Before the end of the year, “at least” one more Arab state will make a peace deal with Israel, according to a columnist for an English-language newspaper in Saudi Arabia.

Writing in the Arab News one day after the announcement of normal relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on August 13, Rabbi Marc Schneier said “this is just the beginning of normalization between Gulf states and Israel.” According to The Hill, President Donald Trump played a role in negotiating the agreement between Israel and the UAE. As part of the agreement between the two countries, Israel would not go ahead with plans to annex territory in the West Bank, The Hill said.

COVID-19 Draws Israel and Gulf States Together

Like Israel, the Arab states had seen the COVID-19 virus severely affect their societies and their economies, Rabbi Schneier said, noting that the economies of the Arab countries had also been damaged by a drop in oil prices. Those countries “are increasingly looking to Israel to help them find solutions,” he said. The rabbi recalled that an UAE diplomat had expressed a willingness to work with Israel on a vaccine for the virus and the UAE had flown medical supplies to the Jewish nation. Rabbi Schneier stressed that the virus was the "perfect opportunity to transcend political differences."

Iran Seen as Threat to Israel and Arab States

Another motivation for the Gulf states to establish ties with Israel was concern over rising tensions with Iran, Rabbi Schneier noted.

The Hill noted that Iran was "an existential threat" to the Jewish state and the Arab countries in the Persian Gulf.

Rabbi Schneier credited the UAE with making “a bold move” by opting to normalize relations with the Jewish state. This “paved the way for other Gulf states to establish relations” with Israel, he said.

Rabbi Schneier is president of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding. Videos of his sermons and interviews with leaders of other faiths can be viewed online.

Trump Touted as “Front-Runner” for Nobel Peace Prize

Speaking at a White House press briefing on August 13, US National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien addressed the role played by President Donald Trump in negotiations between Israel and the UAE.

His remarks were covered the The Hill, which quoted him as saying Trump should be considered “a front-runner” for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The Hill recalled Trump himself once saying that he would be awarded the prize “if they gave it out fairly, which they don’t." The news site also quoted Robert O'Brien as saying Trump would go down in history as "a great peacemaker." The Hill also pointed out that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was said to have nominated Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018 as a favor to the American government.

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