Only Months Into Peace: Why Is the UAE Mad at Israel's PM?

Published March 18th, 2021 - 09:28 GMT
Israel and UAE flags
The UAE and Israel have signed a peace agreement last September. (Shutterstock: Novikov Aleksey)

Only a few months into diplomatic ties between the UAE and Israel and about a week before Israel's fourth elections in two years, the UAE seems to be setting boundaries for the first time.

Following the cancellation of Israel's premier Benjamin Netanyahu's first visit to the UAE over a flight dispute with Jordan, the UAE's foreign minister has tweeted his country's determination on not being involved in the local Israeli politics ahead of elections.

Anwar Gargash's tweet came only hours after several Israeli media sources reported "Emirati anger" towards Netanyahu, ones that have been referred to his efforts to promote himself as the one who has "convinced the UAE to invest $10 billion in strategic Israeli sectors."

Translation: "Last moment tensions between the UAE and Netanyahu before the upcoming Israeli elections next Tuesday is an indication that Abu Dhabi is trying to avoid gambling on Netanyahu's uncertain victory and its desire to not further strain relations with the Biden administration, which isn't a fan of Netanyahu's."

According to the Times of Israel, Netanyahu's statement has angered Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Zayed, who thought that the Israeli Prime Minister is using his relationship and the prospective visit to the UAE for election gains.

The latest reports have hinted that the first Israeli official visit to the UAE will not take place before the Israeli elections scheduled for next Tuesday.

As the fierce elections approach, residents of Tel Aviv were surprised to see an unusual statue of Benjamin Netanyahu in HaBima square where he was depicted naked and curled in a corner. The artist remained unknown while reports noted that the statue was soon removed by inspectors from the Tel Aviv municipality. 

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