Trump’s New Middle East is a vivid one.
Dawn of the New Middle East is a term used by the American President Donald J. Trump in a ceremony held at the White House yesterday, where the two Gulf States, UAE, and Bahrain, signed agreements with Israel, vowing to normalize ties with the only Jewish country in the world. Though the mentioned Arab countries are neither the first nor the last Arab nations that have recognized Israel but their normalization of the ties has come on a crucial time when the American elections are on the head and the state of Palestine is no more visible on the map of the globe. This article will try to present a picture of the dawn of the New Middle East.
It was the last quarter of the 1970s when Egypt recognized Israel and with that recognition, Cairo lost the driving seat of its fellow Arab nations and of other Muslim states who were against the atrocities of the Jewish country. The story did not end here. Israel and Jordan signed a peace treaty in 1994 vowing to normalize the bilateral ties, and in this way, another Arab state fell in the basket of the widely known ‘the Zionist state’, Israel. Both the mentioned states were dominant players of the Arab-Israeli wars of 1948, 1967, and 1973. Their normal relations with Israel brought Iran on the front against the Jewish land and Tehran still holds the power to resist American-Israeli plans with more allies in her support.
The third episode of the normal ties took time, as nearly after two and a half decades, UAE also opted normal ties with Israel, an announcement made by the American president Donald J. Trump in mid-August this year. Whereas the fourth Arab state did not wait for decades. Instead, she chose the option of normalcy soon after UAE’s inclination toward peace with Israel, and yesterday, on September 16th, 2020, Trump hailed the dawn of a new Middle East after the two Gulf States, UAE & Bahrain, signed the agreements of fully normalizing their ties with Israel in a ceremony held at the White House.
The particular details the agreements are not yet public but it is sure that that there will be embassies, commerce, and travel links among these states. Though Palestinians marked the day as ‘Black Day’, but this does not carry any significant impact on any of the signing parties and it seems that the New Middle East might not include the Palestinians. Palestinians further showed concerns over Trump’s internationally known ‘peace deal’, that had already violated International law by recognizing Jerusalem Israel’s capital without taking Palestinian leadership on the board, and now his New Middle East also supports the occupations of the Israeli authorities on the Palestinian lands. Whereas the UAE foreign minister and the former British premier Tony Blair both stressed that the Palestinians need to change their narratives and come with a rationale and productive strategy, instead of opposing the peace deals.
‘How will the New Middle East look like?’ is a tough question to answer. Because;
1.The Middle East is a chessboard for two giant Muslim nations as Saudi Arabia and Iran, both demanding the driving seat of the region and Muslims.
2. Saudi Arabia heavily dominates the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain (both the signatories).
3. Whereas Syria’s Bashar Al Assad & Bashar Al Assad’s Syria, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Houthis of Yemen, and Baghdad’s two major parties heavily depend on Tehran on many fronts including the political and economic both.
4. America’s tilt toward Doha due to US-Taliban Negotiations has shunned Saudi designs of Qatar blockade but Washington is still a closer ally of Riyadh.
5. Israel is an ally of the Saudi-led camp now and Tehran will surely manipulate these terms gaining more sympathies and support from the Muslim world.
In short, the dawn of the New Middle East shows a vivid picture, as Israeli authorities in the 1990s had also signaled a New Middle East, might be supporting the greater Israel narrative, whereas Trump’s New Middle East is a harder one to imagine. There are three fundamental reasons why;
1. Trump’s election conscious mindset.
2. Israel’s influence in American foreign policy-making, and
3. The US-Israel designs of resisting Tehran and pressing her against the wall.
Furthermore, Al Jazeera quotes, “It is not a secret that US President Donald Trump is obsessed with either voiding or emulating the legacy of his predecessor, Barack Obama. Trump now seeks to defeat Obama’s political heir, Joe Biden, in the upcoming presidential election and wants to stack up enough peace-making deals to earn the elusive Nobel Peace Prize, just as Obama did in 2009.” This piece of the news further strengthens one of the claims of this article that Trump’s election conscious mindset has made him make the two Gulf States rush for the recognition of the Jewish State. His such efforts might seem fruitful at first sight but which face will he show if he wins the elections. What if he loses? Will Joe Bidden be able enough to steer Middle East on a new path or he will have his own version of the New Middle East. How will Rouhani’s Iran counter this New Middle East and what if another Ahmadinejad mentality president wins the next elections in Tehran? Who is next in the queue of normalizing the ties with Israel and on what cost?
To conclude, there are several such questions which need to be answered and for sure, time is the only bearer of all the answers.
For reading “Jerusalem for sale” by the author, click here.
Note: Pictures’ courtesy does not belong to the author.