Bahrain Normalizes Israel Relations, Signing Ceremony Tuesday

Bahrain deal comes just weeks after UAE-Israel normalization

A joint statement between Bahrain and the United States on Friday announced that Bahrain will be normalizing ties with Israel, entering “direct dialogue” and establishing full diplomatic relations.

President Trump made the announcement, and officials say a signing ceremony, involving Bahrain, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates, will be happening on Tuesday. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu presented this as a “new era of peace.”

This started in August with the “Abraham Accord,” a peace deal between Israel and the UAE. This historic announcement got off to a rocky start, however, as the UAE claimed it included a deal to let them buy F-35 warplanes from the US, and Israel has attempted to block that.

This presumably won’t be an issue with the much smaller Bahrain, as the US has already been trying to sell the F-35 to them, and their less substantial military means Israel probably has no reason to care what they buy.

The most significant impact of Bahrain joining this normalization, beyond being another participant to announce, is their extreme closeness to Saudi Arabia. The US has reportedly been pushing to get Saudi Arabia and Israel talking, and if this wasn’t at least a possibility it is unlikely Bahrain would have gone along with the deal.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.