The dual agreements between the UAE and Israel and Bahrain and Israel were unprecedented on multiple levels. First of all, this was not one, but two agreements, that were signed on one day with two Arab countries. Secondly, the agreements proved once and for all, that the basis for peace in the Middle East does not need to be about land swaps. On the contrary, the key to peace in the Middle East is the willingness by countries to simply shun a state of warfare and strive for economic prosperity.
President Trump is not a brilliant peacemaker. But the peace agreement that the Arab countries and Israel have signed is indeed a master stroke of brilliance in how it switches the norms of the Middle East. There are multiple countries in the Middle East that are indeed threatened by Iran. Israel is not the only country. The smaller countries like the UAE and Bahrain are both threatened by radicalization in their midst. The key to their combating these forces is economic prosperity. As long as these countries continue to be magnets for prosperity, they will not have major internal protests that foment unrest. So, the UAE and Bahrain may not have had a major change of heart and decided that Israel is wonderful. But, it’s sufficient that their interests vis-a-vis Iran line up with Israel’s interests. This is a basic concept of international diplomacy.
Both President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu deserve tremendous praise for their accomplishments. But more than anything else, they deserve praise for minimizing the Iranian threat through a mix of strong sanctions and containment of the Iranian threat in the Middle East. On foreign policy in the Middle East, President Trump and Netanyahu deserve much praise.