- Bahrain Jumps on the UAE-Israeli Deal’s Bandwagon While Saudis Still Testing Waters, Observers Say
On 11 September, the Kingdom of Bahrain has reportedly agreed to a peace deal with Israel, becoming the fourth Arab country to formally recognise the Jewish state and the second in the last 30 days. International observers have discussed the new announcement as well as its potential impact on the 2020 presidential race in the US.
A joint statement by the US, Israel and Bahrain hailed the development as highly positive, while Palestinian Arabs, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Turkey condemned the agreement, reiterating that the Gulf nations’ reconciliation with the Jewish state is upending the Palestinian cause. Earlier, on 13 August, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced its willingness to officially normalise relations with Israel. US President Donald Trump, who claims to have brokered both deals, earlier dropped a hint that, after the “ice has been broken”, more Arab and Muslim countries would follow Abu-Dhabi’s suit. The UAE-Israel signing ceremony is expected to take place on 15 September at the White House.
Bahrain’s Move ‘Hugely Important’ Though ‘Unsurprising’
“Bahrain agreeing to a peace agreement with Israel is hugely important”, said Daniel Pipes, an American historian, writer, and commentator. “It means that the UAE is not isolated but part of a larger movement”.
Bahrain’s decision to follow in the UAE’s footsteps is not a bolt from the blue, noted Professor Gabriel Ben-Dor, head of national security studies at the University of Haifa, in Israel.
“It’s been in the air for quite some time”, Ben-Dor noted. “There have been many rumors that this was coming. You could see Bahrain supporting Trump’s Deal of the Century as well”.