Israel and the United Arab Emirates have rewritten the political landscape of the Mideast by striking a historic peace agreement establishing full diplomatic relations in a U.S.-brokered deal announced by President Trump on Aug. 13.
Known as the "Abraham Accord," the Israel-UAE pact promotes security and economic, technological, scientific and cultural ties.
Trade, investment and tourism will flow between the two regional economic giants, along with an exchange of ambassadors and embassies.
"Opening direct ties . . . will transform the region by spurring economic growth, enhancing technological innovation, and forging closer people-to-people relations," remarked President Trump.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu declared that the deal "ushers in a new era of peace between Israel and the Arab world."
Not surprisingly, Palestinian President Abbas denounced the UAE action as "treason."
The Hamas terrorist group characterized the accord as a “stab in the back of the Palestinian cause."
Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994 officially recognized Israel.
While others in the Arab world already had clandestine security and economic contacts with Israel, the UAE’s formalizing relations with them is a clear indication that the once formidable blanket rejection of the Jewish state in the Islamic world is disintegrating.
In January, President Trump presented his Mideast "deal of the century" allowing Israel to extend its civilian law over 30% of Judea and Samaria.
This process stalled when Israel’s new unity government disagreed regarding implementation of this effort. Trump senior advisor Jared Kushner and Prime Minister Netanyahu saw this stalemate as an opportunity to trade the game-changing peace with the UAE for temporarily halting plans to extend Israeli law.
Netanyahu explained that setting the historical precedent that peace with its Arab neighbors can be achieved without first dealing with the Palestinian issue is the top priority and a huge boost to Israel’s national security.
There is an Arab-Israeli conflict and an Israeli-Palestinian conflict and they can be addressed independently. What a radical concept.
The Democrats had derided President Trump’s Mideast team as a bunch of real estate rubes with no grounding in diplomacy who simply didn’t understand that making a deal with the Palestinians was a necessary precondition to peace between regional Arabs and Israel.
"The president, like with all things, urged us to take an untraditional approach," senior advisor Jared Kushner said. "You can’t solve problems that have gone unsolved the way people have done before you and failed."
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden had called Trump’s Mideast peace plan "a political stunt that could . . . set back peace even more."
This confirms Obama Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s assessment that Biden has "been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades."
What Biden seemed incapable of comprehending is that Trump’s strategy was designed to change the political dynamic on the ground, creating multiple opportunities for facilitating peace.
And that’s what just happened.
The Israel-UAE rapprochement did not require Israeli forces to retreat from any territory — no land was given up — and the deal poses no cost to American taxpayers or risk to American lives.
Each country gains something: Trump can claim a major peacemaking success in the region, achieving what the Obama administration failed to do; Abu Dhabi can say it suspended Israel’s application of sovereignty to parts of the West Bank while benefiting from a security and economic relationship with Israel; and Jerusalem can point to this as a precedent- setting milestone in relations with the Islamic and Arab world.
Obama’s "Iran Deal" and funding of Iranian terrorism made clear to the Gulf States and other Arab nations that Iran, not Israel, is their greatest threat.
They realized that Israel is a steadfast bulwark again Iranian hegemony.
When Trump announced his peace plan in January, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt accepted it as the basis for future negotiations.
Joe Biden praised the Israel-UAE deal, but disingenuously credited the Obama-Biden administration for the "historic step."
Perversely, the Obama-Biden foreign policy gave the UAE and Israel a common enemy.
If Obama’s efforts to isolate Israel and reconfigure geopolitics in the Mideast in favor of Iran hadn’t backfired so spectacularly, none of this would be happening.
Jared Kushner remarked that, given the Israel-UAE agreement, normalized relations with Saudi Arabia is "an inevitability."
Bahrain, Oman, Morocco, Qatar and Sudan could likely follow.
In subsequent remarks, he alluded to the possibility of "many more countries" in the region normalizing relations with Israel.
Columnist Tom Friedman of The New York Times — certainly no friend of Trump’s —called the president’s Israel-UAE deal "a geopolitical earthquake."
With another four years of President Trump, the nations of the Mideast would glory in the aftershocks.
Ziva Dahl is a senior fellow with the news and public policy group Haym Salomon Center. She writes and lectures about U.S.-Israel relations, U.S. foreign policy, Israel, Zionism, anti-Semitism, and BDS on college campuses. Her articles have appeared in such publications as The Hill, New York Daily News, New York Observer, the Washington Times, American Spectator, American Thinker and Jerusalem Post. Read Ziva Dahl's Reports — More Here.
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