Israel Signs Normalization Treaties With UAE and Bahrain

Treaties dealt mostly with diplomatic and economic ties, no mention of annexation or controversial F-35 sale

Israel signed treaties with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain at the White House on Tuesday to normalize relations with the Gulf nations. The two Arab countries signed separate bilateral agreements with Israel, and all three nations signed a shorter, more symbolic, trilateral document dubbed the “Abraham Accords.”

The most extensive of the three documents is the Israel-UAE deal, named the “Treaty of Peace.” The treaty focuses mostly on diplomatic and economic relations and mentions trade, tourism, and civilian flights between the two countries.

Missing from the document is any of the controversial topics that the media has focused on since the announcement of the deal, like a suspension of Israel’s plan to annex parts of the West Bank or the US plan to sell F-35s to the UAE. The treaty mentions President Trump’s “Vision for Peace” that was unveiled in January and immediately rejected by the Palestinians. The treaty calls for an “enduring solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” but mentions no specifics.

The treaty signed between Israel and Bahrain, dubbed the “Declaration of Peace,” is much shorter than the UAE treaty but says relatively the same thing. It calls for a normalization of diplomatic and trade relations. As well as a mention of seeking an “enduring solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Ultimately, the deals make the relationship between countries that have already been cooperating official. On Tuesday, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said the UAE and Bahrain are two countries “whom we’ve never fought and who have never fought us, not even through proxies.” Gantz said the only way to achieve peace and stability in the region is by talking to the Palestinians.

Gantz is set to take over as prime minister in 2021 as part of a power-sharing deal between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who attended the signing ceremony on Tuesday. Both men are proponents of annexing areas of the West Bank allotted to Israel in President Trump’s “Vision for Peace.”

President Trump seems happy with the deals and said as many as nine other nations could come to the table and recognize Israel. As far as the controversial sale of F-35s to the UAE, Trump said in an interview before the signing ceremony that he would have “no problem” with making the sale.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the assistant news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.