Was Israeli sovereignty the price of the UAE peace agreement?

What price did Israel pay for suspending sovereignty?

Israel News Talk Radio ,

Israeli, UAE and US officials meet in Abu Dhabi
Israeli, UAE and US officials meet in Abu Dhabi
Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO

Rod Reuven Dovid Bryant and Jerry Gordon bring back Dr. Kenneth L. Hanson, author of “Whose Holy Land? Archaeology Meets Geopolitics in Today’s Middle East."

They discuss recent archaeological finds amidst the historic Israel-UAE Abraham Accord normalizing relations in hopefully, a warm peace. Which might lead to similar agreements with other Gulf Arab States and Kingdoms.

However, the question is was it worth the price of “suspending” sovereignty over hundreds of ancient archaeological sites confirming millennia of Jewish presence in the Holy Land?

Dr. Hanson is an Associate Professor in the Judaic Studies Department of the university of Central Florida in Orlando.

He recounted his earliest student days in a small school on Mt. Zion during the era of “socialist” Israel “rummaging through archaeological sites”. He found it ‘intoxicating” to be standing on top of millennia of Jewish history”. Since the publication of his latest book several major archaeological discoveries and finds have been announced. He cited the discovery of what could be a palace during the Davidic period stemming from digs since 2005 in the Arab Quarter of Silwan below a parking lot.

That and other discoveries have “outraged” Palestinians, who have claimed they were the original settlers of the area. This despite continual Jewish presence and the return to the ancestral lands of Jews from Russia and Arab Lands in the Middle east beginning in the 19th Century. Discoveries announced in August 2020 included archaeological evidence of the “burn marks” from destruction of the First Temple in 586 B.C.E. There was also evidence of Jews from both the Exile and Return 70 years later. Hanson likes to cite American Humorist, Mark Twain’s observation from his book, “Innocents Abroad” about his trip to the Holy Land: “History doesn’t repeat, but it rhymes”.

Was Israeli Sovereignty the price of the Abraham Accord? The discussion turned to the question of what price did Israel pay to achieve a “warm piece” with the UAE under the Abraham Accord.

Was it to preserve land for a future Palestinian State under the Trump Peace Plan? Hanson cited US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman suggesting that sovereignty was simply “in suspension”. He makes the distinction between “annexation” – taking of conquered lands, versus “sovereignty – the extension of Israel Basic Law to land it already possessed replacing the current Israeli Military Administration. New Right Yamina Party leader Ayelet Shaked suggested that “sovereignty” has become an “illusion”. She contends that occurred when Netanyahu was “trapped” in the National Emergency Government coalition with Gantz of the Blue White Alliance.

Hanson noted that following the June 1967 six Days War Israel regained its ancient Jewish provenance, including the Machpelah Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. Hanson said, that raised the prospect of “why can’t we live” in Judea and Samaria? The Arabs in the disputed territories were not expelled as were 600,000 Mizrahi Jews from Arab lands in the Middle East and Jews from the disputed territories in the 1948 War for Independence. Hanson suggest that extension of sovereignty to the disputed territories of Samaria and Judea would offer an option of Israeli citizenship for oppressed Palestinians, a possible solution to the Arab Israeli impasse.