Israel and the United Arab Emirate Brokered Deal , Now Bahrain and Sudan Too, How Big Is This?

Flag of Bahrain - Colours, Meaning, History 🇧🇭
UN official: Sudan effectively contributed to combating human trafficking –  Middle East Monitor

I have written several articles on postings related to politics. A list of links have been provided at bottom of this article for your convenience. This article will, however address different aspects on these political events.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard warned of a “dangerous Future” for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over a U.S.- brokered agreement that sees the UAE open up diplomatic relations with Israel. Well let me make this point, if this deal upsets Iran, then it must be a good thing. Because Iran is the antithesis of all that is good. They have more state sponsored terrorism than just about any country in the world. Other countries guilty of this activity are North Korea, Sudan, Syria and the state that probably has the most state sponsored terrorism, even more than Iran, is Pakistan.

According to a lengthy joint statement between the US, UAE and Israel, posted on the website of the US Embassy in Israel and tweeted by Trump, the agreement* calls for the “full normalization of relations” between the two Middle Eastern countries. It also calls for Israel to “suspend” plans to annex the West Bank — which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has characterized as only a “temporary postponement.”

The first peace treaty between Israel and an Arab nation since 1994 ( when Egypt and Jordan officially recognized Israel) will have a profound, perdurable implications for both countries — and for the U.S. It will mark the legacies of its two architects: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed. While President Trump is given a lot of credit for the deal, the prince and the prime minister needed no American prompting. Israel has for years been improving relations with the Gulf Arab states, and it was only a matter of time before one of them took the lead in formalizing the process.

And the UAE was always the odds-on favorite to be the first, not least because MBZ, as the prince is popularly known, has aggressively pursued a policy of expanding Emirati influence, often by marrying his ambitions to American interests.

Between MBZ and Netanyahu, it is the prince who’s taking the greater gamble with normalization. Although the Palestinian cause no longer animates Gulf affairs as it once did, Israel remains highly unpopular among ordinary Arabs.

His spin doctors will try to portray MBZ as a savior of the Palestinians by suggesting he used the lure of normalization to prevent Netanyahu from going through with a planned annexation of large swathes of the West Bank. But this is not an easy sell.

MBZ’s enemies in the region — whether they be Yemeni, Qatari or Iranian — will accuse him of colluding with the Palestinians’ oppressors. The UAE will receive some blame for any Palestinian hereafter killed, hurt or humiliated by Israeli soldiers and settlers. Islamist terrorists may seek to make an example of him, just as they did the first Arab leader to make a deal with Israel: Anwar Sadat.

But MBZ can ride out spasms of public opprobrium. Unlike Trump, he doesn’t need to win any elections. And the security structures of the UAE will undoubtedly be strengthened to ensure his safety. He has obviously calculated that the rewards of normalization far outweigh any risk on his part.

Some of these are obvious. The agreement allows the two countries to openly trade in goods and services, especially of the military and intelligence kind, which MBZ needs for his ambition to turn the Emirati armed forces into a Little Sparta. Israel and the UAE, already united in their perception of the Iranian threat, can now openly join forces against the common enemy.

The other advantages of normalization for MBZ are more subtle. It will, for instance, buy him a great deal of goodwill in Washington, where his clout is already considerable. What’s more, the goodwill will be bipartisan, insulating him from a potential Trump defeat on Nov. 3. Contrast that with the fortunes of his good friend, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, which are bound to Trump.

For Netanyahu, the risks of normalization are much lower. Yes, an about-face on the annexation plan will enrage a large section of his political base, and especially the would-be settlers. That may explain his equivocation on the topic. But an exchange of embassies with the UAE would be a diplomatic triumph even his most vociferous critics cannot deny.

Netanyahu has now demonstrated that Israel can make peace with an Arab state without committing Israel to peace with the Palestinians or even a two-state solution. Now that the UAE has broken that taboo, he can hold out for similar deals with other Muslim countries.

In the meantime, Israeli businesses can look forward to making deals in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which could serve as gateways to the wider Arab world. Direct flights between the two countries — unthinkable five years ago — may now be only weeks away.

That leaves the Palestinians, for whom Israeli-Emirati normalization spells only further isolation, especially if it inspires other Arab states to seek similar agreements. The Palestinian Authority can respond only with symbolic, and ultimately self-defeating, gestures, such as the decision to recall its ambassador to the UAE. Those able to clutch at straws might hope that the UAE will wield more influence on Israel when the two countries have stronger diplomatic and economic ties. But that is a very thin reed.

For the U.S., there is almost no risk at all: Two allies collaborating openly can only serve American interests. Even if this matters little to Trump, future American leaders will appreciate the agreement he announced. The agreement, to be known as the Abraham Accord, also gives Trump a foreign policy accomplishment as he seeks re-election on Nov. 3. Trump said the agreement unites “two of America’s closest and most capable partners in the region” and represents “a significant step towards building a more peaceful, secure and prosperous Middle East.” “This historic diplomatic breakthrough will advance peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders and the courage of the United Arab Emirates and Israel to chart a new path that will unlock the great potential in the region,” the statement read. “All three countries face many common challenges and will mutually benefit from today’s historic achievement.”

Updates:

Israel and the Gulf state of Bahrain have reached a landmark deal to fully normalize their relations, US President Donald Trump has announced.“The second Arab country to make peace with Israel in 30 days,” he tweeted.For decades, most Arab states have boycotted Israel, insisting they would only establish ties after the Palestinian dispute was settled. Bahrain is only the fourth Arab country in the Middle East – after the UAE, Egypt and Jordan – to recognize Israel since its founding in 1948. The UAE and Bahrain – both Saudi allies – have shared with Israel worries over Iran, leading to unofficial contacts.

Image

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was “excited” that “another peace agreement” had been reached with another Arab country on Friday.”This is a new era of peace. Peace for peace. Economy for economy. We have invested in peace for many years and now peace will invest in us,” he said.

Sudan :

Sudan is to normalise relations with Israel – the latest in a series of Arab League countries to do so.

At the same time, US President Donald Trump has removed Sudan from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism, unblocking economic aid and investment.

Announcing the normalisation, Mr Trump said “at least five more” Arab states wanted a peace deal with Israel.

The Sudan deal comes weeks after similar moves by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain.

The two Gulf states became the first in the Middle East to recognise Israel in 26 years. The UAE’s foreign ministry said it welcomed Sudan’s decision, calling it “an important step to boost security and prosperity in the region.”

Sudan and Israel said in a three-way statement with the US that delegations would meet “in the coming weeks”.

“The leaders agreed to the normalisation of relations between Sudan and Israel and to end the state of belligerence between their nations,” it said.

Until last month only two Arab nations – Egypt and Jordan – had officially recognised Israel. The two countries, which border Israel, signed peace agreements in 1979 and 1994 respectively, following US mediation.

Mauritania, an African Arab League member, recognised Israel in 1999 but severed ties 10 years later.

The growing number of Arab countries formalising relations with Israel has been condemned by the Palestinians, who see it as a betrayal of their cause.

Historically, Arab countries conditioned peace talks with Israel on its withdrawal from territories occupied in the 1967 war and the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that he rejected the new agreement, saying no-one had the right to speak on behalf of Palestinians. Hamas, which controls Gaza, said it was a “political sin”.

Sudanese political parties have rejected the government’s decision to normalise relations with Israel, with officials saying they will form an opposition front against the agreement.

Dozens of Sudanese people demonstrated in the capital Khartoum on Friday following the joint statement from Israel, Sudan and the United States on Friday saying that the two countries agreed to “end the state of belligerence between their nations”.

A statement from Sudan’s Popular Congress Party, the second most prominent component of the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) political coalition, said Sudanese people are not obligated to accept the normalisation deal.

“We see that our people, who are being systematically isolated and marginalised from secret deals, are not bound by the normalisation agreement,” the statement said.

“Our people will abide by their historical positions and work through a broad front to resist normalisation and maintain our support for the Palestinian people in order for them to obtain all their legitimate rights.”

Sudan’s former Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi also slammed the announcement, adding that he withdrew from a government-organised religious conference on Saturday in Khartoum in protest.

Protesters in Khartoum took to the streets and chanted “no peace, no negotiation, no reconciliation with the occupying entity” and “we will not surrender, we will always stand with Palestine”.

Muhammad Wadaa, a leader in the Sudanese Baath Party, which is part of the FFC, said the anti-normalisation front includes a civil force and influential parties from within and outside the forces of freedom and change.

Wadaa said there are a number of parties within the FFC that warned the transitional government they will withdraw their support if normalisation with Israel was agreed to. “Normalisation with Israel is a move that is rejected. The government is not authorised to take such a decision with a racist state that practises religious discrimination,” he said.

Wadaa told Al Jazeera that “the government made a big mistake and it is a step that will not achieve economic abundance”.

Palestinian officials reacted with dismay as Sudan became the third country to normalise relations recently, after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas denounced the deal and said the only path towards peace is by resorting to international law to make Israel end its occupation of Palestinian territories.

However, according to Al Jazeera’s Nida Ibrahim, many Palestinians believe the PA does not have much to offer other than condemnation.

“For many political analysts here, Palestinians have their backs against the wall and really don’t have much to hope for, other than Trump would not get a second term in office,” she said, speaking from the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.

“Many Palestinians on social media say the Sudanese people’s hearts are with the Palestinian people but they were dragged into this by their military rulers.”

On Saturday, Iran’s foreign ministry slammed Sudan’s move, saying: “Pay enough ransom, close your eyes on the crimes against Palestinians, then you’ll be taken off the so-called ‘terrorism’ blacklist.”

“Obviously the list is as phoney as the US fight against terrorism. Shameful!” it added.

Despite the lack of support from the people, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said the agreement was a “dramatic breakthrough for peace” and the start of a “new era”.

Sudan had been a foe of Israel since the latter’s founding in 1948.

Famously, it was the site of a declaration against normalisation with Israel in 1967, when the Arab League, meeting in the capital, Khartoum, swore “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it”. It fought in wars against Israel in 1948 and 1967, provided a haven for Palestinian guerrilla groups and is suspected of sending Iranian arms to Palestinian militants in Gaza several years ago – prompting alleged Israeli air strikes against it.

The political dynamics changed with the overthrow last year of Sudan’s long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir and his replacement by a transitional civilian-military council. Sudan’s generals, who wield the real power, have supported establishing relations with Israel as a way to help get US sanctions on Sudan lifted and open the door to badly needed economic aid.

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok thanked Mr Trump for removing his country from the US terrorism list and said the Sudanese government was working “towards international relations that best serve our people”. Sudanese state TV said the “state of aggression” would end. President Trump says that

“at least five more” Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, are considering normalising relations with Israel. His aide, Judd Deere, said the Sudan deal was “another major step toward building peace in the Middle East with another nation joining the Abraham Accords”, the term used for the deals signed with the UAE and Bahrain.

Meanwhile, Israel said it would not oppose US sales of high-grade military hardware to the UAE. The US had agreed to consider allowing the UAE to buy F-35 fighter jets after normalising ties with Israel. Israel had said it needed to maintain a military advantage over other states in the Middle East. However, earlier this week it said the US had agreed to upgrade Israeli military capabilities.


Pertinent Dates:

Original Posting date: August 13, 2020

1st Update September 15, 2020 (Bahrain)

2nd Update October 25, 2020 (Sudan)

Resources:

cnn.com, “Read the full statement by the US, Israel and UAE on normalizing Israel-UAE relations,” By Seán Federico-O’Murchú; theprint.in, “This is what Israel, UAE and US get from the diplomatic breakthrough in Middle East,” By Bobby Ghosh; bbc.com, “Trump announces ‘peace deal’ between Bahrain and Israel,” By Barbara Plett-Usger; aljazeera.com, “‘Ignition of new war:’ Sudan political parties reject Israel deal,”

Addendum:

This historic diplomatic breakthrough will advance peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders and the courage of the United Arab Emirates and Israel to chart a new path that will unlock the great potential in the region. All three countries face many common challenges and will mutually benefit from today’s historic achievement.Delegations from Israel and the United Arab Emirates will meet in the coming weeks to sign bilateral agreements regarding investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecommunications, technology, energy, healthcare, culture, the environment, the establishment of reciprocal embassies, and other areas of mutual benefit. Opening direct ties between two of the Middle East’s most dynamic societies and advanced economies will transform the region by spurring economic growth, enhancing technological innovation, and forging closer people-to-people relations.As a result of this diplomatic breakthrough and at the request of President Trump with the support of the United Arab Emirates, Israel will suspend declaring sovereignty over areas outlined in the President’s Vision for Peace and focus its efforts now on expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world. The United States, Israel and the United Arab Emirates are confident that additional diplomatic breakthroughs with other nations are possible, and will work together to achieve this goal.The United Arab Emirates and Israel will immediately expand and accelerate cooperation regarding the treatment of and the development of a vaccine for the coronavirus. Working together, these efforts will help save Muslim, Jewish, and Christian lives throughout the region.This normalization of relations and peaceful diplomacy will bring together two of America’s most reliable and capable regional partners. Israel and the United Arab Emirates will join with the United States to launch a Strategic Agenda for the Middle East to expand diplomatic, trade, and security cooperation. Along with the United States, Israel and the United Arab Emirates share a similar outlook regarding the threats and opportunities in the region, as well as a shared commitment to promoting stability through diplomatic engagement, increased economic integration, and closer security coordination. Today’s agreement will lead to better lives for the peoples of the United Arab Emirates, Israel, and the region.The United States and Israel recall with gratitude the appearance of the United Arab Emirates at the White House reception held on January 28, 2020, at which President Trump presented his Vision for Peace, and express their appreciation for United Arab Emirates’ related supportive statements. The parties will continue their efforts in this regard to achieve a just, comprehensive and enduring resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As set forth in the Vision for Peace, all Muslims who come in peace may visit and pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque, and Jerusalem’s other holy sites should remain open for peaceful worshippers of all faiths.Prime Minister Netanyahu and Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan express their deep appreciation to President Trump for his dedication to peace in the region and to the pragmatic and unique approach he has taken to achieve it.

What lies behind the constitutional amendments in Jordan? – Middle East  Monitor
What Do The Colors And Symbols Of The Flag Of Egypt Mean? - WorldAtlas

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