Israel’s top diplomat to the United Arab Emirates visited Dubai this week, and participated in a ceremony at the Arabian Peninsula’s first permanent exhibition to commemorate the Holocaust. Wednesday’s visit seemed to demonstrate the commitment of the two countries to establish deeper ties after the Gaza cease-fire. During the violence between Israel and Hamas, the UAE government and its top officials publicly expressed concern over riots in east Jerusalem; the police action at Al-Aqsa Mosque; and the dispute taking place in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. Questions have been raised about whether the UAE would halt the momentum of its strategic relationship with Israel after the recent conflict, but the Dubai visit seems to signal that the process of normalization is moving forward. “What we see here is the exact opposite of what we see in Gaza... What we see here in the whole normalization process is a departure from the past,” Israeli Ambassador Eitan Na’eh said.
On Thursday, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) voted 24-9 to create a permanent, fact-finding mission into possible “violations” surrounding the latest Gaza violence—and into “systematic” abuses in the Palestinian territories, and inside Israel. 14 countries out of the 47-member body abstained, giving the resolution a slim, one-vote majority. No European Union country supported the measure.This is the first time the UNHRC has created a permanent investigation into any UN member state. Israel’s foreign minister immediately stated that Israel had no intention of cooperating with the probe, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “Today’s shameful decision is yet another example of the UN Human Rights Council’s blatant anti-Israel obsession.” The decision to call for such a probe was sparked by the 11-day IDF-Hamas war, and was submitted by the Palestinian Authority and Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.