By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency
September 13, 2020 — Jerusalem, Israel … Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks, today, at the start of the Cabinet meeting:
“On Friday, I had another conversation with President Trump and the leader of an Arab country, this time with King Hamad of Bahrain. It was a very warm conversation in which we agreed on the establishment of peaceful relations between Bahrain and Israel – the official establishment of peace with full diplomatic relations and with all that entails.”
Netanyahu added: “We now have two historic peace agreements, with two Arab countries, which were established in one month.
I am certain that we all welcome the new era. Israel is at the threshold of a new era. I want to promise you that each and every one of you, through your ministries, will be part of it because this is going to be a different kind of peace. This will be a warm peace, economic peace in addition to the diplomatic peace, also peace between peoples. There will be brisk traffic in direct air links between the countries. The great excitement that exists in the country is also reflected in the very great excitement in Bahrain and the UAE among the public at large. There truly is a great change here.”
“Tonight I will leave for Washington to sign the beginning of these agreements in order to set this historic change in motion.”
The UAE and Bahrain will be represented at the White House signing ceremony this Tuesday by their foreign ministers, Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, respectively.
Yoni Michanie, Middle East analyst and former senior adviser to CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting) told the Israel News Agency: “These agreements illustrate two things. First, Israel will have a place among her neighbors in the Middle East. Second, the Palestinian rejectionist attitude towards peace with Israel will lose the support it had in the Arab world for the last seven decades.”
Dr. Josef Olmert, former Israel Government Press Office Director and today Middle East expert and professor at the University of South Carolina said: “These are welcome agreements and they indicate, that more Arab countries are reassessing their real national priorities and come to the realistic conclusion that Israel is not their problem. Rather, could be a solution.”
“We have a long way to go with more countries, and it is surely not leading us closer to a solution with the Palestinians, but the initial rejectionist Palestinian reaction is not necessarily their final word. The Palestinian position in the conflict is weakening and that could still lead to a reassessment on their part. President Trump deserves the praise of every genuine supporter of Israel. Whether it is the result of electioneering is immaterial. The outcome is what that matters!”
Olivier Rafowicz, a reserve IDF Colonel and a professional in crisis communications told the INA: “In two days two Arab countries will sign in Washington an historic peace treaty with the state of Israel. After so many years it will be the first time that on the same day two Arab nations will recognize Israel and start full collaboration and full cooperation in order to promote science, medicine, tourism and business ventures together. It is deep strategic change, a very positive one and a victory, not because a war was fought and won but because it is victory for peace and serves as a light against darkness and radicalism. It’s a beginning of a much larger process. Let’s bless the United States for having played a major role in this peace process.”
Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer praised the news on Friday and thanked the Emirates and Bahrain for “this historic breakthrough.”
He also thanked Trump for “confronting Iran and helping transform our region for the better,” teasing that there is “more to come!”
The tiny Gulf monarchy, ruled by a Sunni dynasty closely allied with Saudi Arabia, is the second Arab country to recognize Israel in the past month. The Bahrain-UAE peace treaty with Israel is the first such document since Jordan made peace with the Jewish state in 1994.