After the United Arab Emirates, another Gulf Arab nation has decided to establish bilateral relations with Israel. US President Trump announced that Bahrain, a tiny nation in the Middle East, will also follow suit in establishing relations with Israel.
The stage is being prepared for the historic signing of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the UAE and Israel in Washington. Trump said he expects other countries to join in recognising Israel and Bahrain will do so as well. The move is not surprising as Bahrain had already had immense covert ties with Israel and they will be formally announced.
The Palestinians have strongly condemned the deal calling it another ‘stab in the back’ by the Arabs. It is expected that Kuwait and Oman could be next, while Saudi Arabia had expressed support for an independent Palestine state before they could recognise Israel. The move is also expected to once again raise the political temperature in the region.
Bahrain is a tiny but rich archipelago in the Middle East that hosts the Fifth Fleet, the largest US naval base in the region. This makes it an easy target to be pressurized by the US to accede to their demands. Saudi Arabia has been facing an economic crisis as oil prices are depleting and the coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on its economy.
The Imam-e-Kaabah had also hinted at establishing peace with the Jews during a sermon. This is being seen as a gradual change in the Gulf state’s ideology leading towards the recognition of Israel. Another Arab state of Sudan has ended 30 years of Islamic law and brought a new secular constitution. This African country has hinted in developing ties with Israel.
Today, 163 countries out of 193 UN member states recognise Israel and have full bilateral and trade ties. With Muslim counties now going in, the Palestinian cause ongoing for decades is being negated. It is imperative that all countries stress on giving the Palestinians their due right before moving towards recognising Israel.