(Washington) Representatives of Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain met Tuesday in the White House to sign historic agreements under the auspices of Donald Trump that will upset the Middle East as “peacemakers” if the US presidential elections come approach.
Posted on Sep 15, 2020 at 12:11 pm
France Media Agency
“When I arrived, I was told that it would be impossible,” said the President of the United States on Tuesday morning, assuring that “many other” Arab countries would follow suit, as would the Palestinians.
Despite the coronavirus, he organized a ceremony with great pomp in the gardens of the Presidency, during which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must officially establish diplomatic relations between the Hebrew state and these two Arab countries – the first such breakthrough. since the peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan in 1979 and 1994.
A historic handshake between the Israeli leader and the United Arab Emirates’ foreign ministers, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and Bahrain Abdel Latif al-Zayani, cannot be ruled out, a high-ranking US official emphasized that all participants had previously been tested for COVID-19 .
The Emirates and Bahrain, Sunni monarchies, share a hostility with Israel toward Shiite Iran, Washington’s greatest enemy in the region.
Many Arab oil states have tacitly maintained relations with the Israeli authorities for years, but this normalization offers a variety of opportunities, particularly economic, for countries trying to reverse the devastation of the pandemic.
“It is a first-class achievement,” assures David Makovsky of the Washington Institute for Middle East Policy, emphasizing that for the Israelis it “does not mean the same risk” as accepted by Menachem Begin when he left Sinai for Egypt, or Yitzhak Rabin when he was negotiating with the Palestinian Yasser Arafat.
The “Vision for Peace” presented by Donald Trump in January, which aimed to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is anything but successful: the Palestinian Authority immediately rejected it and denied it to the US President. even the role of mediator, since he has chained the decisions favorable to Israel.
The Palestinians, who denounced a “stab in the back” from countries accused of making a pact with the Jewish state without waiting for their state to be born, called for demonstrations on Tuesday, a “dark day” in the country . History of the arab world. A few dozen Palestinian activists gathered outside the White House Tuesday, AFP reported.
But the Trump administration has always said it wanted to shake up the region by bringing Israel closer to its Arab neighbors in a kind of holy union against Iran. These agreements outline this change of age and appear to push the Palestinian issue into the background, as the White House had hoped.
UAE Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash assured that “a strategic breakthrough” is needed as the “Arab approach of having no contact with Israel” has not served the aspirations of the UAE Palestinians “.
According to David Makovsky, “this is no longer the Father’s Middle East, but a new region” where the Arab League extraordinarily refused to condemn the decision of the two Gulf monarchies.
“The Palestinians will wait and see what happens in the American elections, but when the dust settles they will have to rethink their position,” said this former American diplomat.
These agreements are a victory for Benyamin Netanyahu and bring Israel closer to its goal of being accepted in the region.
Levels of Discord
For Donald Trump, who is running for a second term and has so far made little diplomatic progress in front of the electorate, this is a recognized success even among his democratic opponents.
Since the announcement of the deal between Israel and the Emirates on August 13, followed by the deal on Bahrain last week, the republican billionaire’s camp has not skimped on superlatives to praise its action, which the Nobel Prize winner deserves to believe . the peace.
However, differences have already emerged in the terms of the agreement with the Emirates.
In particular, three hours after the signing ceremony, the American president said he had “no problem” selling American F-35 fighter jets in the United Arab Emirates, which Abu Dhabi plans to acquire for a long time.
Such a contract would create “many jobs” on the American side, added Donald Trump.
Benjamin Netanyahu decidedly refuses this sale in order to preserve his country’s military superiority in the region.
In the eyes of the Gulf States, Israel has also agreed to “put an end to the continued annexation of the Palestinian territories”.
But the Israeli prime minister told him that he had “not given up” the annexation of large parts of the occupied West Bank, only “postponed” it.