World Cementing Israel's New Ties in Arab World Is Essential for Future | Opinion

12:10  30 october  2020
12:10  30 october  2020 Source:   newsweek.com

Sudanese strains surface as U.S. pressure triggers debate on Israel

  Sudanese strains surface as U.S. pressure triggers debate on Israel Sudanese strains surface as U.S. pressure triggers debate on IsraelKHARTOUM (Reuters) - U.S. pressure on Sudan to normalise ties with former adversary Israel has stirred public debate on a topic that was long taboo, exposing splits that could complicate any swift settlement of a deal.

A flood of new peace deals for Israel, creating diplomatic relations with Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Sudan, has the potential to remake the Middle East. Israel and its new friends can chart a course that will see an alliance system emerge that underpins the first new peace deals Israel has made in a quarter-century. However, the rapidity with which these relations have emerged and the sense that they are part of a series of transactions being pushed by the White House mean that they could be impacted by any changes in Washington's policies.

a group of people in front of a building: Abraham Accords signing ceremony at White House © SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images Abraham Accords signing ceremony at White House

To encourage the new relationships with Israel, the U.S. looks set to sell Abu Dhabi the fifth-generation game-changing F-35 that will help make the UAE one of the most advanced militaries in the Middle East. Similarly, the potential deal with Sudan has been sweetened by removing the country from a list of state sponsors of terrorism. F-35s could have been sold to the UAE without a deal with Israel, and Sudan's new government could have been removed from the terrorism list without a link to normalizing relations. Both countries also deny that there is a transactional nature to their openings with Israel. That is because Israel offers a lot to Sudan and the UAE. For the UAE, it means cooperation on strategic assessments of the region, such as dealing with threats from Iran. For Sudan, Israel's technology and drip irrigation could be helpful.

The Foreign Policy Debate Americans Should Hear | Opinion

  The Foreign Policy Debate Americans Should Hear | Opinion President Trump has made clear that his doctrine of America First meant America will work with allies who share its interests and goals.The purpose of the presidential debates used to be to help voters do just that. Debate moderators compelled presidential candidates to answer serious questions about the serious issues that beset the president of the United States.

However, appearances matter. President Donald Trump put Israeli Prime Minister on speakerphone when discussing whether Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden could have made the recent deals. There is a sense that Trump has tended to push a transactional form of foreign policy—whether in the form of pushing billions in new deals with Saudi Arabia, claiming the U.S. will stay in Syria to guard oil wells, or asking NATO countries and South Korea to increase military spending in return for U.S. defensive support.

If you conduct foreign policy as a transaction, then there is always a chance that if some part of the transaction doesn't hold up, or if the person in the White House changes, that the foreign state will renege. That means that to cement Israel's relationships with the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and potentially other deals with Oman, Saudi Arabia or several other countries, the U.S. needs to continue to be a stakeholder—or Israel and its new friends need to move quickly to cement the deals.

Israel, Sudan Make 'Peace' in Third Arab World Deal Overseen By Donald Trump

  Israel, Sudan Make 'Peace' in Third Arab World Deal Overseen By Donald Trump Sudan has joined the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in establishing diplomatic ties with Israel under deals overseen by President Donald Trump.The move comes shortly after Trump officially announced to Congress his intent to remove Sudan from the State Department's list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. Khartoum agreed to provide $335 million to victims of terrorism ahead of the decision.

Israel has had pragmatic relationships in the past. It reached out to Iran and Turkey in the 1950s, when Arab states were hostile, and then it signed peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan while never cultivating a particularly close relationship with either. Iran's regime is today the most hostile country to Israel and Turkey—and Turkey, which still has relations with Israel, has vowed to "liberate" Muslim areas of Jerusalem from the Jewish state. This shows how Israel's relationships in the region tend to be precarious.

How can relations with the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan learn from the challenges of the pas?

First, Israel and the UAE already share a worldview on the region, and can be part of an emerging U.S. alliance with India and Greece that would create a nexus of power from the Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean. This is predicated upon a strategic partnership with Washington built on F-35s for Israel, Greece and the UAE, and a close partnership between Israel and India that already exists. People-to-people relationships are also essential to developing ties between Abu Dhabi and Jerusalem. The business hubs in Tel Aviv and Dubai offer excellent opportunities. Already, there is cooperation on the medical front against COVID-19. The first ship has arrived in Israel from the Emirates, as well as the first flights.

Trump says Sudan will normalize relations with Israel, days after he moved to lift terrorism designation

  Trump says Sudan will normalize relations with Israel, days after he moved to lift terrorism designation The details of the Israel-Sudan deal were not clear. But Trump's announcement came days after he agreed to remove Sudan from list of terrorism sponsors.The details of the Sudan-Israel agreement, coming just days before the Nov. 3 election, were not immediately clear. Trump announced the news as he spoke with the leaders of Sudan and Israel on speaker phone in front of reporters, who had been called into the Oval Office.

The foundation for Israel's new friendships are being built. Now, the countries need to fill the new edifice with economic, cultural and, eventually, defense ties. Some of those ties are being pushed by Washington, but in the wake of the U.S. election, it is important that these new friendships grow on their own accord. Collective focus from Israeli, Emirati and other regional leaders, businessmen and civil society organizations can help make that happen.

Seth J. Frantzman is executive director of the Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis, a senior analyst of Middle East affairs for The Jerusalem Post and author of After ISIS: America, Iran and the Struggle for the Middle East (2019). Twitter: @sfrantzman.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.

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This is interesting!