It is fantastic news that the UAE has recognized Israel.
It is fantastic news that the third Arab state, after Egypt and Jordan, is opening an embassy somewhere in the Jewish state.
It is fantastic news that scheduled flights will be established between Tel Aviv and Doha and Dubai.
It is fantastic news that a new line of business, trade and interchange is being established between Israel and the very rich array of Arab cities in the region.
It is fantastic news that Iran, Qatar, Syria and Turkey are angry, furious, about this deal.
It is fantastic news that Netanyahu confirms himself as one of the greatest diplomats in Israeli history.
It is fantastic news that, unlike Rabin and Begin, Israel is now recognized by Arabs even without withdrawing from any territory.
But are we sure this is the case?
I still think that Israel’s legitimacy, sovereignty and strength does not lie in Peres’s vision of Tel Aviv as “Jewish Dubai”, a Jewish Hong Kong of the Middle East. Israel does not exist because the Arabs agree to recognize it, but in spite of the Arabs and Islam.
If the news of the agreement between Israel and the Arab Emirates is fantastic, it is terrible to hear the news that Israel has given up in exchange, at least for now, the decision to extend its sovereignty over the places most dear to me, places that I have visited, Elon Moreh in Samaria, Hevron in Judea, Beit El in Binyamin.
These places deserved the so-called “annexation plan”, a bad name for a brave project. Bad, because you cannot annex your own history. Brave, because it would have extended Israeli civilian law to places always under military rule.
I’d have forged a different path for Israel: recognize that Judea and Samaria is yours and only yours, leave the Palestinian Arabs sinking in their own malevolent, false and violent vision of history and let the Arabs in the region accept as incontrovertible – with weapons, with jihad, with lies, with international law – the Jewish presence and sovereignty in the lands that the whole world really knows only by their name in the Bible: Judea and Samaria.