Internet InfoMedia israel finds a lifeline in the u a e as its ties to arab countries fray
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The United Arab Emirates has maintained its links to Israel throughout the war in Gaza, but the relationship, built on a U.S.-brokered deal, is under pressure as anger against Israel grows.

Only a few years ago, plenty of citizens of the United Arab Emirates were willing to speak warmly about their country’s budding ties with Israel.

Israel had just established relations with the Emirates through a U.S.-brokered deal. Business groups sprung up to funnel cross-country investment. Two women, Emirati and Israeli, posed for a photograph holding hands atop a skyscraper in Dubai. American, Emirati and Israeli officials predicted that their deal, called the Abraham Accords, would spread peace across the Middle East.

But now, as Israel’s monthslong bombardment of Gaza fuels anger around the region, Emirati fans of the deal are increasingly hard to find.

An Emirati businessman who had once touted the economic ties said that he had left an Emirati-Israeli business council, and that he had nothing else to say. Some Emiratis, although frustrated with the accords, said they were afraid to speak publicly, citing their authoritarian government’s history of arresting critics. One figure who did speak out, Dubai’s deputy police chief, declared online that Arabs had “truly wanted peace” and that Israel had “proved that its intentions are evil.”

Neither the Emirates nor Israel is likely to walk away from the deal, analysts say: It remains a diplomatic lifeline for Israel while its ties to other Arab countries fray, and it has brought the Emirates billions in trade and positive public relations in Western nations. But the current trajectory of the war does not bode well for the accords or the security of the Middle East, said Mohammed Baharoon, the head of B’huth, a Dubai research center.

“This is a partnership,” he said, “and if one partner is not paying their dues, then it’s not a partnership anymore.”

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