“This is peace in the Middle East, a strong peace,” said the American president, referring to “at least five or six additional countries that want to see peace with Israel.”
By Ebin Sandler, United with Israel
On Tuesday, Israel signed historic agreements with two Gulf states: the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
Prior to the ceremony, over which U.S. President Donald Trump presided, the American leader offered Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “special token of affection,” which consisted of a “key to the White House and a key to our hearts.”
Trump referred to Netanyahu as an “amazing leader.”
“You have the key to the hearts of the people of Israel,” responded Netanyahu, “because of all of the things you have done for the Jewish state.”
Prior to the signing, Trump referred to “at least five or six additional countries” that “want to see peace [with Israel], they’re tired of fighting.” Trump was likely referring to Saudi Arabia, Oman, Sudan and Morocco.
“There’s going to be peace in the Middle East,” added Trump. “I believe Iran wants to make a deal.”
Trump noted that he “cut off payments to the Palestinians … they speak badly about Israel and the U.S., I said ‘Why are we paying them?'”
“Israel is breaking out to the entire world. The tyrants of Tehran are isolated, I hope they’ll come around to the circle of peace,” Netanyahu declared.
More than 700 guests attended the White House signing ceremony, which was held on the South Lawn.
The peace agreements were signed by Netanyahu and the foreign ministers of the UAE and Bahrain, with Trump serving as a signing witness to the agreements, which have been dubbed the “Abraham Accords.”
Trump referred to the exchange of ambassadors and the opening of embassies.
Netanyahu lauded the treaties for “bringing hope to all of the children of Abraham,” and referred to this historic event as the start of a “new era of peace.”
Netanyahu continued, “This day heralds a new dawn of peace. For thousands of years, the Jewish people have prayed for peace. For decades, the Jewish state has prayed for peace. And this is why today we’re filled with such profound gratitude.
“The blessings of the peace we make today will be enormous. First, because this peace will eventually expand to include other Arab states, and ultimately it can end the Arab-Israeli conflict once and for all. Second, because the great economic benefits of our partnership will be felt throughout our region, and they will reach every one of our citizens. And third, because this is not only a peace between leaders, it’s a peace between peoples—Israelis, Emiratis and Bahrainis are already embracing one another.
“We are eager to invest in a future of partnership, prosperity and peace. We’ve already begun to cooperate on combating corona, and I am sure that together we can find solutions to many of the problems that afflict our region and beyond.
“So despite the many challenges and hardships that we all face—despite all that—let us pause for a moment to appreciate this remarkable day. Let us rise above any political divide. … [H]istory has taught us that strength brings security, strength brings allies and ultimately strength brings peace,” said Netanyahu.
Netanyahu concluded by quoting King David in the Book of Psalms,”May God give strength to his people, may God bless his people with peace.”
After Netanyahu and representatives of UAE and Bahrain spoke, Israel signed individual bilateral agreements with the two Arab states, in addition to a document signed by all three nations, which formalized official diplomatic relations.
The Palestinians rejected the peace agreements, with Palestinian Authority officials repeatedly calling them “a stab in the back by fellow Arabs.”
According to a poll cited by Associated Press, “Fifty-three percent of Palestinians described the [Isrel-UAE-Bahrain] agreement as a ‘betrayal’ while 17% said it marked the ‘abandonment’ of their cause. To that end, small pockets of Palestinians on Tuesday trampled and set fire to pictures of Trump, Netanyahu and the leaders of the UAE and Bahrain.”