Israel has faced long period of hostility from Arab nations. But a rapprochement is visible between Israel and the countries of Arab world.
Particularly in the context of trade and commerce they are keen to build a robust partnership. The Arab-Israel Free Trade Agreement, signed in May 2022, is a point in the case which will write a new chapter in the history of Arab-Israel relations.
The ‘Amirs’ of Arabs, particularly UAE and Saudi Arabia, had realized the futility of Arab – Israel hostility. They have rightly thought that the present century is of trade and business. The Sooner they adopt it better would be the outcome.
Hence, both countries signed the Agreement on Free Trade. The Minister of Economy of UAE, Abdullah bin Touq Al Massi signed the agreement. The purpose of the contract is to increase the volume of bilateral trade to $10 billion in the next five years. Presently this trade is only 1.2 billion.
Under the agreement, the tariff on 96% of the articles will be removed gradually, and on the rest, it will be reduced later. The UAE administration realized that the country’s economy could not be left hostage to the oil trade, and it had to be diversified soon. The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) is one step in that direction.
Historical context to the Israel-Arab tensions:
Ever since the creation of Israel in 1948. Arab countries never recognized Israel’s existence and considered it an unwanted entity created illegally and needed to be obliterated. However, in the two Arab-Israel wars of 1948 &1967, Israel defeated the confederacy of Arab countries, bringing the relations between the two to the lowest ebb. The hostility was so high that when Egyptian President Anwar Saadat signed Camp-David Agreement (1978)., recognizing Israel, he was treated outcast by the Arab World.
But the 21st century has been a political re-alignment so far. International re-ordering is going on, and Arab-Israel relations should be viewed from that perspective.