August 14, 2020

Israel-UAE Deal

“Israel and the United Arab Emirates announced on Thursday that they will normalise diplomatic ties and forge a broad new relationship… Under the accord, which U.S. President Donald Trump helped broker, Israel agreed to suspend its planned annexation of areas of the occupied West Bank.” Reuters

Many on both sides are encouraged by the deal and see the potential for other Arab states to take similar steps:

“For once, Trump didn’t need to manufacture any superlatives. This was, as he tweeted, a ‘HUGE’ achievement. The UAE joins Jordan, which reached a peace agreement with Israel in 1994 and Egypt, which signed a pact with its former enemy in 1979…

“Quiet contact between Israel and the UAE has been an open secret for more than a decade… [Israeli PM Benjamin] Netanyahu and MBZ [Emirates Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed] were drawn together by shared interests: They agreed that Iran and its proxies threatened the Middle East; they mistrusted the Obama administration and its secret nuclear diplomacy with Iran; they favored more trade and investment across the region; and they liked the Trump administration’s transactional realpolitik… Trump’s surprise announcement might be an ‘August surprise’ in the presidential campaign. But it’s welcome news for Israel, the Arabs and the United States.”
David Ignatius, Washington Post

“The Abraham Agreement is huge. The deal brokered by the Trump administration breaks the Gulf Arab bloc against Israel, a massive diplomatic coup for the White House. The terms of the deal also shows other Arab states that Trump can exert a moderating influence on Israel to boot

“Now that the UAE has made this move, one has to wonder who’s next. Saudi Arabia might be the most significant, but its insistence on proselytizing the extreme Wahhabi strain of Sunni Islam would make a reversal on recognizing Israel the most difficult. The smaller states in the Gulf might have to move first before the Saudis could sell it to the hardliners in the royal family and clerics in the kingdom. If this starts a chain reaction of recognition for Israel in the region, not only will that bolster Netanyahu’s standing at home but it will make the Palestinians start thinking that a smaller sovereign state beats nothing at all.”
Ed Morrissey, Hot Air

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