The Bahrain–Israel normalization agreement,1 officially Abraham Accords: Declaration of Peace, Cooperation, and Constructive Diplomatic and Friendly Relations2 is an agreement to normalize diplomatic and other relations between Bahrain and Israel. The agreement was announced by President Donald Trump on September 11, 2020,3 and followed on from a joint statement, officially referred to as the Abraham Accords, by the United States, Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on August 13, 2020.[4] It was formally signed on September 15, 2020, at the White House in Washington, D.C.,[5] and made Bahrain the fourth Arab state to recognize Israel and the second within a month.

Putting aside whether this is actually good for Middle East peace, since only time will tell, some proponents of the arrangement have lauded Donald Trump personally for the signing of this deal.

In the background section of that wikipedia article we learn that Bahrain ended boycotting Israel in 2005, showing some softening long before Trump was a politician. However, all subsequent developments in that timeline are during his presidency. I also understand that Trump has a peace plan for Israeli/Palestinian peace, but that seems perhaps not related to this.

What I'd like is a brief analysis on Trump's and his administration's involvement in the Abraham Accords. I'm interested in a fair analysis backed up with facts and citations. If possible, a "percentage of credit" synthesis would be helpful.


1 Answer 1


According to this article by The Guardian Trump seems to be credited for obtaining from Israel the suspension of their annexation plan:

At Trump’s request, Israel “will suspend declaring sovereignty” over parts of the West Bank, it said.

This would mean that the Trump administration played an important role in the deal, since this condition is presented by the UAE as the major reason they signed:

The UAE’s ambassador to Washington, Yousef Al Otaiba, said in a statement: "The agreement immediately stops annexation and the potential for violent escalation. It maintains the viability of a two-state solution as endorsed by the Arab League and international community."

However the deal only suspends the annexation plan, so it is unclear how strong a commitment this represents:

Under the UAE deal, Netanyahu agreed only to “suspend” but not fully abandon his ambitions to annex the occupied West Bank – a clause Palestinians officials said showed they had been ignored.

The deal with Bahrain is apparently mostly symbolic:

The Israel-Bahrain agreement was a much thinner document, with little substance other than a stated commitment to establish diplomatic relations.

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