Netanyahu joins Bahrain, UAE ministers at W.House for peace signing

Donald Trump

Incredibly, the agreements the State of Israel signed Tuesday with the United Arab Emirates and with Bahrain do not echo such calls.

The rally was supported by a coalition of more than 50 organisations, including the ADC, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Jewish Voice for Peace, and American Muslims for Palestine.

"We are here this afternoon to change the course of history". "I stand here today to extend a hand of peace".

"This is a pivot of history", Netanyahu said as he took the podium following Trump.

"Today, we are already witnessing a change in the heart of the Middle East - a change that will send hope around the world", Al Nahyan said. Some in the audience wore masks, but the administration did not require them. In our faith, we say, Oh God, you are peace and from you comes peace. "This is not a peace between leaders, but a peace among peoples".

"Today is a truly historic occasion". "The blessings of the peace we make today will be enormous".

B'nai B'rith International Daniel Mariaschin emphasized to JNS that the "importance of today's signing ceremony can not be overstated", and that the Arab-Israeli conflict "is becoming undone one country at a time".

If only it was that simple.

The agreements do not address the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"Efforts to bypass the Palestinian people and their leadership will have risky consequences", Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement.

He told reporters he thought Palestine would eventually "understand that it is only by radically changing strategy that the legitimate aspirations for a viable Palestinian state can be realised".

The deals, brokered by the United States, were signed on Tuesday at the White House, where Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Bahraini and Emirati officials.

"But this new narrative overlooks a crucial set of issues that will not disappear, even if they may seem distant to those watching from thousands of miles away", he said.


Under the Israeli-UAE accord, Tel Aviv promised to put on hold its plans of constructing more settlements in the occupied West Bank.

"For years, standard operating procedure in terms of Israeli-Arab relations in general and for the Palestinians in particular has been rooted in rejectionism and anti-normalization", he said.

Trump also signaled that brokering more peace deals in the Middle East is a priority for him, claiming that Saudi Arabia might be the next. Abu-Dhabi earlier said that despite reaching an agreement with Israel, it is not against the creation of a Palestinian state.

It's official: The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are now less pro-Palestinian than the Europeans.

But there are few reasons to expect that after just these two agreements.

Even the harshest critics have allowed that the agreements could usher in a major shift in the region should other Arab nations, particularly Saudi Arabia, follow suit, with implications for Iran, Syria and Lebanon. For now, each state had other reasons for making a deal now that was more about their own self-interests.

"I would have no problem in selling them the F-35", he told Fox News, adding that it would mean "tremendous jobs at home".

"Some people do, they say, maybe they go to war".

The thaw will also give Israel and its two new Arab partners a big economic opening, just when they are looking to rebuild after the global slowdown triggered by the pandemic.

"I think we had a very good breakthrough".

Agreement-signing ceremonies make for grand speeches with memorable rhetorical flourishes.

Osama Hasan, who took part in the protests in Hebron, called the normalisation agreement a "stab in the back of the Palestinians". Then again, second-term U.S. presidents often secure their biggest foreign policy achievements after being re-elected.

Sarah Levin, executive director of JIMENA: Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa, expressed to JNS hope that these deals are "a meaningful first step towards warm, active relations between Israel and other countries throughout the Middle East region" in that "peace and normalization should be preferred to the alternative, and this exciting development gives us a renewed feeling of hope and optimism".

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