Opinion: Netanyahu and Trump – A historic partnership on the way to another breakthrough

The peace agreement between Israel and two Gulf States is just the latest in a string of diplomatic victories for the Israeli and American leaders.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

One might call it a historic partnership. Or one might say President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have chemistry.

The peace agreement between Israel and two Gulf States (with more promised on the way) is just the latest in a string of diplomatic victories for the two leaders that could very well permanently change the face of the Middle East for the better.

As Ariel Kahana, diplomatic correspondent of Israel Hayom, notes in Tuesday’s edition: “Four years Donald Trump has served as president of the United States, and every meeting of his with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ends in a historic breakthrough.”

When they last met it was in January to launch the Trump peace plan. In March 2019, Netanyahu stood at Trump’s side as the president signed an official proclamation recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

In December 2017, Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and announced the U.S. would move its embassy. In May 2018, Trump, bolstered by Netanyahu’s dramatic presentation of Iran’s secret “atomic archive,” withdrew from the Iranian nuclear accord.

The latest breakthrough between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and now Bahrain is not just historic in that it marks only the third and fourth time an Arab country has inked a peace agreement with the Jewish State. It also spells the end of the conception, pushed for so many decades – and one unblinkingly accepted even by Israel’s establishment – that peace with Arab countries was impossible without first solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

That conception has been turned on its head.

It’s thanks largely to Trump, as Netanyahu has been happy to point out, giving credit where credit is due. Speaking of the president’s Mideast peace plan back in May, Netanyahu said the most important thing about the plan was that it represented a complete reversal from what had been the default position of U.S. administrations until then.

“Past American governments wanted us to uproot settlements, between 80,000-100,000 people. They spoke about shrinking us more or less to the ’67 borders. Now there’s a huge change in attitude, and I’m proud of it,” he said.

Now it’s the Palestinians out in the cold. Now they are the ones being held accountable for their actions, something logic dictates should have been the case all along, given their bloodlust and open support for terror.

Trump has made logic a cornerstone of his dealings with the Palestinians. Ramallah’s leadership wants to boycott the U.S. over Jerusalem? The U.S. cuts funding to its “security forces.”

Trump’s logic appears to be catching. Arab states have grown weary of the Palestinians’ unrealistic demands and the way they have held hostage the entire Arab region to a conflict made endless by their rejectionism.

UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs expressed this sentiment in the Wall Street Journal on Monday when he wrote, “The Palestinian leadership should use this moment to reorganize its approach and prepare to re-engage in productive discussions.”

As Trump Senior Advisor Jared Kushner pointed out in June before the rollout of the first phase of the administration’s “peace to prosperity” plan in Bahrain, which included the participation of a number of Arab states, including Saudi Arabia: “It is a small victory that they are all showing up to listen and partake. In the old days, the Palestinian leaders would have spoken and nobody would have disobeyed.”

We think it’s more than a “small victory.” It’s a sea change.