Sep 16, 2020 05:29 UTC
  • UAE, Bahrain sign normalization deals with Israel at White House

The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain sign controversial normalization agreements with Israel at the White House amid outrage across Palestine and elsewhere throughout the Muslim world at the Arab regimes’ sheer betrayal of the Palestinian cause.

The deals were signed between Emirati and Bahraini Foreign Ministers, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

With the US-brokered deals, the UAE and Bahrain have become only the third and fourth Arab states to ever normalize their relations with Israel after Egypt and Jordan.

Trump: More countries to fall into line

At the White House, US President Donald Trump claimed “five or six” more Arab countries were poised to agree to normalize relations with Israel.

"We’re very far down the road with about five countries, five additional countries,” Trump said as he hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as Emirati and Bahraini Foreign Ministers, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani.

With Trump facing a tough re-election on November 3, the back-to-back agreements could help bolster his electoral appeal to pro-Israel Christian evangelical voters in the US, an important chunk of his political base.

Taking the podium after Trump, Netanyahu thanked the US president for “unequivocally” standing by Israel’s side since taking office.

Trump and Netanyahu called the deals historic, with the former alleging that they "mark the dawn of a new Middle East."

The White House ceremony also helps distract from Netanyahu’s domestic grievances — the worst economic downturn in 45 years, a coronavirus crisis that has prompted the second general lockdown, and his own trial on corruption charges.

Hours before the signing ceremony, Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash claimed that the deal with Israel had come after “we broke the psychological barrier” of establishing ties with Tel Aviv.

The normalization trend has, however, been uniformly panned by all Palestinian people and factions as well as the Bahraini public that have been holding daily rallies since its inception.

Throughout the day, the Palestinian territories of the Gaza Strip and the Tel Aviv-occupied West Bank witnessed raucous rallies against the deals, passionate denunciation speeches and statements by Palestinian leaders.

A protest was also held in Washington to lambaste the the agreements. 

In London, protesters amassed in front of the Bahraini embassy waiving Palestinian flags and staging a mockery of the signing ceremony by dressing up as American, Israeli, Emirati, and Bahraini officials.