President Trump announced Friday that Sudan will normalize relations with Israel, marking the third Arab country, following the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, to do so in the past three months. He also announced that five other nations are likely to follow suit. A statement by both Israel and Sudan, along with the United States, said they were agreeing to “end the state of belligerence between their nations,” which have technically been at war since 1948. The move also removed Sudan from the United States’ “list of state sponsors of terrorism,” which will open up the country to international economic aid. As part of the agreement, Sudan released $335 million to an escrow account for US victims and families of previous terrorist acts dating back to 1998.
A columnist for The Guardian, Nesrine Malik, argues that the move is “blackmail” by President Trump, forcing the country to accept his terms or suffer “economic collapse and a resurgence of the old forces.” He wrote, “The US is forcing the fragile new interim government…to recognise Israel and normalise relations – a move that is hugely unpopular with the Sudanese people, and about which they weren’t consulted.”
We haven’t really talked about how funny it is that Trump is doing random fake Israeli peace deals in a pathetic attempt to save his candidacy. As if some Pennsylvania voter in a dilapidated factory town with his job outsourced is like mr president amazing leadership on Sudan!— Secular Talk (@KyleKulinski) October 26, 2020
The Right praises Trump for his impressive diplomacy deals. “The deal marks the latest foreign policy victory for Mr. Trump as he prepares for elections in November,” wrote James Rothwell, Middle East correspondent for The Telegraph. Trump’s top adviser, Jared Kushner, noted, “This is obviously a great breakthrough…Getting peace agreements done are not as easy as we are making them look right now. They are very hard to do.” The Wall Street Journal argued that Trump’s “normalizing relations between Israel and Arab states” is a “highlight of his presidency.”
“To everyone’s amazement, the Trump formula — transactional, non-judgmental and businesslike — rendered a series of peace-making successes. The latest is a normalization agreement between Israel and Sudan. It is not a final destination, but it is an important station on the peace train…win or lose, he has changed the Middle East by reestablishing American economic and diplomatic credibility.”Zev Chafets, Israeli author and columnist
US allies, including Germany, the United Kingdom, and Egypt, praised the decision. General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, head of Sudan’s ruling sovereign council, denounced accusations of “blackmail,” stating that the decision will most greatly benefit Sudan and its people.
The Palestinian government “condemns and rejects” the deal, arguing that “relations with Israel should only come after the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.” Wasel Abu Yousef, head of the political faction Palestinian Liberation Front, stated that Sudan’s ties “with the state of the Israeli occupation represents a new stab in the back of the Palestinian people and a betrayal of the just Palestinian cause.” Militant Islamic terrorist groups Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad both condemn the decision, as well. “We call on the heroic people of Sudan to reject the shameful agreement and the establishment of any ties with the criminal enemy,” read a statement from Hamas.