While the Obama administration abandoned both Israel and the Arab states to appease Iran in pursuit of its disastrous Iran nuclear deal, President Trump has succeeded in finalizing a historic and transformational agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This should only be the first of several individual Israeli-Arab agreements that will create a true regional coalition to contain Iran – and could change the entire strategic landscape of the Middle East for the better.
As explained by The Algemeiner, “For years, statesmen and diplomats from around the world have claimed that it is impossible for Israel to reach a peace agreement with any Arab state without first signing a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority. They said Israel would have to give up land beyond the Green Line — plus evacuating settlements, splitting Jerusalem and establishing a Palestinian state.”
The announcement of normalizing relations between Israel and the UAE has proven that this is simply wrong, and Team Trump correctly knew that. It helped coordinate the details, building on Trump adviser, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner’s work as part of a hoped-for broader Arab-Israeli peace deal.
While announcing the news at the Oval Office, reported Politico, President Trump said the deal was the biggest step towards peace in the region in the past 25 years. “Everybody said this would be impossible.”
By uniting two of America’s closest and most capable partners in the region, something which said could not be done, this deal is a significant step towards building a more peaceful, secure, and prosperous Middle East. Now that the ice has been broken, I expect more Arab and Muslim countries will follow the United Arab Emirates’ lead.
Most significantly, as former NATO Commander and Trump critic, retired Admiral James Stavridis, notes:
Above all, the deal is worrisome to Iran, because it reflects the Arab world’s growing recognition of Persian Iran’s long-term threat: its growing population and its persistent campaign to consolidate influence in Syria, parts of Iraq and other the Shiite Arab states. Especially if the remaining Gulf Arab states join the UAE in recognizing Israel, the potential for anti-Iranian military and intelligence activity will grow significantly.
The new coalition could create advanced early warning systems against Iranian missiles; a connected command and control network for missile defense; naval operations in the Red Sea, northern Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf; shared military technology; and a regular exchange of intelligence.
Stavridis adds that “Given the lack of demonstrations by the ‘Arab street,’ other Israel recognition deals may soon follow — first by Bahrain and Oman, and eventually Saudi Arabia.”
Despite the Democrat-leaning retired Admiral’s attempts to downplay Trump’s pivotal role in this diplomatic success, even Stavridis can’t deny the wide-ranging regional impact of this historic Trump victory.