On Thursday 13 August, US President Donald Trump announced that Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had reached a deal to normalise relations between the two Middle East nations. President Trump helped broker the deal that sees the UAE become only the third Arab nation, after Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1994) to sign a peace deal with Israel since its independence in 1948.  The deal that was reached between Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, requires that Israel suspend its planned annexation of certain parts of the West Bank. Mr Netanyahu said that he agreed to “delay” the annexation, but the plans remain “on the table”. Other areas of co-operation between the two nations will include investment, direct flights, technology, healthcare, security, and the establishment of reciprocal embassies. The deal attracted mixed reactions, with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issuing a statement rejecting and denouncing the deal. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that the deal was a “huge mistake” and that it was a “betrayal of the Palestinian cause”. Other Arab nations such as Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, and Oman have responded in favour of the deal, seeing it as a positive step towards securing peace in the region. During the announcement, President Trump added: “Now that the ice has been broken, I expect more Arab and Muslim countries will follow the United Arab Emirates.”

From a Christian perspective, any peace deal between Israel and an Arab nation is cause for celebration. For many people, the Middle East is synonymous with war and conflict, especially the animosity of most Arab nations towards Israel. This makes a peace deal of this nature a massive breakthrough for peace in the wider region and is something for which one can give thanks. A Palestinian believer in Israel commented that Palestinian believers are divided in their reaction towards the deal – one segment feels betrayed by the UAE, saying that they should have negotiated for more benefits towards the Palestinian cause. The other segment views it as a very positive step that will benefit Israel and will have a positive outflow towards Palestinians as well. They hope that this will show war-focussed Palestinians that peace is possible, and that it will influence them positively. As Mr Trump also mentioned, the hope is there that more Arab and Muslim nations will follow the UAE, now that they see peace is possible.

Pray with us for the following:

  • For the protection of the peace deal against any onslaught from the enemy
  • For this act of peace to lead more nations towards peace negotiations with Israel
  • For believers in Israel to use this topic of peace to introduce non-believers to the Prince of Peace


Image: Jerusalem Post