News & Politics

Three Ways Trump's Israel-UAE Peace Breakthrough Transformed the Middle East This Week

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

President Trump’s Israel-United Arab Emirates diplomatic breakthrough continues rippling out across the world.

Saudi Arabia and Bahrain both announced Wednesday they will now allow flights from Israel to use their airspace en route to other destinations, according to the Times of Israel:

The two Gulf countries agreed last week to open their skies to Israeli flights to the United Arab Emirates following the announcement of the normalization deal between Jerusalem and Abu Dhabi.

According to the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, the deal knocks down a barrier to Israeli airlines that had been in place for 72 years. It directly helps Israeli airlines.

Israeli airlines had been at a significant disadvantage in the past, being forced to take a detour of several hours skirting the Gulf and Iran on flights to the Far East. Saudi Arabia last year allowed Air India flights to Israel to use their airspace, but not El Al flights on the same route.

Allowing the use of Saudi and Bahraini airspace makes direct flights between Tel Aviv and the Emirates viable by cutting flying time from some seven hours to only three and a half hours.

In Abu Dhabi, the UAE is following up on the deal by ordering hotels to serve kosher foods, according to Fox News.

Authorities in Abu Dhabi sent a memo Tuesday instructing all hotels in the city to offer kosher food and beverage options, anticipating a surge in Israeli and Jewish travelers following the landmark peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Kosher foods in an Arab capital. Who saw that coming?

The most significant outcome from the Israel-UAE deal to date is what the Arab League did, or rather did not do, this week. The Palestinians, whose leaders have denounced the rapprochement between Israel and the UAE, attempted to get the Arab League to condemn the deal.

The Jerusalem Post reports that they flopped.

The Arab League on Wednesday refused to endorse a Palestinian draft resolution condemning the United Arab Emirates for its normalization agreement with Israel, a move that is a severe blow to the Palestinians, Ramallah officials said.

The proposal was presented by the Palestinians to a meeting of Arab League foreign ministers, and Palestinian officials said some Arab countries objected to it.

Several Arab states are eying establishing relations with Israel, as the UAE has already done.

The Palestinians have been trying to drum up opposition to the deal since its announcement but have gained no traction. The most it has been able to accomplish so far is to praise other Gulf states that have not followed UAE’s lead in normalizing relations with Israel. But Bahrain is already reportedly in “advanced talks” to normalize its relations with Israel. Oman may follow suit.

Both Kosovo and Serbia announced last week that they will open embassies in Jerusalem, a huge move that has largely gone underreported. Just the United States, Guatemala, and a few other countries have moved their embassies to Jerusalem or are considering the move. Kosovo and Serbia add to that number and are the first European nations to do so.

The effects of the deal are being felt worldwide. In Rwanda, which already enjoyed normalized relations with Israel, a Taarifa editorial sees signs of an emerging Israel-Arab alliance.

The Palestinian Authority ought to understand that other Arab countries, such as Bahrain and Oman, will sooner than later follow the UAE’s initiative, and they too will insist that Israel is no longer annex further Palestinian territory. At this juncture, the Palestinians cannot stop other Arab states from normalizing relations with Israel, as they in principle have decided that their national interest precedes that of the Palestinians’, albeit they will still push and promote the idea of establishing a Palestinian state.

Guess who loses in this scenario (besides the Palestinians, if they continue to reject peace). Trump’s Israel-UAE deal establishes a foundation for real peace, helps our allies diplomatically and economically, all at the expense of Iran, Hizballah, and Hamas.

Contrast this with the disastrous Obama-Biden Iran capitulation, which sent billions in cash to the autocratic mullahs and allowed Iran to take steps to get closer to nuclear weapons capability.

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