A recent Trump-brokered diplomatic union gained momentum on Monday Aug 31, 2020. Senior Trump Adviser Jared Kushner boarded a flight from Tel Aviv with Israel’s National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat and an American diplomatic delegation. 

“Peace” was emblazoned on the plane above the windshield in Arabic, Hebrew and English. Private flights have traveled between the two nations; however, this marks the first commercial flight for the new UAE-Israeli deal.

“While this is a historic flight, we hope that it will start an even more historic journey in the Middle East and beyond,” Kushner said shortly before boarding.

“The future does not have to be predetermined by the past. This is a very hopeful time, and I believe that so much peace and prosperity is possible in this region and around the world.”

In addition to this inauguration of the first Arab-Israeli peace deal in decades, the Saudi nation gave allowance for the flight to pass through its airspace en route. This was previously disallowed and signals some measure, however small, of approval towards the Israel-UAE diplomatic resumption.  

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The plane, part of the Israeli El-Al fleet, took off from Israel’s historic Ben-Gurion airport. National Security Adviser for Israel, Ben-Shabbat held substantial talks with Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Emirati National Security Adviser. Other US officials on the flight were National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, Mideast envoy Avi Berkowtiz and Iran envoy Brian Hook.  

Israel - Jared Kushner - Conservative Business Journal - Flight
Photo credit: Matty Stern/U.S. Embassy Jerusalem

Benjamin Netanyahu indicated there are other peace talks in progress in the region regarding Israel but said he could not get into specifics. Netanyahu further stated Israeli plans to reintroduce partial settlement in the West Bank.

Limited autonomy of the 70% of the West Bank is listed in the Trump Plan. The Israeli Prime Minister’s halt to annexation was originally proffered as part of a symbolic gesture to bring UAE to the bargaining table. And it appears to have worked. 

UAE had previously kept quiet regarding it’s small level of Israeli trade. However Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the de facto ruler of UAE, announced a formal end to UAE 40-year boycott of Israel. 

Emirati, Israeli and American officials will begin discussing bilateral technical cooperation in seven key areas: investment, finance, health, the civilian space program, civil aviation, foreign policy and diplomatic affairs, and tourism and culture. The result will be broad cooperation between two of the region’s most innovative and dynamic economies.

Israel - Jared Kushner - Conservative Business Journal - UAE
Photo credit: Matty Stern/U.S. Embassy Jerusalem

As the White House reported, the UAE and Israel wish to express their gratitude for the overwhelmingly positive response to this historic accord from governments around the world.

They are especially grateful to President Donald J. Trump for his leadership and to his administration for the critical role it has played in achieving this diplomatic breakthrough. They are also greatly encouraged by the broad bipartisan support for this breakthrough from the United States Congress.

All the countries hope and expect that in the near future our collective efforts will set in motion a cascade of positive changes, both large and small, that will put our respective peoples and the wider region on a solid path to security, prosperity, and peace.

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