President Trump announced Thursday that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel have agreed to establish diplomatic relations and “pave the way for cooperation on everything from tourism to technology and health care.” Trump declared that he helped negotiate the move – which will also “allow direct flights between their countries and set up reciprocal embassies” – between Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Emirati Prince Mohammed bin Zayed. The Emirates is the third Arab country to establish a peace treaty with Israel, following suit with Egypt and Jordan. The agreement would temporarily suspend Israel’s advancement into the West Bank territory and other Palestinian land.
The Left is critical of Trump’s claims that he was highly involved and says it is unknown how much of a role he had to play. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden praised the countries’ leaders for the agreement, recalling his own time spent “building the case for cooperation and broader engagement” during his time as vice president. He said he would continue to oppose Israeli annexation as president.
The Right praises Trump and points out that both Israeli and Emirati officials credited him with the move. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated it is a “significant step towards peace in the Middle East,” and Trump said he is hopeful it will pave the way for other Arab and Muslim countries to do the same.
Many Palestinian leaders condemned the agreement, arguing it ignores Netanyahu’s past “crimes and violations at the expense of the Palestinian people.” Many Israelis, “eager to establish sovereignty over West Bank territory,” also denounced the move. Naftali Bennett, a leader of the Yamina political party, blamed Netanyahu for failing to seize a “once-in-a-century chance” to exert sovereignty over Israeli land.
“This is a black day in the history of Palestine…The Palestinian people have not authorized anyone to make concessions to Israel in exchange for anything.”Ahmad Majdalani, member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee
United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed his support for the peace treaty, as well as UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi.