Israel, U.A.E. and Bahrain Sign Accords, With an Eager Trump Playing Host

by 24USATVSept. 16, 2020, 4 a.m. 20

What was clear in the event, carried live on major cable networks less than 50 days before the November election, were Mr. Trump’s political interests. The Trump campaign, eager to portray the belligerent president as a diplomat and peacemaker, has capitalized on the agreements with online ads suggesting he deserves nothing less than the Nobel Prize, for which two right-wing Scandinavian lawmakers have nominated him.

Mr. Netanyahu’s interests were well served, too. The Israeli prime minister, who has long had a symbiotic relationship with the American president, is weathering twin political crises at home: a resurgence of the coronavirus that has led him to order a new national lockdown, and a trial on felony corruption charges.

The two men never seemed closer than they did on Tuesday. Meeting with Mr. Netanyahu in the Oval Office beforehand, Mr. Trump presented him with a large golden key embedded in a wooden box that he described as “a key to the White House, a key to our country.”

“You have the key to the hearts of the people of Israel,” Mr. Netanyahu replied.

“This is peace in the Middle East without blood all over the sand,” Mr. Trump added.

There was at least one potentially discordant moment between them, however, when Mr. Trump said that if re-elected, he would try to strike a deal with Iran, which has so far refused to negotiate with him after he withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal brokered by the Obama administration.

“I’m going to make a good deal with Iran,” Mr. Trump said. “I’m going to make a deal that’s great for Iran. It’s going to get them back. We’re going to help them in every way possible. And Iran will be very happy. Iran will be very rich and very quickly.”

Mr. Netanyahu has firmly opposed negotiations with what he calls “the murderous Iranian regime.” Ms. Maloney said his host’s remarks were “probably not what Bibi bargained for.”


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