As many as 10 more nations will normalize relations with Israel after the election, President Donald Trump stated this week.
“We have five, but really have probably nine or ten that are right in the mix, we’re going to have a lot, I think we’ll have all of them eventually,” he said. “We’re doing a lot of work right now, and I’m involved in all of those deals. The beauty is there is peace in the Middle East with no money and with no blood. There’s no blood all over the sand.”
Last month, Israel signed historic normalization agreements called the “Abraham Accords” with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain at the White House. Trump announced that Sudan also had decided to make peace with Israel and predicted that Saudi Arabia could follow.
Mossad Chief Yossi Cohen told Israel’s Channel 12 News he too expected Saudi Arabia to normalize ties with Israel but that the kingdom is waiting to see the results of the Nov. 3 U.S. election. The report said a Saudi decision to join the Abraham Accords likely will involve a significant arms deal with the United States. Other reports indicate that Oman could be the next Gulf country to make peace with Israel, a move that could happen before the election.
The speculation of future peace accords, combined with the historic treaties just signed, heralds a new relationship between Israel and its Arab neighbors as they confront Iran.
In Lebanon, Iran’s influence was highlighted after the series of explosions that leveled or severely damaged up to a quarter of the city. The port where the blasts occurred are known to have been used by Hezbollah as a storage facility for bomb making materials supplied by Iran. Lebanese citizens protested in the streets immediately after the catastrophe calling out the elements in the Lebanese government with close ties to Iran.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz welcomed the words of the daughter of Lebanon’s president, who said peace with Israel is possible after the two countries resolve their border disputes and reach an agreement about the Palestinians. Gantz said he had heard “positive voices in Lebanon that are maybe talking about peace and relations with Israel. These are welcome words.”
Palestinian leaders strongly condemn the recent peace deals with Israel and fear they undermine their efforts to establish a future independent state. Arab nations have responded that it is time for the Palestinian Authority to end its call for the destruction of Israel and seek a path to normalize relations. Polling finds Arab Palestinians favor peace and economic prosperity over the continued hostility shown towards Israel.
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice