President Trump announced on September 11 that the Persian Gulf kingdom of Bahrain would establish full diplomatic relations with Israel. An announcement posted on the White House website noted that this was the second such agreement between Israel and an Arab nation in less than one month.
The White House statement said that “this deal comes on the heels of the historic normalization agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates” and observed that the UAE and Bahrain are the first Arab nations to normalize relations with Israel in more than 25 years.
“This is really something special, very, very special,” Trump said. Fox News reported that the president predicted that the region “will become more secure and prosperous” as a result of the diplomatic moves.
“The sand was loaded up with blood, and now you’ll see a lot of that sand will be loaded up with peace,” Trump said.
A report in the New York Times noted that Bahrain’s and the UAE’s agreements brings the number of Arab countries that recognize Israel to four, with Egypt doing so in 1979, and Jordan in 1994.
A Joint Statement of the United States, Bahrain, and Israel posted on the website of the U.S. Embassy in Egypt said: “This is a historic breakthrough to further peace in the Middle East. Opening direct dialogue and ties between these two dynamic societies and advanced economies will continue the positive transformation of the Middle East and increase stability, security, and prosperity in the region.”
The statement continued:
The parties will continue their efforts in this regard to achieve a just, comprehensive, and enduring resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to enable the Palestinian people to realize their full potential. Israel affirmed that as set forth in the Vision for Peace, all Muslims who come in peace may visit and pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem’s other holy sites will remain open for peaceful worshipers of all faiths.
The statement also noted that Bahrain has accepted President Trump’s invitation to join Israel and the United Arab Emirates at the historic signing ceremony on September 15, 2020, at the White House where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani of Bahrain will be signing “a historic Declaration of Peace.”
In an opinion column posted by Fox News on September 12, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean and director of Global Social Action Agenda for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, wrote: “President Trump deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to establish peaceful relations between Israel and its Arab neighbors, which took a big step forward Friday with the announcement that Israel and Bahrain will establish diplomatic ties.”
Cooper also stated that Trump and Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, “deserve the credit for getting the ball rolling to at long last accelerate the movement toward peace between Israel and its neighbors.”