[guest post by Dana]
[Ed. Pressed for time, just throwing this up here.]
Surprising, to say the least:
Israel and the United Arab Emirates on Thursday agreed to normalize ties in a major diplomatic breakthrough brokered by President Donald Trump.
As part of the agreement, Israel will suspend declaring sovereignty over areas outlined in the Trump administration’s Mideast peace plan, the statement said, adding the country would focus on expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world.
“HUGE breakthrough today! Historic Peace Agreement between our two GREAT friends, Israel and the United Arab Emirates,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
The deal was finalized during a call between Trump, Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed. Trump said discussions between the two leaders had sometimes been tense.
From the White House fact sheet:
The countries have committed to the exchange of embassies and ambassadors, and to begin cooperation in a broad range of fields including education, healthcare, trade, and security.
This historic breakthrough is the most significant step toward peace in the Middle East in over 25 years.
The United Arab Emirates is the first major Arab state to recognize Israel since the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty was signed on October 26, 1994.
This agreement is a major breakthrough for Muslims throughout the world who wish to come in peace to pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque, as they will now be able to fly to Tel Aviv through Abu Dhabi to do so and will be welcomed.
By encouraging more visits, it will help counter the extremists who use the false narrative that the Al Aqsa Mosque is under attack and that Muslims cannot pray at this holy site.
Expanded business and financial ties between these two thriving economies will also accelerate growth and economic opportunity across the Middle East.
This agreement will allow further advancement of the President’s vision for finding a comprehensive, fair, realistic, and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians and in the region.
While the Palestinians can certainly read the writing on the wall, so too can Trump. This is a big foreign policy win for him ahead of the election:
U.S. officials described the agreement, to be known as the Abraham Accord, as the first of its kind since Israel and Jordan signed their treaty in 1994. It also gives Trump a foreign policy success as he seeks re-election on Nov. 3.
The next few weeks will see Israel and the UAE come together to sign bilateral agreements.
But not everyone was happy about the nes:
We won’t be fooled by another Trump/Netanyahu deal.
We won't celebrate Netanyahu for not stealing land he already controls in exchange for a sweetheart business deal.
The heart of the issue has never been planned, formal annexation, but ongoing, devastating apartheid.
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) August 13, 2020