A month ago, just a few days after the announcement that the United Arab Emirates would be normalizing relations with Israel and signing a peace deal, I (your trusty Israel tour guide) asked in this blog which Arab country would be next in line, if anyone [note: nobody expected the Kosovo-Serbia thing; while Kosovo is Muslim, it is not Arab]. Well, on Friday, just as Shabbat was entering in Israel, we got our answer: Bahrain.
That's right. It took 26 years to get from the 2nd peace agreement with an Arab country (Jordan in 1994) to the 3rd [not including the short-lived peace agreement with Mauritania and the blip on the historical radar agreement with Lebanon] and somehow only 29 days from the 3rd to the 4th.
Bahrain is a small Arab state in the Persian Gulf which is predominantly Shia Muslim but with a moderate Sunni ruling party. It was widely expected that it, Oman or possibly Sudan would be the next country in line, but nobody expected it to happen it this quickly. Oman welcomed the agreement but has said that they will wait for an agreement with the Palestinian first - though Bahrain apparently said that same thing to the Palestinians. The Palestinians meanwhile - as I mentioned in a previous blog post - are about to get left behind due as many of the Arab states are tired of their intransigence, especially when Israel could be a strong ally against the two looming powers looking to carve up the Middle East - Iran and Turkey.
Tuesday is certainly set to be a momentous day. The ceremony will be broadcast live at 12PM Eastern Time - 7PM Israel time.
For more on this incredible story, check out the article and analyses below:
And if you missed my detailed analyses about Israel's peace agreement with the UAE (which is highly connected and relevant to the Bahrain announcement) click here:
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