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An Ace From Trump: landmark Peace Deal Between Israel and UAE

Updated on August 14, 2020
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MG is a keen political observer and commentator who has a ringside seat to the turbulent years of the present political scenario


At the end of World War II, the world powers decided that the Jewish people must be given a separate homeland. The question arose as to where this homeland would be. By consensus, it was agreed that the new Jewish state would be carved out of the Palestinian area in the Middle East. This was the same area that centuries earlier had been ruled by Jewish kings. This area is mentioned in the Bible which also refers to the great Hebrew King Solomon who ruled there. The proposal for a Jew state was opposed by almost all Arab countries except Turkey.

For centuries the Jewish race spread all over the world but they looked at Palestine and Jerusalem as their homeland. The creation of a Jewish state by a UN mandate in 1948 was not to the liking of the Arabs. All the Arab armies headed by Egypt, Syria, and Jordan attacked the newly formed state of Israel. The Arab Army was overwhelmingly superior in numbers but they lacked motivation and the will to fight. The Arab army was routed by a handful of Israeli soldiers. An uneasy ceasefire was enforced and the Arabs were left licking their wounds. They resolved to fight Israel and destroy it at a later date.

Momentous events now took place and King Farouk of Egypt was overthrown and Colonel Abdel Nasser took over as president of Egypt. Nassar was a diehard Nationalist Arab. He vowed to destroy Israel. He started his rule and nationalized the Suez Canal company. The British and French who saw their influence in the Middle East waning with the nationalization of the Suez Canal attacked Egypt. Israel also joined them and occupied the entire Sinai. This was in 1956 but the days of gunboat diplomacy were over and England and France without the backing of the USA were zero.

The status quo was restored and the British and French withdrew and Israel also had to give up the Sinai Peninsula. Nassar converted his defeat into victory and his stature in the Arab world grew. Nassar now began to court Soviet Russia. Russian arms and weapons began to flood Egypt. By 1967 Nassar felt himself to be pretty strong with Russian weaponry. He announced a blockade of Israel and vowed to destroy the state. The Egyptian leader was out of touch with reality. He was not aware that just having weapons was not enough and the soldiers must have the will power and strength of character to use them. Israeli intelligence correctly gauged this weakness and in a lightning war decimated the Arab armies. in 1967. Jordan and Syria also joined Egypt with an idea to wipe the Israeli state of the map of the world.

It was a total disaster for the Arab armies and Jordan lost the West Bank to Israel and Syria the Golan Heights. Egypt lost Sinai. Nassar died shortly after, a broken man who could not envisage why his army had been routed.

Nassar was replaced by a pragmatic Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat. He was the first man who made an accommodation with Israel and recognized the Jewish state. In return, he got back Sinai. Unfortunately, elements who did not like his peace accord with Israel shot him dead.

The Palestinian Arabs now realized that the Arab states could not militarily defeat Israel. A number of terrorist organizations mushroomed like Hamas. They assumed that Israel could be brought to its knees through terrorist acts. These organizations were supported by all other Arab states except Egypt and Jordan which had signed the peace agreement with Israel. These terrorist organizations carried out some notorious terrorist acts like the killing of athletes in the Munich Olympics, hijacking planes and destroying them and bombing and killing Israelis in Israel. They again failed to gauge the resolve of the Israelis who for every Israeli killed wreaked terrible vengeance on the perpetrators of this violence.

Towards peace accord

The hostility of the Arabs towards Israel continued for many decades with terrorism as the main weapon. The political atmosphere was however changing. This is connected with the rise of Iran after the overthrow of the Shah. Iran is a Shia nation and it has made no bones of its aim to be the leader of the Muslim world. Iran wished to replace Saudi Arabia as the generally recognized leader of the Muslim world. It began to support wars and revolutions which were directed against the Saudi government. It put into effect a policy of extreme hostility towards Israel and some of its leaders even denied that the Holocaust had taken place.

The Saudis and other Muslim nations like the UAE and Egypt began to get worried about the actions of Iran. The Iranians began to support groups fighting the Saudi's in Yemen. They also engineered the bombing of the refinery in Saudi Arabia and sent the militia into Iraq. The battle lines are now clearly drawn between Iran and Saudi leadership.

In 2016, Donald Trump became the President of the United States. He announced that he would be brokering a peace deal between the Arabs and Israel. Many Americans scoffed at him. The earlier American presidents till Donald Trump had been unable to make any headway in the Middle East because they tried to play safe. One historian has commented that they lacked vision and generally they relied on their advisors who conveyed to them that there could never be any re-approachment between Israel and the Arabs and hence they kept on arming Israel to keep it safe.

Donald Trump came to power in 2016 and brought in the whiff for fresh air. Many were skeptical of him when he announced that he would be the broker of a new peace deal in the Middle East. Trump was able to convince some of the Arab states that a greater danger was not from Israel but from Iran.

The UAE has a very sagacious leadership. I have been frequently to the Middle East and in particular the UAE and there is no doubt that thanks to the leadership of the rulers of this emeritus the country is an oasis of peace and harmony. It has also made tremendous developments and the leadership had realized that if they allowed Iran to continue to dictate the path of nihilism, the UAE would be the biggest loser.

The UAE has come to a far cry from the first president of the UAE Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who had identified Israel as "the enemy." Prodded by Trump in November 2015, Israel announced that it would open a diplomatic office in the UAE. In August 2019, Israel's foreign minister made a public declaration about military cooperation with the UAE amidst rising tensions with Iran.[

Secret contacts continued between Israel and the UAE. Matters became urgent when Iran withdrew from the nuclear agreement. Another factor was the Iranian support for different factions in proxy wars from Syria to Yemen.

Donald Trump remained the big brother at the back prodding both countries to forget about petty differences and accept reality. The deck was cleared for establishing diplomatic relations between the UAE and Israel.

The Abraham Accord

The agreement negotiated between Israel and the UAE is called the Abraham accord after the patriarch who is associated with all the 3 religions including Judaism and Islam.

On 13th August President Trump announced the peace deal. It was definitely a great moment and both the leaders of Israel and the UAE also expressed agreement with Trump. It has been announced that both countries will establish full diplomatic relations with each other. This announcement has had a catalytic effect on the Arab world. Egypt and Bahrain have welcomed it while Iran has termed it 'Shameful.'

Trump has also announced that more countries will soon normalize relations with Israel. He was perhaps referring to Saudi Arabia which has so far kept quiet. With this peace deal the Middle East scenario has completely changed and who can take credit for it but none other than Donald Trump. Give the devil his due. Trump and the leader of the UAE have created history.


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