Saturday, August 15, 2020

Trump's UAE-Israel deal not creating any peace in the Middle East

US National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien thinks that Donald Trump should get the Nobel Peace Prize for helping broker a deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the first time the Jewish state has normalized relations with any Gulf state. UAE becomes only the third Arab state (after Egypt and Jordan) to even recognize the existence of the state of lsrael at all.
But, far from creating any kind of peace, in a region where peace is considered almost a dirty word, all Trump's "deal" has achieved is to stir up a slightly sleepy hornet's nest. It is certainly not the long-promised deal to resolve decades of between Israel and Palestine. I guess Jared Kushner is still working on that. Embattled Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, whose fortunes this deal is designed, at least in part, to bolster, made it very clear that any suspension of Israeli annexation of Palestinian lands is very much temporary: "it is a temporary postponement. It is not removed from the table." It doesn't get much clearer than that.
Turkey is already considering suspending diplomatic ties with UAE over the agreement, which it sees as a move against Palestine, something it says is "not a step that can be stomached". Iran is calling it a "huge mistake" and a "treacherous act", and warns that it has just set Iran and the whole Arab world even more strongly against Israel. Palestine, predictably enough, sees itself as being betrayed and sold out by their "friends", especially at a time when a peace deal establishing a Palestinian state seems ever further from reality.
None of this sounds much like peace to me.

Ditto with the Bahrain and Sudan "peace" deals. These are not peace deals at all, but trade deals - there were no hostilities between these countries - and they represent low-hanging fruit, with little risk to Trump and little benefit to anyone else.
Trump is only involving himself in the first place with these small (and, let's face it, inconsequential) countries in order to ingratiate himself with Israel and the conservative Jewish vote in America. Its overall effect is to splinter the Arab world still further, and further destabilize the region.

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