Tag Archives: UAE

Peace deal is worthy, however …

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Let’s talk briefly about a peace agreement between Israel and two neighboring Arab nations: the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Donald Trump is hailing the agreements his administration brokered as a sea change event. Israel will open embassies in the UAE and Bahrain for the first time in the history of Israel’s existence.

Hey, it is a big deal.

However, let’s put this in a bit of context. Israel has not been at war with either country. It has gone to war with others in the region, to be sure. Jordan, Egypt and Syria come to mind immediately.

To be clear, Israel also has peace agreements with Jordan and Egypt. They were brokered years ago by preceding presidential administrations. Indeed, the Israel-Egypt peace agreement ended up costing Egyptian President Anwar Sadat his life when he was murdered by Islamic extremists while watching a military parade.

I had the privilege of spending more than a month in Israel in May-June 2009. I had a chance during that time to speak with many learned Israelis. We spoke of tensions in the region between Israel and Lebanon, Israel and Syria, Israel and the Palestinians, Israel and the Gaza Strip. No one I talked to 11 years ago ever mentioned the UAE or Bahrain as nations that Israel simply needed to forge a peace agreement.

I do not intend to denigrate the peace agreements forged between Israel and its two Arab neighboring states.

I do intend, though, to add a bit of context to the settlements. They’re important, but I don’t believe in the grand scheme they matter to nearly the extent that the Trump administration suggests.

Now, if the Trump team hammers out a peace treaty with, say, Syria and Iran … well, then we’ll have reason to celebrate.

Peace Prize? Hah!

Donald Trump’s fans and friends in the right-wing media wasted no time in suggesting that Trump should be a “frontrunner” for the Nobel Peace Prize.

How come? Because the United Arab Emirates and Israel have announced plans to establish diplomatic relations. The UAE becomes the third Arab nation to exchange ambassadors with Israel, joining Jordan and Egypt.

Is this a big deal? Well, yes. It is. Is it Nobel Peace Prize material? Not even close.

I should point out that the UAE does not border Israel, unlike Jordan and Egypt. Nor does the UAE pose a serious military threat to Israel.

A Nobel Peace Prize ought to come in this context if, for instance, a U.S. president would broker a deal that stops Hamas from lobbing rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip. Or perhaps he could negotiate a deal that disarms Hezbollah, the terrorists who occupy Lebanon and launch attacks on Israel along the Israel-Lebanon border.

Hey, I am willing to give props to Trump for whatever role his administration played in bringing about this deal between Israel and the UAE. A Nobel Peace Prize, though, isn’t in the cards.

ISIS's 'worst nightmare' answers the call

This story absolutely, positively knocks me out.

Major Mariam Al Mansouri has flown a combat mission striking Islamic State targets in Syria.

Al Mansouri is a major in the United Arab Emirates air force.

The major is a woman!


Al Mansouri might be, in the words of CNN.com, the Islamic State’s “worst nightmare.”

The Islamic State — aka ISIS or ISIL — is at this moment the world’s No. 1 terrorist organization. It is a Sunni extremist cult that beheads prisoners and brutalizes women, denying them any semblance of respect.

These terrorists are animals. President Obama has declared his intention to “degrade and destroy” the terrorist organization.

Accordingly, he and Secretary of State John Kerry have enlisted several nations to join in a coalition to fight ISIL/ISIS. The United Arab Emirates is one of them. Among the service personnel ordered to fly combat sorties against the Islamic State is the aforementioned Major Al Mansouri.

“She is (a) fully qualified, highly trained, combat ready pilot, and she led the mission,” Yousef Al Otaiba told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” according to CNN.com.

This is fantastic. A female UAE air force officer has led a combat mission to destroy military targets manned and operated by sworn enemies of women all around the world.

The delicious irony is way beyond measure.