this strange, wildly disparate, increasingly dysfunctional and soon-to-collapse government, let’s pause on its first anniversary to celebrate its extraordinary achievement. Against all odds, this government has succeeded in simultaneously modeling Israel’s two uneasy national identities, as a Jewish state, responsible for the fate of the Jewish people, and as a democratic state, responsible for the fate of all its citizens, Jewish or Arab. (…) If it had succeeded only in creating a model of Israeli Jewish cooperation across seemingly irreconcilable divides, this government would deserve our gratitude, the blessing of “dayenu:” For this alone, it was worth the effort. But the government went one step further: It created a model for a shared Israeli civic identity between Arabs and Jews. For the first time, an Arab party became a key component in a government coalition (…). This government has in effect recognized that Zionism is responsible for the well-being of two peoples. Zionism both recreated the Jewish people and created a new people, the Israelis. While the two peoples obviously intersect, they are not identical. A government faithful to the full complexity of the Zionist achievement assumes responsibility for Israel as a Jewish state and as the state of all its citizens. The implicit tradeoff for Arab-Jewish cooperation is Jewish acceptance of the Israeli-democratic identity of the state, a commitment to full equality for all its citizens, and a reciprocal Arab acceptance of the state’s Jewish identity. That is precisely the tradeoff this government has modeled. (…) The alternative to this government of dual national reconciliation – between Jews and Arabs, between Jews and Jews – is the unraveling of Israeli cohesion. (…) Israel is divided by two visions. But that divide, it turns out, doesn’t run between religious and secular, left and right, or even Arab and Jew. Instead, the divide is between the camp that is committed to the hard and frustrating work of strengthening our common identity, and the camp that relentlessly pries open our schisms and wounds, the multiple ethnic and ideological fault lines that threaten our fragile cohesiveness. One is a coalition of healing; the other, a coalition of hurban, national ruin. Given the alternative that awaits us if Netanyahu returns to power, it is frankly unbearable to watch the government’s unraveling, the ease with which renegade MKs defect to the opposition or attempt to hold the coalition for ransom. But however this government ends, its vision of an Israel striving for its highest aspirations will remain as an option. For that too, this government deserves our blessing of dayenu.

Yossi Klein Halevi, TOI, 12.06.22

2. Hardened Positions in the Negotiation Process for a Nuclear Agreement

This Is Not How Israel Scores the Iranian Goal

The recent series of assassinations and attacks in Iran point to the fact that Israel has adopted a new strategy of chaos. On loan from the world of soccer, the approach could be called “Yallah, balagan” (loosely, “Let’s rumble!”). That happens when a team realizes that it’s about to lose and decides to send the ball far onto the playing field in the hope that chaos will ensue, and some Gerd Müller will appear there who by chance will score a goal from the distance of a meter. (…) In recent weeks there has been a series of incidents attributed to Israel, which point to the change. These include a drone strike against a large warehouse of Iranian drones. (…) In the past two weeks there has also been a report about the death of three scientists under mysterious circumstances (…). To them, we must also add a strange mishap in the border control’s computer system at the Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran, which caused chaos. (…) For some 15 years, until Bennett and Barnea assumed their positions, the part of Israel’s clandestine war with Iran that was conducted on Iranian soil (…) was focused on its nuclear program. But now, apparently, it has been expanded to include attacking scientists and officers in the missile and drone programs, the Quds Force and cyber warfare. Bennett himself described the new policy in August as “death by a thousand cuts,” a practice originating in imperial China that means death by slow torture. But does the prime minister really think that he can kill Iran, in other words, bring about a regime change by slow torture? It’s true that the constant attacks attest to the fact that Israeli intelligence has deeply penetrated the country. They hurt and humiliate the regime. (…) the goal of chaos is being achieved. (…) History teaches that regimes dissolve when the public is fed up with them and takes to the streets – due to an economic crisis, corruption and rot – and not due to the activities of a foreign intelligence agency, even if successful. When it is clear that an attack by Israel alone against the nuclear sites is not on the agenda, what is the point of the operations that aren’t focused on the nuclear program, except to defy, humiliate, avenge and annoy? (…) Iran is getting weaker, but it is determined to continue with its nuclear program despite the harsh sanctions. Isn’t it preferable to focus on attempts to interfere with the nuclear program by means of attacks against the “weapons group,” the critical stage in assembling nuclear weapons, or alternatively to gain time by returning to a reasonable nuclear agreement? Maybe it’s even worth thinking out of the box, how to break the vicious cycle of revenge attacks, assassinations and sabotage, in which cause and effect become increasingly vague, and to try, even if chances are slim, to reach a quiet understanding about a ceasefire, by means of intermediaries. After all, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Yossi Melman, HAA, 07.06.22

A nuclear Iran: Deal or no deal?

(…) if we look at the implications of the period when the original agreement signed in 2015 was in effect and before the Trump administration withdrew from it in 2018, it becomes clear that the Iranian threat has many facets and is not limited to the threat of a nuclear bomb. It is a catastrophic threat that should not be underestimated, once it arises. But there are other kinds of Iranian threats that should not be underestimated. (…) there is the financing and arming of terrorist militias scattered in various regions of the Middle East, such as Yemen, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. (…) Consequently, the Iranian threat should not be limited to the nuclear component as the worst potential threat. Nor should we cave into the bad option on the grounds that we are avoiding the worst. The bad option is not our destiny in this inflamed region of the world. (…) the Iranian threat has not ended with the 2015 agreement but has only slowed down a bit. Further delay by reaching new agreements does not mean that we have rid ourselves of the danger, only that we have further pushed it back. (…) This flawed agreement, full of loopholes, should not be the only option for the region and the world. Its revival is only an achievement of the Iranian side or of those who seek to delay the threat and pass it on to our future generations in the region. (…) with or without the agreement, there is no real international opportunity to control the development of Iran’s nuclear program, given its evasiveness and secrecy. Iran publicly admits that it has enriched 60% of its uranium since the deal was frozen. (…) The dilemma in the Iranian issue is how to confine it to the nuclear angle, since the danger is not limited to nuclear ambitions, but to the intentions of using them, on one hand and the whole Iranian project, of which nuclear capabilities are just one instrument, on the other. (…) The bad will only lead to more funds, more room to maneuver, more influence and more extension for Iran, only to take us back to the climate of the 2015-2018 era, the results of which we now see in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

Salem Alketbi, JPO, 07.06.22

The world must be serious about stopping Iran

(…) the ayatollahs are ignoring nuclear norms as the country races to enrich uranium and installs advanced centrifuges. (…) Iran will continue to enrich, it will continue to install advanced centrifuges, and it will likely shut down some international monitoring. It will launch more drone and rocket attacks against Iraq and threaten Israel from Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and directly from Iran. (…) The challenge ahead is to keep up the pressure on Iran. (…) much more work must be done. (…) Iran has made many demands to get back to a deal. (…) Iran uses its nuclear program to wring concessions and blackmail the world. (…) Unfortunately, because of Russia and China’s own concerns about the West, these two key states have not come together to encourage Iran to step away from its dangerous destabilizing path. Instead, Russia and China allow Iran to continue to threaten Israel and let loose a nuclear arms race in the region that can ensnare the Gulf, Turkey and others. (…) Iran has shown that it will break every international norm in its behavior. It fires missiles and drones at other countries and has recently illegally seized Greek ships. All of this illustrates that it is a most dangerous and unreliable country and that it must never be equipped with nuclear weapons or its danger will increase exponentially.

Editorial, JPO, 10.06.22

Ignore the empty diplomatic talk on Iran’s nuclear program

(…) Over the 18 months that US President Joe Biden has been in office, Israel has been confident the US and Iran’s return to the nuclear deal was a done deal. Only a few (…) begged to differ. We thought Iran was in no rush to cut a deal, in the belief that time was on its side, despite America giving the deal its all. This is how things were before energy prices began to spike around the world. Now, three months into the war in Ukraine, they are doubly true. Now, without anyone making any mention of it, Iran has crossed all of the red lines delineated by Jerusalem and Washington. It has ramped up its uranium enrichment to 60%, acquired enough material for three nuclear bombs, upgraded its centrifuges, added underground facilities, shortened its breakout time to zero, and more – and that is just what the West is aware of. We should assume there is more we know nothing about. From an Iranian standpoint, America is weak, mired in economic crisis, and suffering as a result of the war in Ukraine. It does not dare threaten the use of force and has not developed an alternative strategy for the dying nuclear accord. What reason does the elderly Ayatollah Ali Khamenei have to fear old man Biden? The difficult sanctions are behind him, his economy is surpassing all the West’s forecasts, and the regime in Tehran is stable. He has no reason to complain. (…) Under these circumstances, Iran could conclude the time has come to break out toward the bomb. This is the pressing headline no one is talking about (…). Instead of focusing on worthless diplomatic statements from Vienna, the question we must all contemplate is: What exactly is happening in the belly of the earth in Fordow and Natanz and above ground in Arak and Bushehr?

Ariel Kahana, IHY, 10.06.22

Israel’s strategy and statesmanship

(…) The strategic importance of the economy in the rise and fall of regional and even great world powers is often overlooked. This rise of Israel’s economy, from a 50th GDP per capita global ranking in 1999, to 19th in 2019 (…) has been a critical component in Israel’s capability to confront Iran. A powerful economy enabled Israel’s development and acquisition of sophisticated weapons and the use of advanced and actionable intelligence. (…) At the same time, Iran and its authoritarian regime suffered from a stagnant economy. Their GDP per capita was stuck at about $3,000 for over 20 years. They could not properly utilize their natural and human resources, and were hammered by the US-led economic sanctions that climaxed under president Donald Trump. (…) The historic peace pacts with strong Muslim states which, like Israel, view Iran’s radical Shi’ites as a threat, were largely facilitated by the wise withdrawal from the dangerous nuclear deal. (…) the Abraham Accords, accompanied with seasoned leadership, can help confront the imminent threat of a nuclear Iran.

Ophir Falk, JPO, 12.06.22

The danger of Iranian despair

(…) Iran’s announcement (…) it was shutting off surveillance cameras at some nuclear sites across the country, as a means to pressure the West as it seeks to censure Tehran at a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency, epitomizes a regime in distress. (…) The regime is facing threats on all fronts — domestic and international. Hence, Iran has become much more unexpected in its conduct, and thus, way more dangerous. The recent spate of attacks against Iranian targets over the last few weeks, which have been tied back to Israel — from the killings of Iranian officials to the raid that struck the Damascus International Airport — while done in an attempt to impede the country’s nuclear advancement, have likely only pushed Iran closer to the edge. (…) But the hardest blow was the halt of nuclear fuel flow. Some 30% of Iran’s nuclear fuel supply came from Ukraine and Russia. (…) the Iranian side is trying to hide information from its people or downplay its significance. The accumulation of reports of this sort, nibbling at the national morale, could severely hinder the Iranian public’s trust in its leadership. This psychological offensive has already yielded one outcome: the nuclear deal with world powers seems to be falling apart. Raisi’s Iran cannot come crawling back asking for the generous offer the Americans made several months ago. On the other hand, a regime in distress could do something extreme to demonstrate its power and scale the diplomatic ladder. This is why Tehran has been making a great effort to harm Israeli nationals abroad. Out of despair, the Iranian regime may be capable of going even further.

Alex Fishman, YED, 13.06.22

3. On the Death of the Writer A.B. Yehoshua

A.B. Yehoshua, Israeli literary giant and ardent humanist, dies aged 85

A.B. Yehoshua, a fiery humanist, towering author, and staunch advocate of Zionism as the sole answer for the Jewish condition, died (…) Yehoshua’s work was structurally innovative and narratively traditional. There were no chapter-long sentences in his novels and no preposterous quests sapped of all plot. Instead, one was likely to meet a raw exploration of a flawed but likable protagonist, a patient, humor-laden style, and a dark storyline that deftly held the reader to the page. The sentences were long and complex, nested with meaning, and the heart of the stories could often be found in dialogue. (…) On the matter of Judaism and the centrality of Israel, he shifted not at all. Despite howls of protest from Jewish communities abroad, he repeatedly stated that all Jews living outside the state of Israel were “partial Jews” and that even those who spent all their waking hours poring over texts and observing commandments were less Jewish than their brethren in Israel, where taxes and defense and incarceration, and all elements of daily life, are determined by Jews. (…) For 50 years or so, in books and on the pages of Israel’s daily newspapers, he argued strongly for a division between Israeli and Palestinians, a two-state solution to the conflict. In 2016, he stepped forward and said (…) that the goal was no longer feasible. (…) Instead, he called for “equality” and for new thought on how Israel might grant full citizenship and rights to Palestinians and “contain” them in our midst. ( …)

Mitch Ginsburg, TOI, 14.06.22

‘I Believed in Israeliness So Much,’ A.B. Yehoshua Said Repeatedly

(…) In his final days, he was assailed by a great weakness that surprised him, as if it were the most surprising part of his unavoidable encounter with death. (…) Even in his last weeks, when he was unable to leave his home, he devised a play in his imagination. It was nearly completed in his mind, without a single word having been written. (…) A.B. Yehoshua continued to speak with passion about writing and literature, and also about politics – his two loves, the two topics to which his conversation always returned. (…) Bulli, as he has been known since childhood, was a writer for every moment of his life. (…) he always kept up with current events, seeking with all his might to stretch out his arm and extricate the country from the abyss into which he believed it had fallen. His mood was darkened by the scenes from the Flag March through his city of Jerusalem, by the sights and sounds of young yeshiva students marching through the streets (…) and the even more extreme groups that passed through Damascus Gate (…). He longed to do something, to repair what was wrong, to make this place better, even when he knew his time had run out and when even breathing was an effort. If only this place would repay his love and concern by repairing itself.

Iris Leal, HAA, 15.06.22

The last Jewish writer

A.B. Yehoshua, a sophisticated, obsessive observer, identified the emotional sacrifice Jews have made throughout the generations and Israelis now were making for their conflicted land. (…) A.B. Yehoshua – a modernist (…) belonged to the tradition of Kafka and Borges more than to the legacy of the generation of Hebrew authors who preceded him. Yehoshua, “a son of the old Sephardic community in Jerusalem, who masquerades as Ashkenazi in every aspect,” as he described himself in 1989, freed local prose from its rigid focus on naturalism and national realism and opened it to a universal world of symbols and ideas. He had the authority and the ability to cut himself on and create, not by turning his back on his roots, but by understanding the complexity of Jewish thought and its centrality to human existence in general. (…) Yehoshua’s writing travels through the Israeli landscape. He did not behave as the nation’s psychologist, but rather as a sophisticated, obsessive observer, and identified the emotional sacrifice Jews have made throughout the generations and Israelis are now making for their conflicted land. (…) As a public figure, Yehoshua was conservative, and adhered to his Sephardic ancestors’ traditions. Together with his friend and contemporary Amos Oz, he insisted on serving as a “watchman for the people of Israel,” even when that turned into an almost naïve political stance that was natural mainly in the days when literature was part of the great national movement. (…) he truly cared for every soul in the Jewish people and wanted to assign them an eternal space, despite the nomadic DNA and their self-destructiveness. (…) A.B. Yehoshua was the last Jewish writer, because the critical mass of our current writers do not attempt to climb into the watchman’s post – they are simply “the people of Israel.” (…) In that sense – the loss is great. (…)

Omer Lachmanovitch, IHY, 15.06.22

A.B. Yehoshua, the Man Who Refused to Despair

A.B. Yehoshua was one of the greatest Israeli authors. But the man who wrote “Mr. Mani,” “Five Seasons,” “Facing the Forests” and “The Lover” was also a socially-involved intellectual who represented the generation of this country’s founders. (…) Yehoshua dove deep into definitions of identity in order to get to the heart of the matter, and his conclusions were sometimes painful and even offensive (…), hard to digest (…). At times, they were also shocking (…). Like others of that generation, Yehoshua didn’t make a clear separation between the personal and the public. He didn’t fuse his personal and ideological existence with Zionism and the state the way the literary groups that came before him did, but he nevertheless viewed Israel as a life’s work. And the way to participate in the work was to be “inside” – to read, write, speak and persuade. To act. The individual remains the individual, but one of Yehoshua’s main avenues of self-expression, perhaps even the main avenue, was the part he freely played in the Israeli project. That is where he directed a significant portion of his intellectual power, talent, energy and moral concern. (…) Yehoshua also never ceased fighting for peace with the Palestinians and never ceased extending a hand for cooperation with Israel’s Arab citizens. His legacy must be remembered.

Editorial, HAA, 15.06.22

4.  Selection of Articles

Israeli Gas for Europe

Israel should invest in gas production, export

(…) The need for locally sourced natural gas has significantly increased since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has caused European powers, as well as Israel, to look for alternative gas sources due to Western sanctions on Russia. (…) Israel has slowly but surely become a regional player in gas exports. Israel decided to allocate 40% of its gas reserves to foreign exports. (…) Not only is the search for natural gas a safe move financially, it is also a diplomatically sound decision. The search for natural gas has directly assisted in the strengthening of ties between Israel and Egypt and with Jordan, which is crucial to retain stability in the volatile Middle East. (…) In light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, there may be an opportunity once again to revisit the EastMed pipeline’s viability, and if Israel plays its cards right, it can become a central gas exporter in the Middle East and to Europe overall. For that to happen, though, Israel needs to make decisions now, since in the energy sector, it usually takes years until a plan on paper becomes a reality. (…) Israel can only benefit at this point, with the international energy crisis in full throttle, from pushing hard at its gas production and export.

Editorial, JPO, 06.06.22

Israel and the United Arab Emirates Sign Trade Agreements

Israel UAE trade agreement is a big deal

Israel and the United Arab Emirates signed a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) (…) the first such deal between the Jewish state and an Arab country. (…) It’s a big deal for several reasons. (…) it will boost economic ties between the two regional powerhouses (…). The agreement also serves as a model accord for future FTAs between Israel and Arab countries. (…) The Israel-UAE free trade agreement covers everything from regulation and customs to e-commerce and intellectual property rights. Some 96% of products traded between the countries – from food and agriculture to cosmetics and medication – will be exempt from customs duty, many immediately and others gradually. (…) Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco all normalized ties with Israel under the framework of the Abraham Accords, and more countries are expected to follow. They are all good candidates for free trade agreements. (…)

Editorial, JPO, 01.06.22

HAA = Haaretz
YED = Yedioth Ahronoth / Ynetnews
JPO = Jerusalem Post
IHY = Israel HaYom
TOI = Times of Israel
GLO = Globes

Published: June 2022.

Dr. Paul Pasch, Head of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Israel

Susanne Knaul
Judith Stelmach

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