• Richard Easson

The Key to Tuesday's Peace Deal Was Overlooked By Previous Administrations

Previous US presidential administrations had been wrestling with how to make Middle East peace successful for decades now. They’ve been trying to rope in the Gulf states and other Arab nations and bring them to the negotiating table, tell the Palestinians they’ll get their land, and draw up their idea of a successful two-state solution. So how did the peace deals signed on Tuesday get done under the guidance of one man in less than four years?

For starters, Donald Trump is a smart negotiator and a brilliant businessman. He came into office with no political background, just big ideas and intellect. Prior to his presidency he made a living that most could only dream of off of doing deals domestically and internationally, so he knew how to operate and the lay of the land. He knows how to work with people to get things done. When there are roadblocks, he removes them. There is more to it than just that, though. 

Yes, he might not need ambassadors and other negotiators to operate on his behalf when he can do things more effectively himself. Not to go off topic but look how he was the first sitting US president to meet with a North Korean dictator and was even invited to cross the DMZ by the dictator himself! It’s extremely impressive. If we look at his tactic, in terms of the Middle East, it seems as though he tried something different. He tried a new approach when determining how he’d tackle the half-century old puzzle of post-1948 Israel Middle East peace. Let’s first take a glimpse at the recent signing of the Abraham Accord and its significance. 

On Tuesday afternoon on the South Lawn of the White House, three Middle Eastern countries came together in harmony to sign historic peace deals paving the way to normalize their relationships with one another, as the United States presided over the event. The four leaders involved in the historic signing were President Donald Trump, who was responsible for brokering the deals, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, and Bahrain Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa.

In a speech given by Donald Trump, he said “We’re here this afternoon to change the course of history. After decades of division and conflict we mark the dawn a new Middle East.” He continued “Thanks to the great courage of the leaders of these three countries, we take a major stride toward a future in which people of all faiths and backgrounds live together in peace and prosperity.”

What happened Tuesday afternoon on the South Lawn was truly monumental and historic. These agreements are the first of their kind in over 25 years since the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty in 1994. The president mentioned that 5 or 6 more Arab nations are showing great interest in normalizing their relations with Israel. Who would’ve known that what US presidents have been trying to accomplish since JFK would be done in under 4 years in office?

As with most treaties, the Abraham Accord came with conditions. Along with establishing embassies and recognizing one another as sovereign, according to the White House website:

  • Muslims who wish to pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque, located in Jerusalem, will be able to fly from Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv to do so in peace.

  • Business and financial ties will be expanded and shall encourage economic growth throughout the Middle East region.

  • The agreement would allow for President Trump to continue striving to find a way to bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Those seem pretty simple! How could other Arab nations not want to join in? Most of them seem to be getting ticked off with Iran’s hostility in the region and signing these deals are isolating the rogue nation more and more to the point where they’ll have nothing to rely on but themselves. We’ve seen what can happen in Tehran when its citizens are unhappy and hopefully these deals will force them to the negotiating table.

So, what’s the difference between President Trump and what other administrations that preceded him did?

Some will argue that Lyndon Johnson was busy with the Vietnam War, the Iranian Islamic Revolution broke out during the Jimmy Carter years, and the Bush’s had their own wars to fight. Okay, so conflicts might hinder some progress, but it’s not like we don’t have domestic and international dilemmas that we’re trying to fix at the moment, and we can still press on and get peace deals going. What this leaves us with is the fact that President Trump sidelined the ones that don’t want to be a team player during the peace-related talks, and quite frankly, never have – the Palestinians.

What Trump seems to understand is that the former presidents’ main mistake was bringing the Palestinians in at the onset of negations. He also understands, like most with common sense do, that the Palestinians don’t necessarily want peace – they want Israel to fall. He also understands, contrary to what many will tell you, that Palestine is not a country. Leaving Palestine off to the side until more countries join in on the peace deals and sign accords normalizing their relationships with Israel is singlehandedly the smartest move and possibly one of the last remaining pieces to the puzzle. No doubt he will bring the Palestinian Authority into the talks at some point, but to Trump, successful negotiations are about applying pressure to counterparties to get what you want, and this is where the businessman in him excels.

In 2017, the then-outgoing US Secretary of State John Kerry said that a proposed move of the US embassy to Jerusalem would cause “an explosion, an absolute explosion in the region, not just in the West Bank, and perhaps even in Israel itself, but throughout the region.” Boy was he wrong! President Trump kept his promise and moved the embassy to Jerusalem in 2018 to show that the US recognizes the city as Israel’s true capital. Guatemala soon followed suit in moving their embassy to Jerusalem while other nations with ties to Israel have either considered it or maintain embassies in Tel Aviv.

In the last chapter of my book “Is God A Republican?” I discuss the US-Israel relationship and how important it is not only on a strategic level but on a religious one. If you’re a believer in the Bible then you understand Israel’s importance to God’s people, the Jewish people. It is without a doubt and unarguably their land and we have to recognize it as their state, not the Palestinians’ or anyone else’s. While Democrats have time and time again left Israel and the Jewish people behind in the dirt, Trump recognizes them and their rightful sovereignty and is not afraid to make his stance known.

The next time Nancy Pelosi wants to call historic peace deals “a distraction” maybe she should step back from the politics for once and look at their significance. Calling the deals a “distraction” is an absolute slap in the face to the people of Israel who have to endure constant mortar attacks from terrorists cowardly hiding in the Gaza Strip. Her dumb comment is also a slap in the face to not only the Jewish people in the US but all over the world who call the Holy Land their God-given home. We all know how much she and her fellow leftists loathe the president and can’t praise him for things like record-low unemployment rates for voters they think are theirs, but stop with the jealousy fits, Nancy, because the president has only gotten started.

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