image Photo: Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)

Israeli President makes historic UAE visit

Israeli President Isaac Herzog travelled to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the invitation of  Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan.

By Jonathan Hessen

Ahead of his departure from Ben Gurion International Airport outside Tel Aviv, President Herzog referred to the UAE as “a nation that bravely sought peace with Israel,” and said that he and First Lady Michal Herzog would bring with them “a message of peace from Israel to the UAE and all nations of the region. This visit, beyond all of its practical aspects that will be discussed, signifies first and foremost hope for peace, and peace brings with it advancement, development and prosperity to all of the nations in our region.”

After landing in Abu Dhabi, President Herzog was hosted by Crown Prince al Nahyan at his palace, during which the two leaders held a “warm and cordial meeting” that lasted for over 2 hours.

“This is a very moving moment for me and my people, the people of Israel, who are so moved and excited to continue and develop the peaceful coexistence and our peace agreement between the two nations, the Emiratis and Israelis,” stated the Crown Prince at a press conference, through which both Jerusalem and Abu Dhabi could “direct resources and capabilities towards serving our nations and paving the way for a better tomorrow.”

Israeli President Herzog then underscored, “This message of peace is the cornerstone of our relationship and we are here to deliver a message both to the Israelis, the Emiratis and to the region that the Abraham Accords should be continued and more nations should join us in this endeavor.”

Crown Prince al-Nahyan also used the occasion to thank President Herzog for Israel’s solidarity with the UAE against recent repeated attacks by the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen, calling Jerusalem’s position one that “demonstrates our common view of the threats to regional stability and peace, particularly those posed by militias and terrorist forces.”

Herzog then reiterated that Israel “completely supports your security requirements and we condemn in all form, way and language any attack on your sovereignty by terrorist groups and we are here together to find ways and means to bring full and utmost security to people who seek peace in the region.”

Just hours later, the Emirati Ministry of Defense confirmed interception of yet another Houthi-fired missile in the skies over Abu Dhabi, causing no injuries or damage. The UAE Air Force retaliated wish an aerial strike against the launching site in the northern Yemeni governorate of Al-Jawf.

In a claim of responsibility for attack, the 3rd in as many weeks, Houthi Spokesman Yahya Sarea deceitfully declared that the “military operation, the “third Yemeni Hurricane Operation” had hit “specific and important targets” including “sensitive targets” in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in multiple ballistic missile and drone strikes.

The Houthi spokesman went on to say that the primary cause of the aggression was due to the Israeli-Emirati peace pact.

“The operation has successfully achieved its objectives. The Yemeni armed forces affirm that the enemy state of the Emirates will remain unsafe as long as the Israeli enemy continues operating in Abu Dhabi and Dubai with aggression against our country and our dear people,” he said.

It is important to note that alongside the violence by its proxy, Iran expressed its own threats. Regional partners should “be aware of the fact that they will be the first victim of the aggressive nature” of the Jewish State,” declared Tehran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh, further stressing that Tehran “not only condemns these actions in line with normalization of relations with the Israeli regime, but also thinks that they should hear the awakening voice of their nation as soon as possible and put an end to these divisions in the Islamic and the Arab world.”

The Ayatollah regime – which maintains the Islamic Republic to be a peace-loving nation – organized protests in a show of support for the Houthis in the wake of the movement’s recent consecutive losses in Yemen to the Saudi-led coalition.

“Death, death to America; Death, death to England; Death, death to the hypocritical infidels; Death, death to Israel,” shouted several thousand demonstrators on the streets of Tehran.

Another rally in Istanbul organized by the Turkish Şafak 40 Platformu organization, branded by local authorities as an “Iran puppet group,” drew a crowd of several hundred supporters. Many of the protesters waved placards of late Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani, who was assassinated in 2020 in an airstrike in Iraq by the United States, while calling for the “damnation” of America and Israel.

“These cruel and collaborative forces fulfill the duties assigned to them by their bosses, America and Israel, with such destruction, massacres and murders,” said one demonstrator identified as Ekrem Ekşi, asserting that, “These oppressors cooperate with the Zionist regime under the name of normalization, committing the greatest betrayals in history against the Islamic Ummah, stabbing the Palestinian people and the cause of (re-conquering) Jerusalem in the back.”