President Donald Trump can stick yet another feather in his foreign policy cap. Less than 30 days after his administration brokered a peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, he has managed to score another diplomatic achievement.
On Sept. 11, the White House announced that Bahrain would be normalizing ties with Israel. With Iran considered a regional threat in the Middle East, these two developments could be the start of a peaceful trend in this area of the world.
Bahrain Entering Into Full Diplomatic Relations With Israel
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahrain’s King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa agreed on a phone call to enter into full diplomatic relations. According to Axios, the White House “has been pressing Bahrain to follow the UAE” in establishing links with Israel. Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior adviser, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Bahrain recently to make the request.
But this decision isn’t just a win for President Trump, who is locked in a pitched battle with former Vice President Joe Biden for the presidency; it is also a significant step forward for Israel. The Jewish state has lacked diplomatic recognition from most Middle Eastern nations. However, Iran’s attempts to seize more influence in the region has helped foster a change.
Trump was optimistic about the agreement, telling reporters that he “can see a lot of good things happening with respect to the Palestinians,” and indicated that “something very positive” could take effect with Iran.
Netanyahu released a statement celebrating the new development. “It took Israel 26 years to reach peace with a third Arab country – the United Arab Emirates,” he said. “Now it took 29 days to reach peace with a fourth Arab country – Bahrain.” He also indicated that there would be more Mideast states taking the same step in the near future.
A New Middle East?
Bahrain’s decision to normalize relations with Israel is a positive sign, but there is still more work to be done in persuading other Arab nations to follow suit. The Los Angeles Times reported that Kushner and Pompeo did not try to convince only Bahrain’s leadership to take the plunge but also went to the Middle East to discuss the matter with other countries.
Other Arab nations have stated they are hesitant to establish relations with Israel until its conflict with the Palestinians is resolved. Others could be waiting to make a decision until the U.S. election is over in November. It is also worth noting that much of the reluctance to forge ties with Tel Aviv stems from political and religious conflicts that have persisted for decades.
Nevertheless, this diplomatic accomplishment represents another positive sign for the Trump administration. Of course, the corporate media have downplayed the development, but it is still a notch in the president’s belt and a victory he can tout in his campaign.
Read more from Jeff Charles.