• The Missing Peace in the Abraham Accords
    Heaps of hype at the Israel-Emirati-Bahraini festivities on the White House lawn—but no hope for peace, Palestinians, or the Middle East

    by Daniel Levy

    September 17, 2020 - The American Prospect

    (...) Since its establishment, Israel has fought in at least six wars involving various Arab states, with perhaps another five if one includes two campaigns against Palestinian intifadas and periodic escalations with Gaza and the devastation wrought there. These wars have, cumulatively, involved tens of thousands of casualties.

    Did Tuesday’s ceremonial treaty signings at least lay some of that to rest? Er, hate to break it to you, but again, nada.

    More from Daniel Levy: Don’t Call It a Peace Plan

    The UAE and Bahrain have now signed the so-called Abraham Accords on the White House lawn, committing to normalize and conduct mutually expansive relations with Israel that would far exceed the ongoing limited exchanges Israel has with Egypt and Jordan. But the UAE and Bahrain have never been at war with Israel, never so much as fired a shot in anger against Israel; they have no unresolved territorial or other dispute, and their capitals are 1,260 miles and 1,000 miles, respectively, from Jerusalem.

    That Donald Trump was able to package and market as “peace” the upgrading of bilateral relations between countries not party to any conflict is galling. (...)

    #IsraelEAU #IsraelBahrein

  • Bahreïn et Israël concluent un accord de normalisation de leurs relations
    Reuters11 septembre 2020

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Bahreïn et Israël ont conclu un accord de normalisation de leurs relations, annoncent vendredi les dirigeants des deux Etats et le président américain Donald Trump dans un communiqué commun.

    « C’est une étape historique en direction de la paix au Moyen-Orient. L’ouverture d’un dialogue direct sur la création de liens entre ces deux sociétés dynamiques et économies développées va permettre de confirmer la transformation du Moyen-Orient et accroître la stabilité, la sécurité et la prospérité dans la région », est-il écrit dans ce communiqué.

    La décision de Bahreïn suit celle qu’ont prise au mois d’août les Emirats arabes unis, provoquant une vague de réprobation dans certaines parties du monde arabo-musulman. (...)


    • Bahrainis Speak Out Against ’Betrayal’ of Palestinians in Normalization With Israel
      Jack KhouryNoa Landau and Reuters | Published on 12.09.2020

      A day after Trump announces a second Gulf state has agreed to establish relations with Israel, local intellectuals and rights activists blast the move ■ Israeli officials say embassy to open soon
      Intellectuals and human rights activists in Bahrain expressed Saturday their fierce opposition to the kingdom’s move to normalize ties with Israel, saying the decision is a “betrayal” of the Palestinian people.

      Israel and Bahrain announced the decision on Friday in a joint statement along with the United States. The agreement will be signed on Tuesday in Washington, senior officials in Israel’s Foreign Ministry said that the ministry will soon open an embassy in Manama.

      Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi spoke on Saturday with his Bahraini counterpart Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani in a phonecall and “exchanged friendly talks on the occasion of the peace declaration.” The two ministers also “stressed the need to move these relations forward in all aspects in a way that serves the mutual interests and promotes peace and stability in the region,” said the Bahrain Foreign Ministry in a statement.

      A Shia majority country ruled by a Sunni minority, Bahrain is experiencing more popular opposition to the deal with Israel than the UAE. After the move was announced, Palestinian Ambassador to the United Kingdom Husam Zomlot said that “Bahrainis against normalization” was trending high on Bahraini Twitter.

      Organizations representing the Shia majority in the kingdom, which make up 70 percent of the Bahraini population, rejected to move to establish ties with Israel.

      Bahrain’s opposition umbrella group, the al-Wefaq political association, condemned the move and called it “betrayal.” In addition, the group said that the Bahraini regime is illegitimate, dubbing Israel an illegitimate entity."

      The organization, which is illegal in Bahrain, but is very influential there, said in a statement that it opposes the normalization with Israel due to its support for the Palestinian people. (...)

    • Behind the scenes of the U.S.-brokered Israel-Bahrain agreement
      Sep 11, 2020 - Barak Ravid

      Hours after the August 13 announcement of the U.S.-brokered normalization agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, senior Bahraini officials called President Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner and White House envoy Avi Berkowitz with a message: “We want to be next,” U.S. officials involved in the talks tell me.

      Why it matters: Israel and Bahrain had a secret relationship for over two decades, meaning neither country had diplomatic relations and most of their contacts were through covert talks behind the scenes. However the talks which led to the joint statement on establishing full diplomatic relations took just 29 days.

      The state of play: Sources familiar with the talks told me that starting August 13, intense discussions between the U.S., Bahrain and Israel started. Other than Berkowitz and Kushner, several other U.S. officials were involved in the talks including: National security adviser Robert O’Brien, Iran envoy Brian Hook, national security council Middle East director General Miguel Correa, White House official Adam Boehler and U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman. (...)