Israel And UAE

Israel And The UAE: A Debt To Trump Repaid


Leonard Zwelling

         In a bit of good news, The New York Times rushed out an article on Thursday morning, August 13 that announced the signing of a series of bilateral agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. This caught the diplomatic world by surprise, but perhaps it shouldn’t have.

         The polls for Mr. Trump’s re-election look bleak and one of the bright spots for him was the unexpected support in the Jewish community along with the undying support of the Evangelical community that is in turn a strong supporter of Israel. Without a Jewish Israel, the Rapture is on hold. When we went to Israel right after the Gaza War in August of 2014 and the air raid shelters were still in place at our hotels, the only other Americans we saw were the busloads of Evangelicals, unafraid of falling missiles, flocking to the Sea of Galilee. It should be no surprise that Mr. Trump called in his notes to the Sunni Arab UAE (military support) and Israel (the embassy in Jerusalem and recognition of Israeli dominion over the Golan Heights) to jump start his re-election campaign the day after his opposition, Biden and Harris, made such a big splash.

         It’s a bit of a cynical ploy, but within the bounds of the power of incumbency for Mr. Trump to play these cards now. In fact, it is one of the cleverest things he has done on the diplomatic front. Mr. Trump desperately needs the support of the American Jewish community and this may be a way to glean that support which would more naturally fall to the Democrats, historically. Bibi Netanyahu has said he will call off the annexation of the West Bank lands that he had pledged to incorporate into Israel with the coming of this UAE deal, as if that matters. Israel controls the West Bank in every conceivable way and whether land with settlements on it is officially Israel or not hardly matters. It’s functionally Israel and that is not going to change.

         Look for more deals as the Sunni Arab states look to align themselves with Israel and the West as a defense against the encroachment of Iran against the other major power in the region, Saudi Arabia. This is global strategy on a grand scale and worthy of a celebration on the White House lawn which will undoubtedly occur shortly after Labor Day if not sooner.

         One could be cynical about this and say this is all being driven by domestic American politics. So what? Mr. Trump gets credit by playing some good three-dimensional chess and shoring up what is inevitable—the fusion of the interest of Israel and that of the Sunni Arab world against the Shia world of Iran.

         For now, let’s be happy with the progress and hope Mr. Trump secures more such agreements. What’s taken him so long? Oh, right. He went to Jared.

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