Trump welcomes Israel, UAE, Bahrain to White House signing ceremony


But many analysts in the region, while giving credit to Mr. Trump for helping negotiate the deal – work led by his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner – have called the peace speech exaggerated. They note that Israel has long been engaged in a de facto alliance with the Sunni Arab states of the Persian Gulf, largely in a common cause against Shia Iran.

“It’s not conflict resolution and it’s not peace – it’s a trade deal,” said Jeremy Ben-Ami, the chairman of J Street, a pro-Israel liberal advocacy group that has strongly criticized Mr. Netanyahu. “It’s very, very clear that there are aligned interests between Israel and these countries – military, security, diplomatic, economic – and those interests have been around for two decades.”

“It formalizes this, but it should not be overstated as the resolution of a central conflict for Israel with its neighbors,” he added. The decades-old conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, he said, “remains unanswered with this deal.”

Meeting Mr. Netanyahu in the Oval Office, Mr. Trump presented Mr. Netanyahu with a large golden key embedded in a wooden box which he described as “a key to the White House, a key to our country.”

“You have the key to the hearts of the people of Israel,” Netanyahu replied.

“It’s peace in the Middle East without blood all over the sand,” Trump added.


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