Mossad chief calls Mideast peace deals strategic game changer

by WorldTribune Staff, September 18, 2020

The importance of the Abraham Accord, in which U.S. President Donald Trump brokered the normalization of relations between Israel and Arab states Bahrain and United Arab Emirates, can’t be understated, the chief of Israel’s Mossad said.

“On the security level, there is a very large message here of a transition to support for Israel. The agreements are a strategic change in the war against Iran,” Yossi Cohen told Channel 13 News.

President Donald Trump and leaders from Israel, Bahrain and UAE signed the Abraham Accord at the White House on Tuesday.

“There are considerable efforts to bring more countries under the same atmosphere of peace and normalization with Israel, and I am very much in favor. I am convinced that this is possible. I am definitely looking forward to good news, I hope that maybe even this year,” Cohen said.

In an editorial for The New York Sun, Benny Avni noted that the Abraham Accords are “widely celebrated in the Arabian peninsula and in Israel, but they’re really bad news for Teheran.”

“Until now, Israel relied on one Iranian neighbor, Azerbaijan in the north, as a place to run to after conducting heroic intelligence feats like the theft, in the heart of Teheran, of documents showing Iran’s transgression of the JCPOA and its obligations under the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty. Now, in the UAE and Bahrain, it has allies to the west and south of Iran’s borders,” Avni wrote on Tuesday.

The ceremony at the White House represented “a crack in century-long Arab enmity to a Jewish, democratic and liberal state at the heart of the majority Arab, mostly Islamic Mideast. That’s positive for many reasons but, as one of its most important components, it’s a new weapon in weakening the Mideast’s most malign power and setting back its aspirations to dominate the region,” Avni wrote.

Trump said on Wednesday that two other countries may soon join the accord.

“Four or five” other Arab countries “want to come in” and normalize ties with Israel following the deal that was signed on Tuesday at the White House with Bahrain and UAE, Trump said at a news conference.

“I talked to two of them yesterday and they are ready to try,” Trump told reporters. “You’re going to have a whole level of peace in the Middle East without blood all over the sand.”

“I think Saudi Arabia ultimately will come in too. This is my feeling … it’s not based on knowledge other than a couple of conversations I had with the king,” Trump said.

He added the move would come “at the right time.”

A senior member of the Saudi royal family said that Saudi Arabia’s price for normalizing relations with Israel is the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz reiterated that position during a conversation with Trump last week, saying there would be no normalization with Israel without Palestinian statehood.

Cohen told Channel 13 News that he “very much hopes that an agreement with Saudi Arabia is within reach.”

Meanwhile, dire predictions by former Obama administration officials over Trump moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem have not panned out, a report noted.

“There has been no dedicated Arab reprisals since the doors opened with much fanfare in May 2018,” Rowan Scarborough wrote for The Washington Times on Wednesday.

As he left office in January 2017, Secretary of State John Kerry predicted an explosive doom for the Middle East.

“You’d have an explosion,” he told CBS News. “You’d have an explosion, an absolute explosion in the region, not just in the West Bank and perhaps even in Israel itself, but throughout the region. The Arab world has enormous interest in the Haram al-Sharif, as it is called, the Temple Mount, the Dome [of the Rock], and it is a holy site for the Arab world.”

“And if all of a sudden Jerusalem is declared to be the location of our embassy, that has issues of sovereignty, issues of law that it would deem to be affected by that move and by the United States acquiescing in that move, and that would have profound impact on the readiness of Jordan and Egypt to be able to be as supportive and engaged with Israel as they are today,” Kerry said.

When the embassy move was announced, Obama administration CIA Director John Brennan tweeted: “Deaths in Gaza result of utter disregard of Messers Trump and [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu for Palestine rights & homeland. By moving embassy to Jerusalem. Trump played politics, destroyed US peacemaker role. New generation of Israelis/Palestinians need to isolate extremists to find path to peace.”

“Never Trump” Republican consultant Steve Schmidt also predicted horrible consequences when the U.S. Embassy opened. He is today a prominent player in the 2020 election. He is co-founder of the Lincoln Project, which produces anti-Trump ads that often air on Fox News.

“Trump destabilized the Middle East with his decision to move the embassy,” Schmidt tweeted. “His abject ignorance of the history and religions that have shaped this moment have given succor to the agents of terror and chaos. Trump destabilizes, Hamas terrorists provoke, Israel responds. Repeat 1.”

His tweet was retrieved and posted by Sean Davis, co-founder of The Federalist, who tweeted: “In case you weren’t already wary about taking geopolitical advice from bitter, washed-up … campaign consultants, this gem from 2018 should probably seal it for you.”

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