Only a few short months after the Abraham Accords were signed in Washington, the United Arab Emirates are signing business deals worth billions of dollars with Israel. Much to the consternation of Israel-haters, the Gulf Arabs are not prejudiced and are open to importing products from the Biblical heartland in Judea and Samaria.
Dubai Wants Israeli Wine and Honey
On Monday, the Hebrew-language Srugim news site reported that the Samaria Regional Council and heads of local manufacturers and companies signed the first export agreement with companies in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The agreement with the Dubai distribution company FAM Holding comes as a result of meetings last month between Samaria Regional Council leader Yossi Dagan and heads of local manufacturers and companies with businessmen in Dubai.
The Israeli industries included honey-producers, wineries, olive oil, and tahini. The Israeli companies included in the agreement were Paradise Honey of Northern Samaria and Tura Winery of Rechelim, which has won more than 80 international awards in the last 10 years. Dagan represented the Har Bracha Winery, the Tom Winery, and the Arnon Winery. Dubai has a need for wine for its burgeoning tourist industry.
“We are very happy that you came here,” said Dr.Faisal Ali Mousa, the owner of FAM, one of the 100 leading growth companies in the Middle East. “If you had asked me a year ago if I had dreamed such a thing could have happened, I would have told you no. We have achieved a great goal today. We have transformed the vision of our countries into practice.
“This is just the beginning of business between two countries – it is not just a business signature,” he said. “This is a statement to the world that we are real brothers, we are real friends and we want to do business together and live in peace. We are changing the future.”
Indeed, this does seem to be just the beginning. In an article published on Wednesday, Hamad Buamim, Dubai’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told Israel’s Globes newspaper that his country has no problem buying products from Judea and Samaria.
Open Market Benefitting Jew and Arab Alike
“We are an open market in every sense of the word, and that means the broader the trade is and the more it is able to help various populations in the region, the better,” Buamim said. He also stated that they will not differentiate between products made in different areas of Israel, noting that many “Palestinians” work in Jewish owned industries.
“The advantages of the current [normalization] agreements and those that will come for the Palestinians are particularly great, and they have the potential to make the necessary change in the area,” Buamim said.
The potential of this trade was described by Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, chairman of DP World, one of the largest international port operators. At an event with Israeli businesspeople in Dubai on Monday. The firm is in talks to jointly take over Haifa port with an Israeli company.
“We estimate at least $5 billion of trade will happen between our countries in the beginning and this will grow,” bin Sulayem said at the inaugural UAE-Israel Future Digital Technology Summit, part of this week’s Gitex technology conference in Dubai.
BDS: Now Hating Arabs as Well as Jews
These developments come as a result of the Trump-brokered Abraham Accords that normalized relations between Israel and the UAE. The anti-Semitic Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement decried the agreement, saying it “adds yet another police state to Israel’s league of international friends and allies.” As its name implies, BDS’s main tactic is to boycott Israel, targeting the areas of Judea and Samaria. In addition to claims that BDS spreads a false narrative and revisionist approach to history in order to challenge Israel’s right to exist, critics of the movement claim it economically harms Israeli Arabs living in Judea and Samaria which offer employment with higher wages than Palestinian employers.