Most Significant Step in 25 Years?
CNN Toes the Line
Please consider the UAE-Israel announcement proves the folly of warming to Iran by Michael Oren.
(CNN)The impending peace agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel is a game-changer for the entire Middle East.
More than its economic and diplomatic potential, though, the UAE-Israel accord is of immense strategic value. It signifies the emergence of a united Middle Eastern front against Iran. Such an alliance was necessitated by the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action -- the Iran nuclear deal. Contrary to hopes that it would transform Iran into a responsible regional power, the JCPOA bolstered Iranian efforts to gain even greater power in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, and support terror worldwide.
By abandoning the nuclear deal in 2018, the United States regained the leverage and the trust needed to broker the UAE-Israel breakthrough.
Israel-UAE Accord is a Mere Sideshow
Next, please consider the Newsweek article the Israel-UAE Accord is a Mere Sideshow by Zaha Hassan.
Peace is good. Friendly relations between belligerent states in a fragile region plagued by conflict? That's a hallelujah moment, or so it might seem at first glance. But despite the hype, the agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates announced by President Trump on Thursday (dubbed the "Abraham Accord") to normalize relations between the two countries is not a miracle of biblical proportions. It's cold, hard political opportunism taken at the expense of Palestinians. It is political theater in which Palestinians and the remains of their homeland offer a convenient backdrop. The UAE may wish to portray itself as Palestine's Arab savior, pulling Israel back from the brink of illegally annexing more Palestinian land, but the reality is that Palestinians and their rights had nothing to do with it.
For years, the UAE has been enjoying the benefits associated with military, intelligence and technological cooperation with Israel, but behind the scenes. So why be that Gulf state to step into the fray of Arab public opinion as the first—though likely not the last—to tear up the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which offered Israel peace and normal relations with Arab states and dozens of other Muslim countries, in exchange for an end to Israel's now 53-year-old military occupation of Palestinian land? Blame it on the U.S. presidential elections and Trump's pandering to right-wing Evangelicals and big pro-Israel donors. Blame it on a microcopic virus that is taking down the unmasked and untethered president of the United States. Blame it on the fact that Arab regimes of questionable repute and in need of refurbishing their tarnished image believe that the road to redemption in Washington runs through Israel.
And why would Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu promise to temper his territorial ambitions for a Greater Israel in exchange for open diplomatic ties with a small Gulf state? He hasn't. He has only pledged to "suspend" his annexation plans. Postponing annexation for a little while—until after November, perhaps?—in order to have the UAE and maybe other Arab Gulf countries, or even a Muslim-majority country on the African continent announce normalized relations, is a much smarter move, politically.
Who is Zaha Hassan?
Zaha Hassan is visiting fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace's Middle East Program, and former coordinator and senior legal advisor to the Palestinian negotiating team during Palestine's bid for UN membership.
Who is Michael Oren?
Michael Oren, formerly Israel's ambassador to the United States, Knesset Member, and deputy minister in the Prime Minister's office.
Political Propaganda at CNN and Newsweek
Both views are political propaganda, not independent analysis.
Political Propaganda by Trump
Donald Trump says he Expects Saudi Arabia to join UAE-Israel Deal.
Saudi Arabia has different views.
Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan ruled out the possibility until the Palestinian issue is resolved.
"Peace must be achieved with the Palestinians" on the basis of international agreements as a pre-condition for any normalisation of relations, Prince Faisal told reporters during a visit to Berlin on Wednesday.
Prince Faisal said the kingdom remained committed to peace with Israel on the basis of a 2002 Arab Peace Initiative. Saudi Arabia, which does not recognise Israel, drew up the 2002 initiative by which Arab nations offered to normalise ties with Israel in return for a statehood deal with the Palestinians and full Israeli withdrawal from territory captured in 1967.
Lie of the Day
Trump called the UAE-Israel accord a good agreement and said: "Countries that you wouldn't even believe that want to come into that deal." He did not name any other countries besides Saudi Arabia.
And Saudi Arabia itself is a lie.
Behind this deal, what's going on?
F-35 Fighters Jets For Sale
Let's go back to the Nuclear Accord Deal and see what's what.
Iran Honoring Commitments?
June 14, 2017 PolitiFact asks Is Iran complying with the nuclear deal?
The prevailing view among foremost authorities is that Iran has complied with the deal.
The U.S. State Department, which is required to report to Congress every 90 days on Iran’s compliance, also certified in April that the Islamic Republic is living up to its end of the deal.
PolitFact noted minor violations.
The deal says Iran can keep 130 metric tons of "heavy water," a modified liquid used in some nuclear reactors. However, Iran has twice crept over its limit, according to the IAEA, each time by a fraction of one ton.
Daryl Kimball, the executive director Arms Control Association, downplayed the heavy water issue as a "minor infraction," and noted that Iran currently does not have a functioning heavy water reactor. In other words, from a practical standpoint, the issue is essentially moot because excessive heavy water wouldn’t move Iran closer to building a nuclear weapon.
David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, wrote in a June 5 analysis of the IAEA’s report said "Iran appears to be complying more strictly with JCPOA limitations over which it was facing controversy, such as the heavy water cap."
September 26, 2017: Trump’s Top General Says Iran Honoring Nuke Deal
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Tuesday joined other members of President Donald Trump’s cabinet in confirming that Iran is complying with the 2015 nuclear deal that has put a temporary halt to its nuclear weapons program.
“The briefings I have received indicate that Iran is adhering to its JCPOA obligations,” Gen. Joseph Dunford wrote in answers to questions in advance of his hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, using an acronym for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
April 19, 2019: IAEA Says Iran Abiding by Nuclear Deal
“Iran is implementing its nuclear commitments,” said Yukiya Amano, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The agency has had access to “all the sites and locations in Iran which it needed to visit.”
- US State Department: Iran honoring the terms.
- Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: Iran honoring the terms.
- International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA): Iran honoring the terms.
- Arms Control Association: Iran honoring the terms.
- Every other signee of the accord: Iran honoring the terms.
Trump alone says differently.
Which Side Rings True?
This is not close.
Trump undid the single best thing Obama did.