Trump Scores Major Diplomatic Win in the Middle East

Dr. Munr Kazmir
5 min readAug 26, 2020

The UAE has normalized diplomatic relations with Israel. Similar peace accords are likely to follow. Why Barack Obama deserves some of the credit.

President Donald J. Trump, joined by White House senior staff members, delivers a statement announcing the agreement of full normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

In mid-August, the world diplomatic community was stunned by news that the Trump administration had successfully brokered a historic peace agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel.

The Israel–United Arab Emirates peace agreement is a step of enormous significance, the first of its kind between Israel and a major Arab country since 1994.

Even such publications as the New York Times, certainly no friend to Donald Trump, hailed the accord: “A Geopolitical Earthquake Just Hit the Middle East.

Regardless of one’s political persuasion, or personal feelings toward Donald Trump, this agreement deserves examination on its own merits. The normalization of relations between these two countries is an important step towards peace in the Middle East. Even more important may be the dramatic shift in Israeli foreign policy.

That Israeli leadership intends to abandon- for now- attempts at further annexation in favor of pursuing diplomatic relations with its Middle Eastern neighbors should be deeply heartening to anyone who truly wants peace- and justice- in the Middle East.

President Trump is to be commended on brokering this deal. When former President Barack Obama tried to wrangle the exact same concession from the Israelis during his tenure, they refused.

Throughout his term in office, Trump has made several major concessions to Israel in prelude to this deal- and other deals with are likely to follow as more Arab nations follow the UAE in normalizing diplomatic relations with Israel.

Each of these concessions- formally recognizing Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel, and relocating the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem; recognizing the Golan Heights region as a part of the State of Israel; even being more open about the close diplomatic partnership Israel enjoys with the U.S.- were all sunk costs anyway.

Israel controlled Jerusalem already; it was already considered by Israelis, and tacitly by the rest of the world, as the capitol of Israel. Formally recognizing what had long been quietly accepted…