With all of the original back-and-forth of the arguments over the Abraham Accords, we were treated to an array of claims that the peace agreement between Israel and the UAE–Bahrain is not such a big deal.
Indeed, one of the most unusual moments of my trip was to hear certain Arab security officials effectively compete with one another for who has the better relationship with Israel. In this regard, times have certainly changed. [emphasis added]
The difference is that those diplomatic communications were carried out privately, behind the scenes.
Ha’etzni points out that Israel always had relations with Jordan, since 1948, yet secret relations. And because they were secret, Israel never had to pay a price, until an official peace deal was made in 1994. Thanks to the deal, Israel then had to give away Israeli land [the Island of Peace, or Al-Baqoura] and hand over a huge amount of water each year to Jordan that hurts Israel during the drought years. In addition, since the deal was signed, Jordan has to prove to the Arab world and to its own citizens that peaceful relations with Israel is just a show. Hence, Jordan is one of the worst states in the UN always co-sponsoring and supporting anti-Israel resolutions. [emphasis added]
Full and normal relations with Israel raise the UAE and Bahrain to a new category: from “friendly Arab countries that sell us oil” to “best Arab friends of our own best friend, Israel.”
Not only does that strengthen the U.S. insurance policy, it also lines up the pro-Israel lobby in America on the side of the UAE and Bahrain. They’ve always had their own hired lobbyists in Washington, but they never had any grassroots support in America. Now they will.
It’s an upgrade, and it’s become a need-to-have in a time of American retrenchment. It’s also an open-sesame for bigger and better arms deals, and a deterrent against would-be aggressors, above all Iran. [emphasis added]
He says that although many talk about the Iranian context as the main motivation for the alliance created with Israel, and it is certainly possible that there is something to that, “but the Iranian interest is expressed in something much bigger,” he says, explaining that the UAE as well as Bahrain and Saudi Arabia desperately want Trump re-elected next November “because if the Democrats return to power it will be a disaster for them. They will strengthen Iran, bring back the nuclear deal, and lift the sanctions. They’re willing to give a lot for Trump to win. [emphasis added]
Arabs and Israelis (in that case, Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin) came together to thwart President Jimmy Carter’s international conference idea by pursuing an initiative on peacemaking on their own.
in 1977…the Carter administration was pushing to get the Syrians and Egyptians and everybody else to Geneva for an international conference. For Sadat, such a conference was anathema, because that meant that his policy would be tied to Syrian policy. Further, he believed the Syrians would never go to Geneva, there would never be a conference, and he would not be able to make the peace that he was so keen on making. He took a shortcut to Jerusalem as a way of diverting Washington from its purposes and getting it to back his purposes. [emphasis added]
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