UAE-Israel “Peace for Peace” Deal

20 Aug

There has been a lot of articles over the last week about the United Arab Emirates and Israel will be signing a peace accord that includes full normalization between the two countries. Many people who are vehemently anti-Trump have tried to minimize or condemn it, the later includes Iran, Turkey and the Palestinian Authority. Considering Israel has peace agreements with only two other Arab countries and the first since Oslo II Accords (Taba), this development is certainly historic.

Whether full normalization between Israel and the UAE results in future peace agreements with Oman, Bahrain, Sudan and others is hopeful speculation. Israel signed peace agreements with Egypt (1979) and Jordon (1994). Clearly peace deals did not quickly follow either one, maybe because their populations have yet to warm to Israel. Israelis do travel to Egypt and Jordan, but the reverse is quite rare. I do hope the interactions with people of the UAE is better. If we see an increase in Arab tourism/ business in Israel and education materials accept Israel as the Jewish homeland, then this agreement may be viewed also as momentous.

Like previous agreements, this event is certainly noteworthy and deserves similar fanfare as when President Jimmy Carter, President Anwar Sadat and Prime Minister Menachem Begin stood together on the US White House lawn. With the 2020 election upon us, I think we can expect a similar photo with President Trump the last week of October. What would be a surprise is if there were other Arab countries signing alongside the UAE.

Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, US president Jimmy Carter, center, and Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin clasp hands on the north lawn of the White House as they sign the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, March 26, 1979. (AP/Bob Daugherty) https://www.timesofisrael.com/on-40th-anniversary-egypt-israel-peace-treaty-endures-in-troubled-region/

This development would likely not have happened without the changing dynamics in the region and Joe Biden’s strong poll results. So be prepared for a lot of political venom and hyperbole from both Democrats and Republicans.