An ambassador of the UAE swung by a falafel shop in Jerusalem during his visit to Israel. Let me explain why this is so ridiculously significant.
· Apr 13, 2021 ·

To the average person, this is just a photo of two dudes chatting outside a Middle Eastern restaurant:

What's happening here is much more profound than that though. The man to the right is Ambassador Mohamed Al Khaja of the UAE, and the restaurant is in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.

For anyone who has studied Middle Eastern history, this is a big deal.

The UAE, like most Arab Muslim nations, has not historically recognized Israel's right to exist since the 1940s. Literal wars have been fought.

When I travelled across the Jordanian–Israeli border in 2009, I had to go over a heavily-guarded bridge and through multiple layers of bomb-detecting machines, guard dogs, fingerprinting, and questioning.

My tour bus then passed the sniper dugouts on the Israeli side pointed toward Jordan and was summarily stopped by an unmarked Israeli vehicle, where men with M-16s boarded and checked our passports again for verification. All of my luggage was thoroughly searched.

Such security was needed. The day I got to my hotel on the Mount of Olives, multiple rockets had been launched at Jerusalem from Hamas-controlled neighborhoods.

So when I see an ambassador from a country like the UAE talking with a shop owner in Jerusalem, where there's Hebrew script on a sign behind them, that raises an eyebrow.

How is this possible, you may ask??

Why, Donald Trump's Abraham Accords, of course!

Oh, CNN, NBC, and CBS didn't cover those historic peace deals made by Bad Orange Man? I guess they had more important things to cover those days.

In addition to the UAE, Sudan, Morocco, Oman, and Bahrain have made a treaty with Israel.

"Together, these agreements will serve as the foundation for a comprehensive peace across the entire region, something which nobody thought was possible certainly not in this day and age — maybe in many decades from now — but one founded on shared interests, mutual respect, and friendship," said the man known as "Literally Hitler" last fall.

I often wonder how many others would have joined if Iran's best buddy Joe hadn't doddered his way into office.

For right now though, I'm just enjoying the friendly smiles over some shared falafel.

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