Is the Middle East Closer to Peace?
Conflicts in the Middle East rarely seem to find meaningful and lasting resolutions. As a result, the term “peace in the Middle East” has become a cliche more than a real aspiration. Some say that the two Trump-brokered peace deals between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain respectively, being commemorated today at a ceremony in Washington, have brought this goal back down to earth.
…it is a deal between Israel and two Arab countries with which it had no state of war. So why should it be called a peace agreement? Why should we attribute to it the meaning of a peace agreement? The answer is this: the basis of the Arab-Israel conflict is the notion, embraced for many years by almost all Arab countries, that Israel is an illegitimate entity in the Middle East…
Normalcy is good. It is better than the dreamy fantasies conjured by the word “imagine.”
The decision by two wealthy Gulf countries to recognize Israel doesn’t help the shattered nations of the Middle East, such as Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and Libya. And it doesn’t represent Middle East peace, whatever may be said at the White House next week. But for a region that sometimes seems to be in slow-motion collapse, it’s a building block for a better future.
Friday’s development was framed as a peace agreement, but Bahrain and Israel were never at war. In fact, they had already enjoyed unofficial diplomatic, security and trade relations. While Trump may be looking to score points as a peacemaker for his presidential bid, what he is doing is simply providing the military, financial and diplomatic infrastructure to further repress popular struggles for democracy and freedom in the Middle East.