Wednesday, September 16, 2020

THIS IS HUGE: How Trump Defied the Experts and Forged a Breakthrough in the Middle East; Israel signs pacts with 2 Arab states: A 'new' Mideast? and related stories

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
How Trump Defied the Experts and Forged a Breakthrough in the Middle East:
The UAE–Israel deal showed that the conventional wisdom was wrong.
Perhaps the most impregnable piece of conventional wisdom over the last three and a half years was that there was no way that Jared Kushner could possibly move the ball on Middle East peace.
Understandably enough. After all, Kushner already had a vast policy portfolio in the Trump White House and no prior diplomatic experience. The idea that he could succeed where people who had devoted their careers to working on this problem had failed seemed far-fetched — at best.
But here we are, with Israel and the United Arab Emirates signing a historic normalization agreement at the White House. Bahrain has now also agreed to normalize relations with Israel, a move it couldn’t have made without Saudi assent.
All of this is what Joe Biden might call a BFD. When the three leaders — President Trump, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed — were considering their handiwork over the phone, according to a senior administration official, “MBZ said, ‘Hey, 2020’s been a really tough year. This has got to be the best news of 2020.’ And the president said, ‘Yeah, what do you think, Bibi?’ And Bibi said, ‘Are you kidding me? This is the best news in the last 20 years.’” --->READ MORE HERE
AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin
Israel signs pacts with 2 Arab states: A 'new' Mideast?:
Israel on Tuesday signed historic diplomatic pacts with two Gulf Arab states at a White House ceremony that President Donald Trump declared will mark the “dawn of a new Middle East,” casting himself as an international peacemaker at the height of his reelection campaign.
The bilateral agreements formalize the normalization of Israel’s already thawing relations with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in line with their common opposition to Iran. But the agreements do not address the decades-long conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, who view the pacts as a stab in the back from their fellow Arabs and a betrayal of their cause for a Palestinian state.
Hundreds of people massed on the sun-washed South Lawn to witness the signing of agreements in a festive atmosphere little marked by the coronavirus pandemic. Attendees did not practice social distancing and most guests didn’t wear masks.
“We’re here this afternoon to change the course of history,” Trump said from a balcony overlooking the South Lawn. “After decades of division and conflict, we mark the dawn of a new Middle East.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the day “is a pivot of history. It heralds a new dawn of peace.” --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links to related stories below:

Trump trumpets signing of historic accord with Israel and two Arab states

WSJ: The Art of a Mideast Deal- Trump was willing to break with a failed conventional wisdom.

WATCH: United Arab Emirates and Bahrain sign agreement with Israel at the White House

Schumer praises Trump’s Middle East peace deal

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