Friday, October 23, 2020

I didn't think much of when the UAE and Bahrain recognized Israel, but Sudan is different

The "peace deals" between Israel and the UAE and Israel and Bahrain that were announced a few months ago were really just an official recognition of the informal cooperative relationship that had already existed between Israel and those two countries for more than a decade.

But this deal with Sudan is different. Unlike those two Gulf States, Sudan has not been unofficially cooperating with Israel in the recent past. Instead, the Sudan deal is a real change from the status quo. Essentially, Sudan has sold its willingness to recognize Israel in exchange for American aid. Although this Sudan development is different, I think it is related to the Bahrain/UAE deal. Before the Gulf States were willing to openly admit they had diplomatic relations with Sudan (and before Saudi Arabia, the most influential of the Gulf States also became a tacit ally of Israel in recent years), Sudan would not have risked doing this move. The Gulf States' public embrace of Israel have given Sudan the cover it needs to trade recognition of Israel for American cash. I wonder if other Arab countries will follow their lead.

I also think that the Trump Administration pushed this deal now as a ploy to win the Jewish vote. I doubt if that will work though. Trump is extremely unpopular among American Jews. I don't think any Arab-Israeli peace agreements can make up for all that Nazi stuff.