UAE and Bahrain normalise ties with Israel

25th Sep 2020
UAE and Bahrain normalise  ties with Israel

Bahrain Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump, UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan at signing ceremony at the White House, Washington on September 15. (Credit: GPO/Handout/Anadolu Agency)

Hamed Chapman

The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have proceeded to sign agreements to normalise relations with Israel in a deal which both US President, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner and former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, are claiming some credit.

At a ceremony hosted by Trump at the White House, UAE Foreign Minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Bahrain’s Foreign Minister, Abdullatif Al Zayani, and Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, displayed restructuring of a Middle East alliance. The alliance is not interested in creating an independent Palestine with 1967 borders and East Jerusalem as its capital.

Ammar Hijazi, Assistant Minister of Multilateral Affairs for the Palestinian Authority, said the signing of the accords was “a sad day.” The only path for peace for the Palestinians is “ending this brutal Israeli occupation and granting the Palestinians their inalienable rights for self-determination. Without that, there is no path to peace in the region.”

In contrast, the US President claimed that the significance would be that “the people of the Middle East will no longer allow hatred of Israel to be fomented as an excuse for radicalism or extremism.” They will “no longer allow the great destiny of their region to be denied.”

The UAE and Bahrain become the third and fourth Arab countries to sign a normalization agreement with Israel after Egypt did in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.

The two Persian Gulf states also signed separate agreements with Israel together with the US known as the Abraham Accords, which the White House described as a “declaration of peace.”

Kushner, who acts as Trump’s advisor and recently visited the region with US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, to build up momentum for the agreements, has suggested that the deal “should increase the probability” of the UAE being able to acquire F-35 jets from the selling of an F-35 jet sale to the UAE.

According to Israel Hayom daily, Blair has worked for years to bring Israel and the UAE closer together, turning the accepted formula of “peace with the Palestinians before normalization” on its head. “I believe strongly you will not have a solution to the Palestinian issue unless it’s with the full cooperation and participation of the Arab world,” the former premier said in an interview with the paper.

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