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Israel, Emirates strive for warm, vibrant, profitable peace

Since the signing of the Abraham Accords, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain multiply contacts for joint ventures and mutual investments.

Even before the first ambassador from the United Arab Emirates arrived in Israel, economic relations between the two countries had been flourishing. Data from the final quarter of 2020, published by Al-Monitor just as the normalization agreement with the Emirates was announced, reveals that business deals worth $1 billion had already been signed between the two countries, with most of those deals involving the sale of Israeli high tech to the UAE. The potential for growth is enormous since the Emirates — and Bahrain — are international commercial centers that import most of their basic needs, especially food and technology but just about everything else as well.

Thus, economics and trade are becoming the underlying foundation for the close relationship that Israel is building with the UAE and Bahrain, but also with Oman and the Saudis, even if in the latter two cases it is taking place behind the scenes. In contrast, the cold peace with Jordan and Egypt persists, decades after the original agreements were signed. The difference between those first-generation peace agreements and the current normalization agreements can perhaps be attributed to persistent memories of the wars those countries fought with Israel or maybe the absence of any real civil economic, and other, non-political relations.

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