President Trump to Host Ceremony Normalizing Relations Between Israel, UAE and Bahrain

U.S. President Donald Trump will host a signing ceremony at the White House Tuesday for the normalization of relations between Israel and the Arab states of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.   Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, UAE Foreign Affairs Minister Abdullah bin Zayed and Bahrain Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Alzayani  will sign the so-called  “Abraham Accord” on the South Lawn of the White House.  The Israel-UAE deal was initially reached on August 13 between Israel and UAE, with Bahrain announcing last Friday that it will also formally recognize the Jewish state.  Under the Abraham Accord, Prime Minister Netanyahu has agreed to halt plans to annex portions of the West Bank.  But observers say the agreement is a further sign of a shifting dynamic in the Middle East, with more and more Arab nations growing closer to Israel, leaving the Palestinians isolated.Dana El Kurd of the Palestinian Policy Network think tank Al-Shabaka, told VOA last week the normalization deal between Israel and Bahrain is further evidence that Arab governments are abandoning the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, without receiving “anything tangible related to the Palestinian cause or statehood project.”The Trump administration is touting the deals between Israel, U.A.E. and Bahrain as key foreign policy victories with just two months remaining before the November 3 presidential election. Former vice president Joe Biden, Trump’s Democratic opponent, said he supports more countries normalizing relations with Israel in response to a recent VOA question, but also said he believes “that Israel has to be prepared to work toward a genuine two-state solution” with the Palestinians.