United Arab Emirates reportedly furious at Netanyahu, feeling it has become campaign prop

Apparently, the feeling that it’s being used as part of Netanyahu’s political campaign has started to ruffle feathers in the UAE.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

No one would accuse Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of being a shy campaigner. Ferocious is more like it. He doesn’t hesitate to enlist all forces within reach to best his opponents, including some forces that may not want to be enlisted. That appears to be the case with the United Arab Emirates.

The UAE was the first to sign the Abraham Accords, but Hebrew media is reporting that Israel’s new ally is very unhappy with Netanyahu, who has been using the blossoming relations between the two countries for his reelection campaign.

Netanyahu had planned to visit the UAE last week, even though the UAE was reportedly reluctant about the timing as it didn’t want to appear to be interfering with the election. The trip ended up being canceled due to a small diplomatic kerfuffle with Jordan.

It’s not clear if Netanyahu will try to visit again. He told Army Radio he will not but a member of the Likud party said it’s still a possibility. It’s unlikely, however, given the UAE’s position that Netanyahu will be able to visit before the election.

Reports also say that after his trip was cancelled Netanyahu asked the UAE to publicize its decision to start a $10 billion investment fund targeting strategic sectors in Israel, which it agreed to do through its official news agency.

Apparently, the feeling that it’s being used as part of Netanyahu’s political campaign has started to ruffle feathers in the UAE.

Hebrew  news site N12 reports that “sources in the Emirates are talking about anger and frustration” at Netanyahu. They’re particularly irked at his use of the Crown Prince’s name.

“The Emirates note that its ties are with the State of Israel and not with one politician or another, and that they do not want to be involved in Netanyahu’s election campaign,” N12 reports.

Anwar Gargash, until recently the UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, tweeted: “From the UAE’s perspective, the purpose of the Abrahamic Accords is to provide a robust strategic foundation to foster peace and prosperity with the State of Israel and in the wider region. The UAE will not be a part in any internal electioneering in Israel, now or ever.”

Touting foreign endorsements is a relatively new tactic in Israeli elections. Netanyahu may have been the one to introduce it prior to the September 2019 elections.

Huge posters put up the Likud party featured Netanyahu shaking hands with then-President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.