Jordan’s Parliament symbolically voted to expel Israel’s ambassador on Wednesday and the UAE expressed concern about events in Israel, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces a crisis with regional allies.
The legislature’s vote expressed the anger the country feels after Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich’s speech in Paris in which he stood at a podium adorned with a graphic that looked like a map of Israel with extended borders that included Jordan, Gaza and the West Bank, and he denied the existence of the Palestinian people.
Jordan has warned that it considers this to be a violation of its 1994 peace treaty with Israel. The Foreign Ministry has already summoned Israel’s Ambassador Eitan Surkis to discuss the matter.
Separately, Khaldoon Al Mubarak, senior adviser to United Arab Emirates President Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is in the country with a message of concern about the turmoil in Israel, according to reports on channels 11 and 12.
The UAE is particularly worried by the financial fallout from Israel’s judicial reform, which could harm its financial cooperation with Israel. It is also concerned by the actions of some of the government’s members, which it fears will increase Israeli-Palestinian violence.
It fears that this Israeli government is not capable of progressing with the Abraham Accords.
Miri Regev seemingly insults the UAE
Transportation Minister Miri Regev made matters worse when she appeared to insult the country in a speech.
“I was in Dubai, not that I will return there. I don’t like the place,” she said. “But it's amazing how they built a country in six years, when Israel can’t even build a road in that time.”
לפני מספר דקות שוחחתי עם חברי שגריר איחוד האמירויות מוחמד אל חאג׳ה. @AmbAlKhaja גם הוא הבין את מה שהתקשורת מנסה לעשות, להוציא דברים מהקשרם.הניסיון לסכסך בין מדינות הפך להזמנה לביקור נוסף.❤️ pic.twitter.com/LFEaqaxZA6— מירי רגב (@regev_miri) March 22, 2023
She later put out a video that showed her on the phone with UAE Ambassador to Israel Mohammed Al Khaja, in which she said she was waiting to speak with him in her office and she accepted an invitation from him to visit Dubai.
The media, she said, had taken her tongue-in-cheek comments out of context. She said she was attempting to laud its infrastructure capacities, which she uses as an example with her staff of how things should operate.
Out of all of this, Regev said, she received another invitation to Dubai.
Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, who is in Poland, issued a video in which he said that “Dubai was an amazing place to visit” and that he had been there four times in the last two years.
“Over a million Israelis have visited Dubai,” he added.
The connection between the two countries is a strategic one, he said.
“We will work to strengthen it, including through tourism.”