In the Middle East, the illusion of a new era of stability

Analysis. On Tuesday, September 15, the four protagonists of the Israeli-Arab normalization ceremony gathered under the portico of the White House stormed with bombastic statements. US President Donald Trump and his three hosts, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Nétanayhou, UAE Foreign Minister Abdallah Ben Zayed Al-Nahyane, and his Bahraini counterpart Abdelatif Ben Rashid Al-Zayani, announced together the advent of a “New Middle East”.

To believe them, the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two monarchies of the Persian Gulf and the Hebrew state would turn the page of decades of conflicts and lay the foundations of a new era, made of “Stability”, of ” peace “ and of “Prosperity”. Donald Trump would be well on the way to achieving what his predecessor in the Oval Office, George W. Bush, an apostle in his time of a “Greater Middle East”, more conciliatory towards the Hebrew State and the United States.

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In fact, the method of the current US president – a bet on the growing affinities between autocratic Arab pro-Washington regimes and Israel – pays more than the credo of virtuous democratization, imposed from above, brandished by the neoconservatives. 2000s. It is to be expected that other Arab countries will break in the short or medium term the increasingly weak taboo of the recognition of the Jewish state, starting with the Sultanate of Oman.

Strategic realignment

But if this process of reorganizing alliances is advancing so quickly, it is because there has never been a real conflict between Israel and the Gulf monarchies. Trump is reaping the dividends of a convergence over two decades old, with the UAE and Bahrain’s first contact with Israel dating back to the mid-1990s. The erasing of the generation of founding sheikhs like Zayed, the father of the United Arab Emirates , very close to the Palestinian cause, accelerated the movement.

The turbulent aftermath of the “Arab Spring” of 2011 and the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, observed with the same anxiety on both sides, resulted in the emergence of a set of common interests between the potentates of the Arabian Peninsula and the Arabs. Israeli leaders. In recent years, meetings between Emirati and Israeli intelligence services, often hosted in Amman, the Jordanian capital, had become routine.

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