Updated: Sep 16, 2020
Yesterday was a truly momentous occasion. Two Gulf Arab States, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, signed peace agreements with Israel. Notably, compared to Israel's peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, the two sides in this case have never actually fought, and as such, there is tons of excitement on both sides about future cooperation [whereas the treaties with Egypt and Jordan have created a "cold peace"]. As someone who has studied the Middle East for the past 26 years, and who has taught about it consistently for the past 13 years as a tour guide of Israel, and most notably, as someone who served in the IDF and comes from a military family, I can tell you that there is no better feeling than watching people make peace.
Here are some cool things that came out of the signing yesterday...
But first, if you didn't get my detailed analyses of these agreements, make sure to check them out here:
Okay, let's start:
I enjoyed the musical chairs situation when they had to explain to each other where to sign the documents (see video), as there were versions in Hebrew, Arabic and English.
My favorite scene, however may have been seeing mincha (the Jewish afternoon prayer service) being done on the White House Lawn. Socially distanced of course.
The official news casters from the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain joined their Israeli counterpart on Israel's nightly news. Just a symbol of what hopefully will grow into a warm peace indeed.
The Palestinians of course were not too happy about all of this, which in addition to some protesting, led to them shooting some rockets from Gaza into Israel during the signing of the ceremony and well into the night. 13 Israelis were injured - but our new friends have our back :) Hopefully one of these days the Palestinians will wake up and realize that if they want a better life for themselves and their children, they are going to need to recognize that Israel is here to stay. And if they don't, then other Arab countries are going to leave them behind, as they move to create a better world for themselves and their children without the entanglements of the past.
With all the vitriol that can be found in the Arab/Muslim news media regarding Israel, it is absolutely amazing to see something like this appear in an Arab newspaper (in the UAE):
The walls of the Old City of Jerusalem were lit up last night in recognition of the agreement.
The reason they signed various documents, is that there was a general declaration of principles known as the Abraham Accords - which other countries could later sign on to - as well as specific agreements between Israel and Bahrain and Israel and the United Arab Emirates. My favorite piece of language was this (from the Israel-UAE agreement):
It was like someone actually took that bumper sticker and put it into reality...
Here is the text of the Abraham Accords, which again is more of an idea - a shift in mindset - a "New Middle East" if you will - which the hope is that more countries will get behind - Inshallah - B'ezrat Hashem.
Don't forget to follow me on FB, Instagram and/or Twitter to get all my blog post updates:
And check out - and share - my videos on YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCli9MpzZdJHSeiDXNFjM5QA
#tourguideofisrael #tourguideisrael #israeltourguide #israelguide #israeltour #israeltrip #israeltours #israeltrips #privateisraelguide #israelprivateguide #privateguideofisrael #personalizedisraelexperience #tourisrael #tourofisrael #toursofisrael #triptoisrael #israel #israelpolitics #israelipolitics #israeltechtour #israelculinarytour #unitedarabemirates #israelpeace #peaceprocess #israeluaepeace #uaeisraelpeace #israeluaepeaceagreement #uaeisraelpeaceagreement #uae #israelpeacetreaty #uaeisraelpeacetreaty #israeluaepeacetreaty #israelbahrainpeace #bahrainisraelpeace #abraham #israelbahrainpeaceagreement #bahrainisraelpeaceagreement #bahrain #bahrianisraelpeacetreaty #israelbahrainpeacetreaty #israeliarabconflict #arabisraeliconflict #middleeast #israelgeopolitics #israelpoliticaltour #israelgeopoliticaltour #geopoliticaltourofisrael #newmiddleeast #abrahaamaccords #whitehouse #whitehouselawn