JERUSALEM – On Friday, the seemingly impossible happened.
The Republic of the Sudan announced it was ready to normalize relations with Israel.
It was the third Arab-Israeli peace agreement in two months, and fifth deal in history. More may be coming – among them Oman, Saudi Arabia and Morocco.
“I’m sure you'll see Saudi Arabia there [making peace with Israel] very soon,” U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters on Friday in the Oval Office.
“Ultimately, we’re gonna have a big reunion at the end where everybody’s here and everybody’s going to be signing [the Abraham Accords] and we expect that Saudi Arabia will be one of those countries,” Trump said.
Just last week, I reported on our sister site – ALL ARAB NEWS – on a recent poll that found “79 percent of Saudis see a pathway to peace with Israel” that “large majorities of Arabs in region see more normalization deals with Israel coming.”
These are historic developments, made even more dramatic by the relentless chorus of critics who have been saying it couldn’t be done.
Only a few months ago, President Trump’s strategy for Arab-Israeli peace-making was not simply being dismissed – it was being outright mocked and lampooned in the U.S. and around the world.
Not only did they insist the White House approach would not lead to any peace deals between Israel and the Arab world – certainly not unless the Palestinians agreed to peace first – many of them said the Trump strategy would inflame the situation in the Middle East and make things worse.
Let’s take a look back at the record.
Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
- Called Trump strategy “stupid” and “foolish”
- Also called Trump’s approach “satanic” and “will never bear fruit”
- Said the Trump approach “will not serve peace or bring about a solution” to the Arab-Israeli conflict
- Said “the U.S. Middle East plan threatens the regional peace and tranquility.”
- Called the Trump strategy a “political stunt that could spark unilateral moves to annex territory and set back peace even more. I’ve spent a lifetime working to advance the security and survival of a Jewish and democratic Israel. This is not the way.”
- Insisted that “there will be no separate peace between Israel and the Arab world.”
- Ridiculed the Trump strategy and that of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, saying, “I want to make that very clear to all of you. I’ve heard several prominent politicians in Israel sometimes saying, well, the Arab world is in a different place now, we just have to reach out to them and we can work some things with the Arab world and we’ll deal with the Palestinians. No, no, no, and no.”
- Said that “Trump’s so-called ‘peace deal’ doesn’t come close and will only perpetuate the conflict. It is unacceptable.”
- Said that President Trump’s “Deal of the Century, like so much else he’s done in foreign policy, makes complex situations worse.”
- Wrote a column published on Feb. 27, headlined: “I’m a Veteran Middle East Peace Negotiator. Trump’s Plan Is the Most Dangerous I’ve Ever Seen.”
- Argued that of all the Arab-Israeli peace plans ever rolled out, “the one President Trump rolled out Tuesday [is] the hardest to take seriously.”
- Called the Trump approach “dead on arrival” and “an American abdication of any mediating role in the future” in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
- Insisted that “Trump’s Middle East strategy is bound to fail” because its “rather myopic foreign policy strategy for the Middle East ignores important realities on the ground”
- Published a column headlined, “Trump’s Peace Plan Is Ludicrous, Dangerous and One-sided”
Most are silent.
But shouldn’t they all be asked to explain why they were so wrong?
Joel C. Rosenberg is the editor-in-chief of ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and the President and CEO of Near East Media. A New York Times best-selling author, Middle East analyst, and Evangelical leader, he lives in Jerusalem with his wife and sons.