Israel’s Relationship with Sunni Arab Countries

In June, the United States brought together many Arab Muslim countries and Israel during an economic workshop in Bahrain. The workshop was called Peace To Prosperity. It sought to pave a new path toward peace between the Palestinians and Israelis. The summit was the first major step toward peace offered by the Trump administration.

In a major step during the summit, Bahrain’s foreign minister recognized the historical connection of the Jewish people to the Middle East and to their land saying, “Israel is a country in the Middle East. It is part of the heritage of this region. The Jewish people have a place amongst us.” Sadly, the Palestinians refuse to participate.

Really, there’s a thawing going on right now. It’s a slow thawing in the relationship between the Muslim countries and Israel. A lot of the stalling actually has to do with the fact that President Obama created the Iran deal. The Iran deal was a predominantly a Shiite issue and so many of the Sunni Muslim countries are actually aligning themselves in some capacity with Israel.

Again, this isn’t a major thought. There’s no diplomatic relations being created or a peace deal on the horizon. However, Gulf states like Bahrain who were once very anti-Israel, are inviting Israelis and other Muslim countries together to hash out the Palestinian Israeli issue. This is a big step to hear the foreign minister say this, to recognize the state of Israel.

However, the Palestinians, once again missed an opportunity to be diplomatic and they missed an opportunity to have their voices heard, which doesn’t bode well for their relationship with Israel, their relationship with the United States or these Muslim countries.

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