President Trump on Friday announced the completion of a historic agreement between Bahrain and Israel that normalizes relations between the two countries.
“There’s no more powerful response to the hatred that spawned 9/11 than this agreement,” said Trump.
The deal with Bahrain comes less than one month after the Trump Administration helped Israel reach a similar deal with the United Arab Emirates.
“Opening direct dialogue and ties between these two dynamic societies and advanced economies will continue the positive transformation of the Middle East and increase stability, security, and prosperity in the region,” reads an official statement issued by the US, Bahrain, and Israel.
In his letter nominating President Trump for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, Norwegian diplomat Christian Tybring-Gjedde described the Israel-UAE peace deal as a “game-changer” that would encourage other nations to reach deals with Israel and could transform “the Middle East into a region of cooperation and prosperity.”
The peace deal announced on Friday makes Bahrain the fourth Arab nation to fully recognize the state of Israel since its founding in 1948. Other Arab nations expected to follow suit include Sudan and Oman. For years, most Arab states have refused to establish normal relations with Israel unless the Palestinian conflict is resolved.
The official statement confirms that Israel will allow all Muslims to visit and pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque and will allow worshippers of all faiths to visit Jerusalem’s other holy sites.
Representatives from the US, Israel, UAE, and Bahrain will attend a signing ceremony at the White House on September 15th.
Palestinian leadership rejected both agreements as a “betrayal” and “treacherous stab” to their cause.
The Palestinians fear that their neighbors’ newfound cooperation with Israel will erode the Arab states’ unified call for Israeli withdrawal from occupied territory and their acceptance of a Palestinian state in exchange for normalized relations with Arab countries.
The two peace deals will cause “great harm” to the “inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people and joint Arab action,” argued Palestinian officials in a statement.
Israel had no diplomatic relations with Gulf Arab countries until the UAE deal in August.
Author’s Note: The two deals with Israel are massively important in Middle East terms. The UAE and Bahrain have essentially recognized Israel’s right to exist; and along with that have also realized that it makes no sense to allow Palestinian leadership to prevent regional peace with their unreasonable demands.
Perhaps these two deals with be the wake-up call the Palestinians need to move forward on a peace deal with Israel.
In addition, President Trump is making clear to his voters that Israel and peace in the Middle East remain top priorities.