A Win In the Middle East

Today the United States, Israel and the United Arab Emirates jointly announced an agreement whereby Israel and the UAE have fully normalized their relationship. President Trump tweeted:


The communique paints an optimistic picture:

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.

Let’s hope so. What did Israel give up? Not much:

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.

For how long will Israel hold off on annexing Judea and Samaria? The agreement makes no specific commitment.

The UAE and Israel expressed their appreciation to President Trump:

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.

My friend Roger Simon comments enthusiastically.

The UAE will only be the third Arab state to recognize the Jewish state, but its decision is likely to inspire others that have long been on the fence, including major regional player Saudi Arabia.

Roger points out the Associated Press’s grudging acknowledgement of the agreement:

In time-honored mainstream media fashion, the Associated Press does its best to downplay President Trump’s brokering a mutual recognition pact between Israel and the United Arab Emirates by calling it a “rare diplomatic win.”

The AP is no longer capable of reporting any news story straight. But does anyone care? Roger doubts that today’s news will have any perceptible political impact. No doubt he is right. This is one more in a long series of achievements for which the Trump administration will get little, if any, credit. But there are those who appreciate it.

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